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Sunday, 25 November 2012

Stir Up Sunday

Mixey, mixey, mixey!

Miss. B 'feeding' the Christmas cakes

Yesterday was 'Stir up Sunday' in case you hadn't noticed - or as Miss. B renamed it "mixey, mixey, mixey", which was just what we seemed to do most of the day
(but had some good fun along the way).
I am still a bit of a novice with the traditions of this day, but I have enjoyed it more each year, so the date is circled on  my calendar as an annual ritual now.

I was determined to get my Christmas puddings and sweet mincemeat made, and anything else was going to be a bonus.
I achieved the 'must do's', which I was happy with.

The house smelt wonderful and it did make us feel the Christmas spirit (not the rum and brandy variety I hasten to add) despite the dreadful weather.

Christmas Pudding

I have made this recipe for the last few years and so far, it has always delivered.
I have adapted this recipe from the lovely Ruth's recipe at
 The Pink Whisk.
Do give her blog a look, it's a host of wonderful recipes and advice.

(I have tweaked the dried fruits and omitted a few things that are not to my taste.)
That's the beauty of these sort of recipes - you can put in all the things you like and take out the things you don't like, as long as your weights match up.

You will need :

50g currants
50g dried apricots, chopped
30g dates, de-stoned and chopped
140g sultanas
130g raisins
50g ground almonds
2 tsp mixed cake spice
50g plain flour
pinch of salt
110g fresh breadcrumbs (food processor is great for this)
110g soft light brown sugar
110g suet
Zest of one lemon
2 tbsp black treacle
2 large eggs
2 tbsp rum (or brandy if you prefer)

This will make 1 litre pudding in a basin, or smaller if you wish but you will need more basins, obviously.

1. Grease the bowl(s) and pop a small disc of greaseproof paper into the bottom of the bowl to prevent it from sticking.

2. Place the dried fruit, ground almonds, plain flour, cake spice and salt into a large bowl and give it a good mix to coat the fruit with the flour mix.

3. Add the breadcrumbs, suet, brown sugar and lemon zest and give it another good stir.

4. Make a small well in the centre of the bowl and crack in the eggs, dollop in the treacle (great word, dollop) and the alcohol of your choice.
Stir it up really well until everything feels fully combined.
The mix should feel quite soft but if it appears a little on the dry side, just add a splash of milk until it loosens.

5. Put the mixture into the prepared bowl and press down with the back of the spoon the level the top.

6. You will need to cover the top of the bowl with greaseproof paper and foil whilst cooking.
Take a large piece of greaseproof paper, larger than the bowl, and fold a pleat across the centre to allow for expansion during cooking.
Lay it over the top of the pudding and next place two squares of foil on top, and secure firmly with some string.

Ta-dah - bongo drums fit for a king!

7. Now to cook them. For this I used a either a steamer or a slow cooker.
In a steamer, the 1 litre pudding will take 8 hours, and in the slow cooker 10hrs, which I know seems like a long time, but believe me, it will be worth it.
A word of warning, should you choose to steam the pudding, your windows and walls will be a bit damp after all that cooking.
The slow cooker was a much less soggy affair.
Smaller puddings will take less time but if you check Ruth's recipe she gives some really accurate details on this.

8. Once cooked, remove the paper and foil and allow to cool in the basin.
Run a knife around the edge of the pudding to loosen it and wrap in a fresh piece of greaseproof paper and foil.

Tuck it away in a nice cool, dry place - I use the cupboard under the stairs, and allow to mature before Santa comes.

When you are ready to eat your pudding, simply steam it for a further one hour and eat with lashings of whatever topping you like - rum sauce is always my favourite.

I also made the sweet mincemeat but I shall give you the recipe for this a little later.
In the mean time here's a sneaky peek at the finished product - it tasted delicious.
Hopefully it will last long enough to put into the pies.

Enjoy your day.


1 comment:

Leanne said...

Wow good job, if I liked Christmas pudding I would attempt it lol Little Miss B looks like she's having loads of fun :)