2 1/2 lbs mixed fruit, I use lots of raisins, some sultanas and I I have any some currants. You could use craisins...dried cranberries, apricots, your choice really but lots of raisins, leaving them whole so they are good and juicy!
2 oz mixed peel...I don't use because none of us like them!
4 oz chopped dates
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 tsp mixed spice
If I haven't got the particular spice I might substitute cinnamon, ginger etc
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brandy or rum, I always use brandy...
Heat all of the above until it reaches a boil, turn off and leave until COOL. I usually do this the night before the actual cooking.
When cool add 3 large well beaten eggs, 4 oz glacé cherries...I never weigh these just maybe 3/4 cup, left whole again so you get a juicy piece of fruit, 2 oz almonds chopped but I always use walnuts, broken into pieces by hand, much easier than getting out the chopping board, and lastly add the 375
gram packet of pastry mix. Sounds peculiar but of course it is the flour and shortening...butter? ...already mixed. Believe me it DOES WORK!
Cover he top and boil for 5 hours, 1/2 mixture for 3 hours.
I have a couple of tips, after greasing the pudding bowl I place strips of baking paper across the base of the bowl, making it easier to get out of the bowl on D Day.
Covering the top with a couple of layers of baking paper...which I leave on unless it is very wet after the cooking, it doesn't seem to be a problem.
Then I put strips of foil across the base of the very large pan which then makes it easier to get the pudding out.
This bit has been added today, the day after the original post as I realised I didn't say to add water to the pot! A big OOPS! I put some in at this stage, after the strips of foil are in place, maybe 2-3 inches. Then put pud in! When the bowl is in place just check that the water comes up to at least 3/4 of the sides of the pud. I have to carefully pour water in as my bowl is only a tad smaller than my pot. Then you bring pot and pud to a boil and let it simmer away for the five hours, checking to see if the water needs topping up. If I can hear a gentle simmer I know it is right! Good luck!
The only thing I haven't written down in the recipe is the size of the pudding bowl, maybe you can work it out from my photos. I store in the fridge until Christmas Day, a cool pantry would be fine.
On Christmas Day I boil again for 2-3 hours, doesn't really matter, it gets put on and just left, a slow simmer.
So there you are, our Christmas pudding made! Hope you try this pudding and do let me know how you go!