Christmas pudding recipe: How to make the best Christmas pudding this festive season

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Christmas is just around the corner and a huge part of the festive season involves delicious foods like Christmas puddings and mince pies. Traditionally, a Christmas pudding was made with beef and mutton with raisins and was eaten as a fasting meal in preparation for the Christmas festivities. Nowadays. There are many different ways you can make it but here is the tastiest and easiest recipe to do at home.

Christmas is less than two months away, which means many will start to think about the big day and what food they will be baking in preparation.

With celebrations likely to be smaller this year, a Christmas pudding is perfect to make as it has a long shelf life.

When stored correctly, a Christmas pudding can keep for up to two years.

Christmas pudding is often set on fire at the dinner table because it’s said that flaming brandy represents the Passion of Christ and traditionally there were 13 ingredients in the pudding, said to represent Christ’s 13 disciples.

The preparation time for this pudding is 20 minutes, bake time is eight hours and it serves eight people.

Many people prep their Christmas pudding weeks in advance so that it has been left to set for enough time, making it super tasty.

One key tradition of any festive meal is the pudding, which can be whatever someone fancies but traditionally, this includes a Christmas pudding or mince pies.

Here is a super easy Christmas pudding recipe for the whole family to enjoy.

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INGREDIENTS

For the pudding

50g blanched almonds

2 large Bramley cooking apples

200g box candied peel (in large pieces) or all citron if you can find it

1 whole nutmeg (you’ll use three quarters of it)

1kg raisins

140g plain flour

100g soft fresh white breadcrumbs

100g light muscovado sugar, crumbled if it looks lumpy

3 large eggs

2 tbsp brandy or cognac, plus extra to light the pudding

250g packet butter, taken straight from the fridge

For the brandy and ginger butter

175g unsalted butter, softened

Grated zest of half an orange

5 tbsp icing sugar

4 tbsp brandy or cognac

2 pieces of stem ginger, finely chopped

Method

Firstly everything needs to be prepared. Chop the almonds and peel, core and chop the cooking apples. Sharpen your knife and chop the candied peel. You can also chop the almonds and apples in a food processor, but the peel should be done by hand. Then you need to grate three quarters of the nutmeg.

Next, mix the almonds, apples, candied peel, nutmeg, raisins, flour, breadcrumbs, light muscovado sugar, eggs, and two tablespoons of brandy or cognac in a large bowl.

Holding the butter in its packaging, grate a quarter of it into the bowl and stir the mixture together. Repeat this step until all the butter is grated and then combine for around three to four minutes.

Butter two 1.2 litre bowls and put a circle of baking paper on the bottom of each. Pack in the pudding mixture and cover with a double layer of baking parchment pleating it to allow for expansion and then tie with a string. Trim off any excess paper.

Now stand each bowl on a large sheet of foil and bring the edges up over the top, then put another sheet of foil over the top and bring it underneath to make a double package. Tie with more string and make a handle for easy lifting in and out of the pan.

Then, taking the package, boil or oven steam the puddings for eight hours, topping up with water as necessary.

Remove from the pans and leave to cool, preferably overnight. When it has cooled, discard 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 the butter and orange zest together along with the icing sugar.

Next, gradually beat in the brandy or cognac and chopped stem ginger. Put in a small bowl, fork the top and put in the fridge to set.

The butter should keep for around a week or alternatively, it can be frozen for up to six weeks.

On Christmas Day, boil or oven steam for one hour. Unwrap and turn out the Christmas Pudding and to flame, warm three to four tablespoons of brandy in a small pan and pour it over the pudding and set light to it.

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