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    Christmas Pudding (for 4)

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    Christmas Pudding (for 4)

    This is the pudding we'll be eating this Christmas, just as we have done every year for nigh on a decade. As figgy puddings go, it's light and has a particularly good flavour. I love the slight crunch of the fig seeds, and the darkness that a shot of rich, black, full-tasting stout brings to the pudding.

    • Christmas
    • Preparation time: 30 minutes
    • Cooking time: 7 hours, plus 2 hours on christmas day
    • Total time: 9 hours 30 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 30 minutes

    Serves: 4

    Ingredients

    • 75g brown or white breadcrumbs
    • 25g dried apricots, chopped
    • 25g dried figs, chopped
    • 50g currents
    • 75g seedless raisins
    • 50g sultanas
    • 25g candid peel, chopped
    • 25g almonds, chopped
    • 50g muscovado sugar
    • 75g suet
    • Pinch salt
    • ¼ tsp mixed spice
    • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
    • Pinch nutmeg, freshly grated
    • ¼ orange zest and juice
    • ¼ lemon, zest and juice
    • ¼ eating apple, peeled and grated
    • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
    • 50ml stout
    • 25ml milk
    • 1 tbsp brandy
    • Butter for greasing moulds

    Method

    1. Mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly. Add the wet ones and mix well with your hands. Divide the mixture between 4 well greased individual pudding basins. Cover each with a square of greaseproof paper, and over that a square of foil. Tie tightly into place with string, leaving long ends of string trailing. Loop one of these over the pudding basin and slide underneath the taut string on the other side, then bring up a knot with the other end to form a handle for lifting the pudding out of the water. Leave overnight before cooking.
    2. Stand the puddings in a deep heavy-based pan. Pour enough boiling water to come about halve way up the sides. Cover the pan and simmer for 7 hours, topping up the water as necessary. Cool and re-cover with greaseproof paper and foil and store in a cool, dry place. To reheat them at Christmas, steam again for 1½ - 2 hours.

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    Drinks recommendation

    Sweet sherry or fortified dessert wine.

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