Nana’s very special Christmas pudding
This is the original Relish Mama logo.
It sat proudly on top of the plum puddings, my then, 88-year-old Grandmother made for my first Relish Mama Christmas class.
Nana will be 100 this coming March. What a party we shall have!
Nan still makes the family plum pudding for Christmas day. It is absolutely magnificent. I have never tasted another pudding that comes close.
It is an honour to share this very special family recipe with you all this Christmas.
Nana’s very special Christmas pudding
For this family recipe butter replaces suet as it gives the pudding a lovely flavour and the texture and is not as messy. Select the plumpest dried fruits, be liberal with brandy (or whiskey) and add a sprig of fresh holly on the day.
On Christmas day, the pudding needs to be boiled again for 1 hour before serving.
2 cups of chopped, seeded raisins
2 1/4 cups sultanas
1 1/2 cups currants
1 cup chopped prunes
1 cup chopped mixed peel
Grated zest of 1 lemon
¾ cup chopped blanched almonds
1 big carrot, finely grated
4 1/2 cups of fresh soft breadcrumbs
250g butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
1 cup plain flour
½ teaspoon each of salt and nutmeg
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
4 eggs, beaten
¾ cup milk
¼ cup each of brandy, stout (or ½ cup of orange juice)
Grease 2 small basins or 1 large (about 10 cup capacity) basin.
Combine raisins, sultanas, currants, prunes, mixed peel, lemon rind, almonds, carrot, breadcrumbs, melted butter, sugar, flour, salt, nutmeg and mixed spice. Combine the eggs, milk, brandy (or whiskey) and stout, add to fruit mixture, mix thoroughly. You may find it easier to mix through with your hands at this stage of the process.
Spoon into a basin, cover with kitchen paper then foil, tie securely with string. Boil steadily for 6 hours for the large pudding and 4 hours for the small. When cold, remove old foil/kitchen paper on the bowl and replace with fresh kitchen paper & foil before storing.
Pudding pointers –
- Always leave the pudding mixture to stand overnight before you boil it, to allow the stout and brandy (or whiskey) to plump the dried fruits.
- Cover the pudding with 2 layers of greased kitchen paper and 1 of foil. Make sure the layers are securely tied on to the pudding to prevent water seeping underneath it and into the basin. Never use only foil for a rich pudding that is to be stored as the fruit acids react with foil.
- Make sure the water is two-thirds up the sides of the basin and only top up the boiler with boiling water as the sudden drop in temperature caused by adding cold water can make it a heavy pudding.
- Stand the pudding basin on a metal weight or old upturned saucer to lift it off the base of the boiler. This stops the basin cracking and the pudding “baking” and over-cooking on the bottom.
- The longer you steam a pudding the darker it will become.
- Store the pudding in the fridge, as warm, humid places, such as the top of kitchen cupboards, will spoil the pudding & may bring on mould.
Serve with Brandy custard.
My Mum’s Brandy & Vanilla custard for plum pudding
Makes 3 ½ cups
Will store, covered in fridge if made several days in advance. Gently reheat when required.
2 cups of milk
300ml thickened cream
1 vanilla bean, split
5 egg yolks
1/3 cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons of cornflour
Heat the milk & cream and vanilla in a saucepan. Heat until just below boiling point. Remove from heat & stand for approx 15 minutes. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar and cornflour with an electric mixer until thick, pale and creamy.
Whisk a little of the warmed milk to the yolk mixture and then ever so gradually, add the rest. Return to the pan, stir over low heat until thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
If you like, you could stir in 2 tablespoons of liqueur after the custard is thickened.