Classic steamed Christmas pudding
Douse this pudding with brandy, whisky or rum to add extra flavour. Or, taking great care, flambe (ignite to flame the alcohol) the pudding before eating.
- Take a one-litre capacity heatproof pudding bowl and grease well with butter. Place flour, pinch salt and diced butter in another bowl.
- Using the tips of your fingers, rub butter into flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Stir in fresh breadcrumbs, dried fruit, baking soda, mixed spice and sugar. Make a well in the centre of these ingredients.
- Add golden syrup, egg and milk to the well and stir to combine. Pack mixture into greased pudding bowl.
- Cover surface of pudding with a circle of baking paper, cut to fit, then cover bowl tightly with foil.
- Place pudding bowl in a large sauce-pan, then pour hot water into the pan until it comes three-quarters of the way up the side of the bowl.
- Cover pan and bring water to the boil. Turn heat down to simmer. Steam pudding for 3 hours.
- Remove from saucepan to cool in pudding bowl. Store in the bowl, if possible, or remove the cold pudding from its bowl and wrap in greaseproof paper.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool place or refrigerate if necessary.
- Serve with vanilla custard, ice cream or whipped cream, as desired.
- Maturing time for a traditional pudding is four to six weeks - after this it's best to freeze the pudding for later.
- The best way to reheat steamed pudding is by re-steaming in the bowl for 2 hours.
- You can also wrap pudding in foil and reheat in a medium oven for 1 hour or microwave it (without the foil) for 5 to 10 minutes or until warmed through.
- Douse the pudding with brandy, whisky or rum to add extra flavour. Or, taking great care, flambe (ignite to flame the alcohol) the pudding before eating.