This pudding can be made up to three months in advance and doused with extra rum each month for additional flavour and moisture. You’ll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.
- 1 Granny Smith apple, coarsely grated
- 100 gm each sultanas, raisins and currants
- 100 gm dried figs, stalks removed, coarsely chopped
- 100 gm pitted prunes, coarsely chopped
- 100 gm candied orange rind, coarsely chopped
- 60 gm glacé ginger, coarsely chopped
- 1 lemon and 1 orange, finely grated rind and juice only
- 150 ml stout
- 80 ml dark rum, plus extra for flaming
- 1 tsp each ground mixed spice, ground ginger and ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 400 gm brown sugar
- 200 gm plain flour, sifted
- 200 gm cleaned suet (see note) or cold butter, coarsely grated
- 150 gm day-old fine breadcrumbs
- 50 gm blanched almonds, roasted, coarsely chopped
- 6 eggs, lightly whisked
- 1Combine apple, dried fruit, candied fruit, glacé ginger, rinds and juices, alcohol and spices in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and stand at room temperature for 24 hours to macerate. Add sugar, flour, fat, breadcrumbs, nuts and a pinch of salt to fruit mixture. Mix well to combine, then fold in eggs.
- 2Spoon mixture into a buttered 2 litre-capacity heatproof bowl. Cover with three layers of greased baking paper (overhanging sides) and tie securely with kitchen string.
- 3Place in a large, deep saucepan with enough boiling water to come two-thirds of the way up sides of pudding bowl. Cover and bring back to the boil over medium heat. Boil until pudding is cooked through (4-5 hours, topping up with extra boiling water if necessary). If serving immediately, remove baking paper, invert onto serving plate, pour over rum and ignite with a match. Otherwise, allow to cool and refrigerate until required. To reheat pudding, place in a large, deep saucepan with enough boiling water to come two-thirds of the way up sides of bowl. Cover and bring to the boil over medium heat. Boil gently until heated through (3-4 hours). Turn pudding out onto a serving plate, pour over rum and ignite with a match.
Suet may need to be ordered in advance from your butcher. Sour cherry and chocolate pudding
Combine 1 coarsely grated Granny Smith apple, 300gm dried sour cherries, 150gm dried cherries, 100gm coarsely chopped dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), 100gm coarsely chopped candied orange rind, finely grated rind and juice of 2 oranges, 230ml Pedro Ximénez and 1 tbsp quatre épices in a bowl. Cover with a tea towel and stand overnight. Add remaining ingredients as for step 1 of classic boiled Christmas pudding, replacing almonds with pistachios.
Figgy espresso pudding
Combine 1 coarsely grated Granny Smith apple, 300gm coarsely chopped dried figs, 100gm sultanas, 100gm each pitted, coarsely chopped prunes and candied orange rind, 200ml espresso, 160ml Frangelico and 1 tsp each mixed spice, ground ginger, ground allspice and ½ tsp ground cloves in a bowl. Cover and stand overnight. Add remaining ingredients as for step 1 of classic boiled Christmas pudding, replacing brown sugar with muscovado and almonds with hazelnuts.
Drink Suggestion: Rutherglen tokay. Drink suggestion by Max Allen