Not so traditional Christmas pudding

It’s that time of the year where we all look forward to,
and why shouldn’t we?

Picture by Bettys

December! This is the time for absolut baking! No excuses, no exceptions.........hehe. It’s better to bake now, than with the holidays itself. You will have it ready by then and you can still enjoy your family dinners or whatever you are planning. Normally this pudding is made 1 week before the first advent, as they call it Stir up sunday.

“Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord....” The words remind churchgoers to start stirring up their plum pudding so it has time to mature before Christmas Day.
A tradition the whole family can get involved with, the idea is that everyone should get a turn to mix and make a wish while they do so. Some households put coins in the mix, with the finder promised wealth, health and happiness for the coming year.

But even i am too late for stir up sunday, though i think i can still make a wish :-)
Don’t panic, you still have plenty of time to make it now before the holidays. it’s still 1 month to go.
I have so much inspiration and last year i promised myself that this year i would make it. And then i mean the famous english Christmas Pudding.

Now i did it! It’s preserving at a cool and dark place, hoping it’s on it’s best on Christmas day.
I know many people do not like the taste of the traditional Christmas Pudding, and i was one of them hahaha. As soon as i knew what ingredient i did not like (i smell and taste all the time while cooking), i simply did not add it to my pudding. That’s the advantage of making your own pudding.

I discovered i hated the smell and taste of the Dark Muscovado sugar they use for it. Bah, it was horrible! So i replaced it with a substitute, which i will tell you in the ingredients list below.
Have fun making this. You still have time to make your very own pudding and i’m sure you will like this one very much! :-)

* Make the mixed fruit the day before you start to make your Christmas pudding. it will give you the best taste. Let soak overnight.

INGREDIENTS (for the mixed fruit, which you make the day before and let soak in the liquor)

200 gr mixed dried fruit (whatever you find or like)
My mixed dried fruit were some apricots, prunes, bananas and apple
70 gr of raisins
50 gr cranberries
100 gr pitted dates
75 gr Aronia berries
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 Orange juiced
200 ml Grand Marnier

Tip : You can use any liquor you want, like Sherry, Cognac, Mandarine Napoleon, Grand Marnier like i did and so many more. Experiment and enjoy.

INGREDIENTS  (for the pudding and finishing touch)

150 gr of soft butter
100 gr Coconut blossoms sugar
50 gr brown sugar (any you like)
3 eggs
80 gr self raising flour
1/2 tsp all spice mixed
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cider spices
110 gr bread crumbs (mixed in blender)
60gr of walnuts (chopped a bit)

Tip : you can find the allspice mix and cider spices easily at the English store (Stonemanor).
We have 2 stores in Belgium. But use anything you have. Instead of these spices, you simply replace it with adding some Nutmeg.

RECIPE (for the soaking fruit)

The day before you soak up all your ingredients, so it gives your pudding the best taste. I really like Grand Marnier, it’s such a soft orange liquor. 

First >> add the mixed dried fruit to a casserole, chop it fine if you don’t like large bite pieces, also add the raisins, cranberries, pitted dates (may be in large pieces), Aronia berries, grated ginger, 1 orange freshly juiced and 100 ml of the grand Marnier. Warm up a bit on low heat. So it’s starts giving a nice smell around in the kitchen. You will see the liquor will evaporate. When that is done, remove from the heat and add another 100 ml of Grand Marnier.
Don’t heat up anymore and just stir well. Put a lid on the pot and set aside.....letting it soak overnight.
The next day the fruit will have absorbed the liquor and orange juice.

RECIPE for the pudding itself

1. Lightly grease a pudding basin or steamer with some butter. The basin should be capable to make a pudding of about 1,8 liter to 2 liter. I have a pudding steamer of 2 liter by Masterclass with lid on.
Line the base with a small disk of greaseproof paper. (if necessary)

2. Beat the butter and sugars creamy with a good mixer.  Gently add 1 egg at a time. Making sure your mixture stays creamy.  

3. Slowly add the self raised flour together with the cinnamon and cider spices (if you have).
Remove from the mixer when your mixtures is creamy.

4. Add the breadcrumbs (mix them fine in your blender or other machine). Gently stir by hand.
When all is mixed nicely, add the walnuts. Stir gently.

5. Now add the cooled soaked fruits. Mix everything well with a wooden spoon until everything is nicely and smooth.

6. Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin, make sure the top of the pudding is nicely flat. You don’t want a bubble surface. Put on the lid as instructions of manufacture or simply add your plastic lid on (there are several ways to make a handle on a simple basin without lid, CLICK HERE,) and add hot water to a big pan. Actually it’s better to boil some water before and add it to your pan before you put the pudding in it. So it’s start steaming right away.

7. On the bottom put a plate upside down or use a trivet, so the pudding does not stand on the bottom of the casserole. 

TIP : It’s good to measure your casserole before.  Your pudding bowl should be able to be added to a casserole, so you don’t have any unexpected or unpleasant surprises. Prepare yourself well!

8. Put the basin in your large casserole and make sure the water comes about half way your basin. Then cover and steam for 3 1/2 hours. I have induction and for me it was difficult to use a lower heat, cause induction gives signals every couple of seconds and does not keep it’s heat like gas does or ceramic cooking plates. The water has to boil a little. Not too much that it splatters all the way round.

9. After cooking time, take out your basin and check if your pudding is steamed enough by putting a cake pin into your pudding and nothing can stick on it. When this is ok, simply let your pudding cool down completely and leave it in the basin. 

Now this pudding does not take 6 to 9 hours to steam, it’s depending on the recipe you use. Just keep the instructions as above. This one should be ready in less than 4 hours.
I did had some questions about storing and i asked some people around on how they store it. Most people say just to store it on a cool and dark place. I also read reviews about my masterclass pudding steamer that you can simply leave the lid on and store till christmas time.
I also read sometimes to feed your pudding once a week with liquor to keep it soft and it does not dry out. So i might do that.

Though, if anyone has some suggestions for me, i’m happy to listen and learn more about it.
i’m not here to tell YOU what to do, but i’m also willing to learn from YOU :-)

I hope you enjoyed making this and let me know if you do. For sure i will post a picture on Christmas day on how this pudding is served. Some people throw liquor over it and set it on fire. Haha, i might do just that and take a pictures before i’m drunk of all the liquor :D

See the end result of this pudding HERE

In Pictures

*See HERE the follow up of the result of this pudding!*