Don’t have a Christmas Pudding yet? This recipe is easy to make in advance and store, or you could even make it on Christmas Day itself as it doesn’t take up any of the valuable space on your stove top or in your oven.
One of the purchases that I made at the start of this holiday season was a metal pudding steamer – I paid only $18 (quite cheap I thought). This is really easy to use and made specifically for this purpose, but if you don’t have one then you can use a traditional ceramic pudding bowl and make a lid by covering tighly in aluminium foil.
My slow cooker is 6 litres/quarts and my 2 litre pudding bowl fits perfectly. Before you start making your pudding remember to check that your bowl will fit into your slow cooker without touching the lid or the sides. If not then you can cook this pudding the traditional way in a large saucepan with a lid, but you will have to keep an eye on the water level to make sure that the pan doesn’t boil dry.
I’ve adapted this recipe from one that came in the box with my pudding steamer.
Ingredients – serves 6-8 people:
- 3 cups dried mixed fruits
- 1/4 cup glace cherries, halved
- 1 cup (firmly packed) brown sugar
- 125g/4.5 oz unsalted butter, diced
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 1 cup plain (all purpose) flour
- 1 cup self-raising flour
- 2 teaspoons mixed spice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup port (or 1/4 cup of sherry/brandy/dark rum)
Grease your pudding steamer/bowl well, or spray with cooking spray.
Put the dried fruit, glace cherries, sugar, butter and water in a medium saucepan, stir and cook over a medium heat until the butter melts.
Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from the heat, stir in the bicarb of soda then leave to cool.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, mixed spice and cinnamon then beat in the eggs, port and fruit mixture until well combined.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pudding steamer/bowl and smooth the surface, then cover with the lid.
Place the steamer/bowl into your slow cooker (or a large saucepan) and carefully add boiling water until it comes halfway up the sides of the steamer/bowl.
If you are using a slow cooker, cook on high for 4 hours. If you are using a saucepan, cook, covered with lid, over a medium heat for the same amount of time – however, you will probably have to top up the water so don’t leave it unattended too long.
Carefully remove the pudding steamer/bowl from the water (it will be very hot!) and leave to stand for 10 minutes before turning out the pudding.
If you are making the pudding in advance, let it cool completely and then wrap in cling wrap and foil. Refrigerate until you wish to eat. Re-heat the pudding by either returning to the steamer/bowl and steaming for up to 45 minutes (in the same way as you originally cooked it), or by placing on a microwaveable plate and zapping for a few minutes until warmed through.
Serve and enjoy!