Saturday, 21 November 2009

Stir-Up Saturday

I know it's not Stir-Up Sunday yet, but I did our Christmas pudding today. The collect Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord is, anyway, a spiritual entreaty rather than a culinary one, but I like the tradition, all the sameWith the weather as manky as it has been, however, it wasn't as though we were likely to leave the house, so I made my decision and got it ready first thing, then left it in the slow-cooker all day. The first time I made a Christmas pudding I had only an ordinary pan to cook it and filled the kitchen with sticky brown steam in the process, my poor Hubby was horrified! For a few years after that, the pressure cooker proved a much better option, but this year I decided to try using the slow-cooker.  I'm aware that my alcohol 'selection' may look bizarre, but it’s because one year when I made my pudding I didn’t have enough brandy, so I made up this mixture. Result? Best pudding ever, so I stuck with it. Use all brandy if you prefer, though – or all rum is good too.  Don't forget to have everyone in the house stir the pudding and make a wish!

Christmas Pudding

Butter, to grease the bowl
350g mixed dried fruit
100ml brandy
100ml amaretto
100ml dark rum
150g wholemeal breadcrumbs
150g shredded suet
50g self-raising flour
200g dark muscovado sugar
freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1 large egg, beaten

Butter a 1.2 litre pudding basin and line the base with a cut-out circle of greaseproof paper. Mix all the ingredients together (and see my notes above) and pack tightly into the bowl. Cover with a sheet each of greaseproof and foil, laid together and pleated in the centre. Tie tightly with string and cook, either all day on HIGH in an electric slow-cooker, in a pressure cooker (with boiling water) for 3 hours, or steam in boiling water for 6 hours. Carefully remove from the pan and leave the bowl to cool overnight. Take off the top wrapping and replace with a double layer of clingfilm. Store until Christmas in a cool, dark place.

Cath xx

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