Four weeks a good Christmas pudding is supposed to rest before it is served on Christmas Day, and while our traditional day for preparing the pudding – the Sunday after Thanksgiving, that is – is a bit late this year, you can still do it this week! It takes a bit of time, but is well worth it. Here is our recipe – modified from someone else’s in years of practice. Have fun!
Traditional Christmas Pudding
** Needs to sit in a cool and dry place for four weeks at least, so prepare it on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, but start latest on the evening of 25th of November by marinating the dried fruits over night. On the next day, the pudding needs to steam for 7 (seven) hours, so make sure you can stay home for it. **
- 1 lb raisins (can be a mix of raisins, currants and golden raisins)
- 1 small cooking apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
- 1/2 an orange, grated zest and juice
- 1/2 lemon, grated zest and juice
- 4 Tbsp port wine
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp apple pie spice
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup lard, shredded
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1/8 cup chopped almonds
- 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
The night before you plan to steam the pudding, mix raisins, apple, zest and juice of lemon and orange and the port well in a large bowl. Cover bowl with a clean dish towel and let sit to marinate over night.
The next day, lightly butter a 2 1/2 pint (1.4 liter) pudding basin (with or without lid). Then add the remaining ingredients in the order given above into the fruit mixture and stir well. I usually work the lard in with my hands. The complete mixture should have a fairly soft consistency.
When all ingredients are mixed, gather the family around the table for the Christmas pudding tradition of taking turns in stirring, making a wish and adding a few coins. Use silver coins, please.
Spoon the mixture in the prepared pudding basin, pressing down lightly with the back of the spoon. Cover with a double layer of wax paper, then put on the lid, or add a layer of aluminum foil and tie it securely with a string.
Place the pudding in a steamer set over a saucepan of simmering water and steam the pudding for 7 (seven) hours. Pay attention that the saucepan does not fall dry. The pudding should be a deep brown color when cooked. It is not a light cake, but a dark, sticky, dense sponge.
Remove the pudding from the steamer, cool completely (over night). Remove the paper, cover with fresh paper and put the lid (or aluminum foil plus string) back on. Store in a cool and dry place for at least 4 full weeks (28 days), until Christmas Day.
On Christmas Day, reheat the pudding by steaming it for another hour. Serve with copious amounts of vanilla sauce. Leftovers (if any!) can be wrapped tightly in aluminum foil and heated through in a hot oven.