Traditional Christmas pudding

This is a very old fashioned recipe for a Christmas pudding given to Pippa Mattei by Madaleine Vassallo. The recipe was handed down to her by her Nanna Hilda.

Traditional Christmas pudding

Ingredients

  • 400g sultana
  • 400g currants
  • 400g raisins
  • 400g brown sugar
  • 400g breadcrumbs
  • 1 packet Atora (suet)
  • Pinch mixed spice
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 150g good candied peel
  • 100g roasted chopped almonds
  • ½ glass rum
  • 8 eggs
  • ½ orange, juice and zest
  • ½ lemon, juice and zest
  • ½ tangerine, juice and zest
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Mix all dry ingredients, then add the liquid ones, mix well and leave overnight.
  2. Next day, get a strong white cloth and spread margarine over the centre, then dust with flour shaking off the excess.
  3. Put your pudding mixture into a pudding basin, pack tight and upturn onto your prepare cloth.
  4. Remove basin and tie the pudding with strong string as tightly as possible.
  5. Tie ends of the cloth around the long wooden spoon or rod (Dick Whittington style).
  6. Prepare a large pot and fill with boiling water. Lower the pudding on the stick into this, allowing it to swing freely. Cook for 5 hours.
  7. When time is up plunge the pudding into cold water and after 5 mins, peel off the cloth.
  8. The pudding will be pale, but darkens on being uncovered.
  9. Serve hot with brandy butter, or rum custard after pouring boiling brandy over it setting it alight.

Rum custard

Ingredients

  • 50g butter
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 500ml fresh milk
  • 3 tbsp rum

Method

  1. In a medium saucepan, slowly melt the butter and in another pan warm the milk.
  2. Add the flour to the butter and stir briskly with a wooden spoon until you have a fairly smooth mixture.
  3. Start to add the warm milk a little at a time, stirring until smooth with each addition.
  4. When all the milk is in, and the mixture is smooth and creamy, stir in the sugar.
  5. Turn the heat down very low and let the mixture cook for 10 mins, constantly stirring slowly to prevent it sticking.
  6. Add the rum and taste to check if it needs a little more sugar (or rum!).
  7. Serve with the Christmas pudding.

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