Let me start by saying that if I don’t ever see a packet of raisins, currants, sultanas and mixed peel, it will be too soon. We could have bought our Christmas cake and pudding from the shops, but I’ve never been a fan of fruit cake, so I thought if I made my own, then it might not be too bad.
My Christmas cake worked out ok, and I have been waiting 2 weeks for amazon to deliver my pudding basin. I decided if I waited any longer, then we’ll probably end up buying a token £5 pudding from Sainsbury’s, so I went ahead and made a pudding using a pyrex bowl yesterday. Let me also say that now that I know what goes into a traditional pudding, there is no way I’d buy one from the shops if it contains suet.
My first attempt wasn’t a success as I used light brown sugar and the mixture was too cake-y. The end product tasted ok, but it just didn’t look right. When you’re in competition with Auntie Sally and the 100-year old family recipe, you’re at risk of someone saying they’ve had better puddings.
So this morning, we went to the shop round the corner and stocked up on dark brown sugar. I decided to use a vegetarian recipe for my second attempt. For the avoidance of doubt, the first recipe I used was a vegetarian recipe as well, except Rachel Allen didn’t call it a vegetarian pudding recipe.
I modified the recipe by soaking the dried fruits and peel in 60ml whiskey for about an hour, and I also left out the ground ginger and brandy. I steamed the pudding for 4 hours, and it turned out dark in colour and dense in texture. The pudding now has 5 days to mature before the big day which is probably rather ambitious, but fingers crossed it’ll taste ok on Christmas day. I’ll decorate it with some fresh berries or holly, and serve it with Rachel Allen’s brandy cream.