The best Christmas pudding
- 350g/12¼oz sultanas
- 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.
Grease 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.
If you are making this as a dairy-free pudding, take care to ensure the breadcrumbs are dairy free. Although many breads contain dairy, free-from options are widely available - just check the label.