- 1kg packet dried vine fruits
- ½ x 750ml bottle mulled wine
- 200g carton glacé cherries, halved
- 250g (8oz) dark muscovado sugar
- 60g (2oz) plain flour
- 150g (5oz) breadcrumbs
- 200g (7oz) packet light chopped suet
- 1 level tbsp ground mixed spice
- 4 medium eggs
- 4 tbsp brandy
- Pinch of baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 3-4 tbsp brandy, to flame
You will also need:
- 1.25 litre (2 pint) pudding basin, buttered
- Holly, to decorate (optional)
- Tip the vine fruits into a bowl and pour over the mulled wine. Leave the mixture for 2-3 days, stirring occasionally, and keeping the bowl covered with cling film.
- Add the glacé cherries, sugar, flour, breadcrumbs, suet, mixed spice, beaten eggs, brandy, baking powder and salt. Mix well (and make a wish!).
- Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin and press it down lightly. Cover bowl with a double thickness of baking parchment with a pleat in it and tie around the rim with string.
- Bring water to the boil in the base of a steamer, then place the pudding over it. Cover the steamer, and steam the pudding for 4½-5 hours, making sure that the water doesn’t boil dry.
- Remove the pudding from the steamer and leave it to cool. Re-cover the pudding with fresh baking parchment and store it in the fridge for up to 3 months or freeze. If freezing, defrost thoroughly before use.
On Christmas Day
- Steaming is the best way to reheat the pudding, as this keeps it moist. Place pudding in the top of a steamer and steam for 1-2 hours. If you need to delay serving it, turn off the heat below the steamer, but leave the pudding in it to keep it warm.
- To flame, tip the pudding out of the bowl on to a warmed serving plate, heat the brandy in a small pan, pour it around the base of the pudding and ignite. Place holly on the pudding, if you like — if it’s real holly cover the end of the sprig with a piece of foil, so that none of the sap goes into the pudding.