Thursday 17 December 2009

No need to get all steamed up

I have been busy with my Christmas preparations. The cards are now all written and posted, except for the local cards which will be hand delivered. The presents have been bought or ordered via the Internet. The tree has been put up by husband, for I think the first time ever, and I have decorated it and put up the decorations. Just to prove it I have included a photo of our Christmas tree. Tomorrow I shall make the Plum Bread that I normally make for Christmas then there is just the cake to marzipan and ice, along with the final preparations that I hope to fit in around working three short shifts, next week. Yesterday I went to the Christmas party at the home where my mother is a resident and met a lady that I used to go to evening class with a few years ago. She is several years older than me and one of her friends is a resident. It was good to see her and have a chat. The residents and their families were entertained by a choir from a local primary school singing carols. It was not easy to watch as I remembered the events or our summer. My eye was drawn to a blond boy in the choir. I was not sure why, but realised later than he bore a passing resemblance to the child who died, at that age. Afterwards I came home and made the Christmas pudding.

Last week when Jinksy posted about her Christmas preparations I commented that for some years now I have made a Christmas pudding that is cooked in the oven, rather than steamed and she has asked for the recipe. There is no need to worry about the pan boiling dry or boiling over and I did not even need to put the extractor fan on last night! Then to heat it up on Christmas Day all you need to do is to heat it up in the microwave. The recipe came from Ideal Home magazine about ten years ago. It is lighter than a conventional Christmas pudding and should be made at least one week before Christmas. There is no need for it to age or mature. So you still have time to make it. Ideal Home magazine have called it Boozy Christmas Pudding. This recipe provides six generous portions.

400g/14oz mixed fruit such as dates, apricots, cherries, figs, raisins, all roughly shopped
grated rind and juice of one small orange
8tbsp brandy
125g/4oz butter (at room temperature)
125g/4oz dark brown sugar
2 eggs beaten
25g/1oz toasted, chopped hazelnuts
50g/2oz self-raising flour
1tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
50g/2oz breadcrumbs

  • place the dried fruit, orange rind and juice, and brandy in a large bowl and set aside for an hour or two until all the liquid has been absorbed. Preheat the oven to 160 C, 325 F, gas 3.
  • in a bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until soft and well blended, then beat in the eggs, nuts and fruit mixture. Sift over the flour and spices and fold in the breadcrumbs. Spoon the mixture into a buttered 1 litre or 2 pint pudding basin.
  • cover the top of the pudding basin with greaseproof paper, pleated in the centre and tied down with string. Cover with foil. Put the basin in a roasting tin and pour boiling water into the tin so it comes about 6cm up the side of the basin.
  • cover the whole roasting tin with foil, making sure that the edges are tightly sealed.
  • bake for 3 1/2 to 4 hours until the pudding is just firm to touch, checking occasionally to see if the water needs topping up.
  • to reheat, cover the basin with microwave film and cook on medium for 6 to 8 minutes in the microwave, then rest for two minutes before serving.
And here is the proof of the pudding!


French Fancy... said...

We've got The Silmarillion as well

I love your tree

Rosaria Williams said...

I love a pudding this easy to make. Thanks for sharing.

Maggie May said...

Mmmmmhhh! That pudding looks delicious.

Love your tree too.

Nuts in May

Jinksy said...

Thanks for the recipe and photo. I shall have to try and get a picture of my pud, one of these days, to swap! Trouble is, it gets eaten so quickly... plus the flaming brandy tends to put thoughts of camera- snapping out of mind.
Full marks for your tree dressing, here! I can tell you've had lots of practice...

Tim Atkinson said...

What Jinksy said - lovely tree, and a yummy-looking Christmas pudding... I might even give that recipe a go myself... next year!

cheshire wife said...

FF - I haven't read The Silmarillion. I find Tolkien hard going.

lakeviewer - I don't like complicated recipes.

MM - pudding is delicious.

jinksy - I took the photo this afternoon, then put the pudding back in the basin!

The Dotterel - why wait until next year, there is no time like the present.

LindyLouMac said...

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. I look forward to continuing to follow yoour blog in 2010

Akelamalu said...

Your tree is lovely and the pudding recipe sounds great!

Carol said...

Your tree looks gorgeous!! We're going to go and buy ours tomorrow...can't wait to get it up!!

I think I'm going to try that looks great!! Thank you so much for sharing it :-)

C x

CG said...

The pudding looks great and so does your tree. I haven't read The Silmarillion either!!

Midlife Roadtripper said...

Oh, I so want a piece. Fascinated by all the recipes this year. I think I could stay and have tea with you to work on this one.

Lovely tree and liked the comment about your husband putting it up for the first time. I appreciate that male help.

Valerie said...

It looks like a perfect Christmas pud. I am going to show the picture to hubs, he positively raves over Christmas pud.
Have a wonderful time. Merry Christmas to you.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Yum...and easy??? Count me in!!! Love your tree as well! Simply beautiful!!! Merry Christmas! ~Janine XO

Local Girl said...

Ooo that sounds rather yummy! Love your tree and thank you so much for sharing it. Happy Christmas!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

You certainly have the festive spirit CW. The pudding looks lovely - I shall certainly give it a try. This year my daughter is making the pudding and for the first time in many years I have made no Christmas cakes (I usually make and decorate at least 6).

I hope you have a peaceful and happy Christmas and send good wishes for the year ahead, A x

Dottie said...

Hi CW! what a lovely post :) I made a pudding for the first time this year. Everyone is coming here, the first Christmas without the matriarch, she who normally provided the pudding. I am the only wifey in the family with an Aga, so the pudding is down to me - no steam with an Aga-made pudding. Jings, I hope it tastes ok though... there is a lot to live up to. Have a wonderful Christmas, and thanks for so much encouragement and support throughout the year gone by. Lots of love to you and yours. Dot xx

Trubes said...

The tree looks delightful CW and the pudding delicious, I shall have a go at the recipe,

Merry Christmas,


Thud said...

I hopefuly have last years to feast on! Merry Christmas from all at OTW.