Saturday, December 22, 2012

Mrs B tackles the Christmas Pudding!

So this year, due to space constraints in the caravan kitchen, Mum and Dad decided they just could not do the Christmas puddings. Yeah ok I get that, but Christmas with none of my Mum and Dad's Christmas Pudding smothered in cream for dessert?! I don't think so! This meant there was only one option, it was time I stepped up to the plate and tried to make it myself. Never mind I have never so much as helped my Mum and Dad make theirs before - the most involvement I've had is picking the peel out of the fruit mixture (honestly, who likes peel!?) and shaking the fruit while it soaks (long time family tradition, everyone shakes the fruit!).....this was going to be a massive learning experience. And reflecting back on it now, it certainly was!

It was at times very stressful, my little pot was definitely not big enough to boil a pudding in and resulted in it being raw the first time we took it out (after 9 hours of boiling!!) but then we went out and brought a proper big stock pot, boiled it for another 1.5 hours and it was good to go. I should clarify that the pudding should only take 3 hours to cook, but as I said, small pots + puddings = not cool. Anyway, we learnt from that and moved on, plus look at the end result, it looks like pudding, it smells like pudding and I just hope it tastes like pudding too!

Christmas Pudding - Makes 1

375g sultanas
150g glace cherries
150g dried cranberries
125ml brandy
1 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tspn salt
125g butter
1 tspn bicarb soda
1 lightly beaten egg
1 cup plain flour
1 cup self raising flour
1 tspn mixed spice
1/2 tspn cinnamon
Large oven bags
Brown kitchen string

In a large container, combine the sultanas, cherries and cranberries. Pour over the brandy and mix to combine. Place a lid on the container and leave in the cupboard to soak for 2 days. (At this point, we all shake the fruit's good luck!)

In a large pot, combine the fruit, water, sugars, salt and butter. Bring to the boil and simmer for 8-10 mins.

Remove from heat and add bicarb soda. Mixture will begin to foam so don't panic.

Add the egg, flours and spices. Stir well to ensure everything is combined.

Now take one oven bag and cut it down the joins so it opens into a large rectangle. Place the oven bag in a large bowl so that the edges are hanging over the sides.

Spoon your pudding batter into the bowl. Bring the sides of the oven bag up and tie tightly with the string, ensuring there are no gaps for water to get in or for the pudding to expand, your bag should be water tight. Now cut open another oven bag and place the pudding into that, again bring the edges up and tie it tightly ensuring it's water tight.

In a large stock pot, place enough water to submerge your pudding (it will need to be able to float and be completely covered with water). Bring the water to the boil and place the pudding gently into the pot.

Cook with the lid on for 3 hours, turning the pudding after 2 hours. Make sure the water remains boiling constantly and replenish with more boiling water when necessary.

Once the pudding is cooked, remove from the water and allow to cool and set over night. The following day, remove from the bags and wrap tightly in cling wrap and foil. Place in the fridge until your ready to serve.

Before serving we microwave ours for 15-20 seconds (for a small slice) and serve with cream.

Did I mention how much I LOVE Christmas Pudding!? 

Last week we went to Mum and Dad's for dinner and put their Christmas tree up. Given that they are still living in the caravan there is not much for their normal tree, so this year they went with the simple (but effective!) version and I must say it was much easier and quicker to put up! 

Mrs B xx 

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