You can’t go wrong with this delicious Christmas pudding recipe
Brown ale and brandy goes into this Christmas pudding recipe. Don’t forget to leave time to soak the fruit overnight.
125 g each sultanas, currants and raisins
50 g ready-to-eat dried figs, chopped
1½ tbsp brandy
50 ml brown ale
Zest and juice of ½ lemon and ½ orange
50 g plain flour
¼ tsp each mixed spice and cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
125 g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
50 g shredded suet
75 g dark brown sugar
40 g blanched almonds, chopped
1 small carrot, grated
1 apple, peeled and grated
2 medium eggs, beaten
A little butter to grease
Put the dried fruit into a non-metallic bowl with the brandy, ale, zest and juice. Cover and soak overnight.
Add the remaining ingredients, apart from the butter, to the bowl and stir well.
Grease a 1 litre (1¾ pint) pudding basin and line with a 61cm (24in) square piece of muslin. Spoon the mixture into the basin, packing it down firmly, and level the top. Gather the muslin together and secure with string, trimming any excess cloth.
Tie string round the basin just under the rim and knot. Make a handle by bringing the ends over the top of the bowl and tying them to the string on the other side.
To cook the pudding, put the basin on an upturned saucer in a deep pan. Pour in enough water to reach halfway up the sides of the basin, then cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for 6hr. Make sure the pan never boils dry by topping it up with boiling water as necessary.
Remove the pudding from the pan and leave to cool, then lift it out of the basin, keeping it in its muslin cloth, and wrap in clingfilm and a double layer of foil. Store in a cool, dark place. The pudding will keep for up to one year if wrapped tightly.
To reheat: return the pudding, still in its muslin, to the pudding basin. Follow the heating instructions in step 5, cooking the pudding for 2hr until hot right through.