Gavin's Christmas Pudding

Traditional Christmas Pudding

Ingredients
110g shredded suet
25g whole candied peel, finely chopped
25g whole almonds, chopped
1 small cooking apple, cored and finely chopped
1 orange, zest
1 lemon, zest
2tbsp Irish whiskey
150ml Guinness
2 large eggs
50g self-raising flour
110g white breadcrumbs
1tsp ground mixed spice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cinnamon
225g soft brown sugar
110g sultanas
110g raisins
275g currants

Method

The day before you want to steam the pudding, combine the suet, spices, sugar and breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly, then gradually add the dried fruit, peel, nuts, apple and the orange and lemon zest.

In a smaller separate bowl, measure out the whiskey and Guinness. Add the eggs and beat the mixture thoroughly. Then pour this over the dried ingredients and mix. The mixture should have a fairly sloppy consistency (it should fall instantly from the spoon when tapped against the bowl). If it needs a little more liquid, you can add the juice of half an orange.

Cover the bowl and leave to rest overnight.

The following day, stir in the sifted flour thoroughly, then pack the mixture into a lightly greased pudding bowl. Cover with a double layer of baking parchment and a sheet of foil and tie it securely with string. It is 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 pot of simmering water and steam for eight hours. Make sure to keep a regular eye on the water underneath and top it up with boiling water straight from the kettle roughly four hours in.

Once steamed, leave the pudding to cool. Remove the parchment and foil and replace with fresh ones, making a string handle for easy manoeuvring.

Store in a cool, dry place until ready to serve on Christmas Day.

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