As it steams, your house is filled with the wonderful aroma of spices and fruit, the taste is rich and complex and if you serve it flaming, I promise you it will be a Christmas dessert that’s long remembered. It’s not complicated (contrary to what you may have been told) and best of all you can make it up to three months ahead of time.
Traditional Christmas Pudding, Made in your Crockpot
- Five cups (850 grams) of dried fruit (apricots, bing cherries, raisins, apples, cranberries, figs – whatever you like).
- ¾ cup of brandy
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- zest of one lemon
- zest of one orange
- 4 eggs beaten
- ½ cup of almonds (chopped or slivered)
- ¾ cup of all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 ½ cups of bread crumbs
- ½ cup of brandy or rum (for flaming)
Step 1: Chop the fruit and put it in a large container with a lid. Pour the brandy over the fruit and put on the lid. Leave for 12 to 24 hours, shaking the container every now and then to ensure that the brandy is evenly distributed. I also recommend that you open the container periodically to enjoy the lovely smell within.
Step 2: In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar. Beat in the zests and eggs. Fold in fruit and almonds, then the flour and spices. When well combined, fold in the breadcrumbs.
Step 3: Spoon the mixture into a greased mold (any heat resistant round bowl will do), press down well and level the surface. Cover with pleated wax paper and pleated foil (the pleats are to allow the pudding to expand). Tie paper securely to the mold with string (an unused shoelace works well in a pinch).
Step 4: Place in your slow cooker. Fill it with water just above the midpoint of your mold. Put on the lid, turn it to high and leave it for six hours.
Step 5: When completely cool, replace the soggy paper with a fresh sheet and store it in cool dark place (your refrigerator will work just fine) for up to three months.
Steam for 2 hours before eating.
The secret to the perfect flame: Take the brandy or rum and warm it for 20 to 25 seconds in the microwave before pouring it over the pudding. It is very difficult to light cold liquor. Use a match or a lighter to set it aflame and viola, your Christmas pudding is ready for its spectacular entrance.
Serve with rum butter or the traditional hard sauce and enjoy!