From Delia Smith's Christmas Cookbook. This recipe makes one large pudding in a 2-pint basin (ceramic bowl). If you want two smaller puddings, use two 1-pint basins, but give them the same steaming time. You will need two days to make it plus 6-8 weeks for maturing time, so best to make it in late October/early November. Don't forget to tick everything off as you add it so that you don't forget anything. Cooking time includes sitting overnight plus steaming time.
- 110 g shredded suet
- 50 g self-raising flour, sifted
- 110 g white breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 225 g brown sugar
- 110 g sultanas
- 110 g raisins
- 275 g currants
- 25 g mixed candied peel, finely chopped
- 25 g almonds, skinned and chopped
- 1 small cooking apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 eggs
- 150 ml stout beer (Guinness)
- 2 tablespoons rum or 2 tablespoons brandy
- DAY 1 -- Take your largest, roomiest mixing bowl and start by putting in the suet, sifted flour, breadcrumbs, spices and sugar. Mix these ingredients thoroughly after each addition.
- Gradually mix in all the dried fruits, mixed peel, nuts, apple, and both zests, again, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs, then add the stout and rum and beat together. Pour this over the ingredients in the large bowl and begin to mix very thoroughly. It was traditional to gather all the family around, especially the children, and invite everyone to have a really good stir and make a wish!
- The mixture should have a fairly sloppy consistency - it should fall instantly from the spoon when tapped on the side of the bowl. If you think it needs more liquid, add a spot more stout or rum. Cover the bowl and leave overnight in a cool place (not the fridge).
- DAY 2 -- Pack the mixture into the lightly greased basin, cover it with a double sheet of greaseproof paper and a sheet of foil and tie it securely with string. It's also a good idea to tie a piece of string across the top to make a handle.
- Place the pudding in a steamer set over a saucepan of simmering water and steam the pudding for 8 hours. Do make sure you keep an eye on the water underneath and top of with boiling water from the kettle from time to time.
- When the pudding is done steaming, let it get quite cold, then remove the steam papers and foil and replace with some fresh ones, again making a handle.
- Store in a cool place until Christmas Day.
- CHRISTMAS DAY -- Steam again in the same manner as above, again checking the water level, for 2 1/2 hours.
- Serve warm with a whipped cream or rum sauce.