We have inherited the Christmas pudding tradition from the Victorians who not only used suet, dried fruit, apples, candied peel, breadcrumbs, spices, and eggs, but also grated carrots. And there were almost as many recipes and tweaks as there were families, with family recipes being carefully handed down over the generations from mother to daughter. With so many recipes so readily available today through books and online sites, family traditional recipes have tended to fuse with others, although Jamie Oliver still promotes one passed on by his grandmother.
And here is The Naughty Cook’s traditional family recipe, albeit with a few tweaks I couldn’t resist, and without the grated carrot. And you can start this one as late as just three days before Christmas if you want.
- 3¼ ounces / 90g raisins
- 3¼ ounces / 90g sultanas
- 3¼ ounces / 90g currants
- 3¼ ounces / 90g stoneless dates, finely chopped
- 3¼ ounces / 90g dried cranberries
- 5¼ ounces / 150g Atora suet
- 4½ ounces / 125g breadcrumbs
- 5¼ ounces / 150g dark soft brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
- grated zest 1 orange
- grated zest 1 lemon
- 1 ounce / 25g candied peel
- 1 medium cooking apple, cored and grated
- 2 tablespoons of runny honey
- 3 eggs
- 5¼ fluid ounces / 150ml sherry
- 1 fluid ounce / 25ml rum
- 3½ ounces / 100g plain flour
Because of the length of time it takes to steam your Christmas pudding, unless you want to be up with Santa in the early hours, it’s best to make this in three stages, starting the day before Christmas Eve (that’s assuming you want this on Christmas Day!)
Christmas Eve Eve
Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly (except the flour) in a large bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to steep overnight.
Sift the flour into the bowl and stir to combine well.
Place into a greased 3 pint pudding basin and having secured the lid tightly, wrap in a double layer of foil before securing with a length of string.
Steam the pudding for 6 hours. If you don’t have a steamer, just put in a large saucepan (on top of an upturned saucer) with boiling water coming up to halfway. Keep simmering aggressively and topping up with boiling water from a kettle to make sure the water remains at the half way mark.
After 6 hours, set aside to cool and discard the foil and string.
Wrap in a fresh layer of foil, secure with string and steam for another 3 hours.