A classic Christmas pudding recipe with dark, rich fruit and a hidden surprise. Quinces add a delicious fragrance if you can get hold of them.
350g/12¼oz raisins or currants
150g/5¼oz dried figs, chopped
125g/4½oz candied peel
100g/3½oz dried apricots
75g/2½oz dark glacé cherries, halved
150ml/5fl oz brandy
100g/3½oz ginger in syrup, chopped, plus 2 tbsp of the syrup
2 apples or quinces, grated
2 oranges, juice and zest
6 eggs, beaten
250g/8¾oz shredded suet
350g/12¼oz soft muscovado sugar
250g/8¾oz fresh breadcrumbs
175g/6¼oz self-raising flour
1 tsp mixed spice
2 old sixpences or coins (optional)
For this recipe you will need two 1.5 litre(2½ pint) plastic pudding basins with lids.
Soak the sultanas, raisins, currants, figs, peel, apricots and cherries in the brandy overnight, giving it a good stir now and again.
The following day, in a large bowl mix the ginger, syrup, apples or quinces, orange juice and zest with the eggs, suet, sugar, crumbs and flour.
Stir in the soaked fruit and spice.
Butter the two pudding basins and divide the mix between them. Add coins now if using.
Cut two circles of greaseproof paper to cover the top of the pudding and fold a pleat down the centre to allow pudding to expand.
Put lids on the basins and steam puddings for 3½ hours.
Let puddings cool before removing greaseproof paper and covering tightly with cling film and lid. The puddings can now be stored in a cool, dry place until Christmas.
To reheat, steam pudding for a further 3½ hours, turn out and flame with brandy.
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