Aunt Muriel’s Christmas Pudding
250g stale brown breadcrumbs [insides only not crusts],
200g each seedless raisins, currants, unbleached Orange River sultanas, 80g chopped glacé pineapple, 80g glacé cherries, 250g soft brown sugar, 100g blanched almonds roughly chopped, 1 large Granny Smith apple grated with the skin on, the finely grated zest and rind of one lemon and one orange, 100g candied grapefruit or mixed citrus peel, 1 tsp of mixed spices made up of a little ground clove, freshly grated nutmeg, ground ginger and ground allspice, 4 Tbs brown or wholewheat flour, 100ml brandy, 250g vegetable suet and 4 large eggs.
Prepare a large pot of water with a trivet in it for steaming. Grease well with butter a 2 litre pudding steamer. Put a disc of greaseproof paper on the bottom of the bowl and dust the bowl out with cake flour. Have ready a circle of greaseproof paper cut to cover the top of the pudding and butter the side which will go next to the pudding, and a sheet with which to cover the pudding with a fold in the middle for expansion. Have handy a piece of mutton cloth or unbleached calico to cover the bowl and a length of twine with which to tie it on. In a large earthenware bowl and using a wooden spoon add the ingredients one by one mixing well between each addition. This should fill the pudding bowl to just below the rim. Place the circle of greaseproof on it butter side down, cover with the sheet of greaseproof and the cloth which you tie down with the string leaving a loop on it for ease of lifting the pudding in and out of the pot. Steam the pudding in simmering water for 5 hours taking care to add boiling water during the steaming to prevent the pot from boiling dry. When cooked, wrap the whole pudding in greaseproof paper and keep in a cool place – or at the bottom of the fridge – until Christmas day when you will need to boil it again for 2 hours during which time it will get quite dark.
Serve by flaming first with warm brandy and then with Brandy Butter and runny custard.
Serve 8 – 10.