A gloriously fruity, rich, homemade Christmas pudding is easier to make than you might think! Serve with the accompanying recipe for brandy and ginger butter for a Christmas dessert your whole family will love.
For the Christmas pudding
- 50g blanched almonds, chopped
- 2 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 200g candied peel, chopped
- 1 whole nutmeg (3/4 grated)
- 1kg raisins
- 140g plain flour
- 100g soft, white breadcrumbs
- 100g light muscavado sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbsp brandy or cognac
- 250g butter, fridge cold
For the brandy & ginger butter
- 175g unsalted butter
- Zest of half an orange, grated
- 5 tbsp icing sugar
- 4 tbsp brandy or cognac
- 2 pieces of stem ginger, finely chopped
- Mix together the almonds, apples, candied peel, nutmeg, raisins, flour, breadcrumbs, sugar and brandy (or cognac) in a large bowl. Grate a quarter of the butter into the bowl, then stir everything together. Repeat until all the butter is grated, then mix everything for 3-4 minutes.
- Now, generously butter two 1.2 litre bowls and put a circle of baking parchment in the bottom of each, then pack in the pudding mixture. Cover with a double layer of parchment, then tie with string, trimming off any excess paper.
- Now, stand each bowl on a large sheet of tin foil and bring the edges up over the top. Put another sheet of foil over the top, and bring it down underneath to make a double package. Tie with more string, making a handle for easy lifting in and out of the pan.
- Boil or steam the puddings for around 8 hours, topping up with water when you need to. Remove from the pans, and leave to cool overnight.
- Once cold, remove the wrappings and re-wrap in new baking parchment, foil and string. Store in a cool, dry place until Christmas.
- To make the brandy butter, cream together the butter with the orange zest and icing sugar. Slowly beat in the brandy or cognac, along with the chopped ginger. Place in a bowl and store in a cool, pop in the fridge to set.
- On Christmas day, boil or oven steam the puddings for one hour, then unwrap and turn out. Serve with the brandy butter, and set the pudding alight by warming 3-4 tbsp brandy in a small pan, then pour over the pudding and set light to it.
Lead image: Linh Moran Photography via Getty images.