Christmas Pudding with Brown Sugar Brandy Butter
PUBLISHED: 12:35 13 December 2013 | UPDATED: 12:19 15 April 2015
Food & drink writer Louisa shares her family recipe for Christmas pudding, which features some unexpected ingredients...
How ready are you for the Big Day? Planned your menu, ordered, shopped, made, stirred and baked? Congratulations if you have, but if you’re anything like me and more of a last minute peep then there’s still ample time to make a homemade Christmas Pudding and Brandy Butter. And if you’ve never made one before I promise you they’re surprisingly easy and straightforward and so worth the homemade effort.
This is my family recipe for Christmas Pudding, a recipe passed through at least four generations of my Mum’s family, probably more. And quite the most delightful and delicious pudding I’ve ever eaten. There’ve been a few tweaks along the way, including my Mum’s highly successful tweaking to remove the suet. But the two stalwart ingredients that make this pud so unique and special have remained firmly in there. Carrots and potato. Would you believe it? But they work brilliantly to make this a lighter and less cloying pudding that’ll have you making it all year round. Truly.
As for the Brandy Butter, I’ve used brown sugar in place of the usual icing sugar with glorious results. And with a generous grating of orange zest and an even more generous glug of brandy this is a must for any Christmas Pudding. Especially my Great Granny’s Pud as it happens to be alcohol free.
My Great-Granny’s Christmas Pudding
Serves 6 - 8
115g mixed dried fruit
115g potato (peeled weight), grated
115g carrots (peeled weight), grated
115g soft brown sugar
60g dried apricots, chopped
50g glace cherries, halved
40g almonds, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
a little grated nutmeg
a smidgen of butter for bowl greasing
1 liter pudding bowl
Greaseproof paper, foil & string
1) Place all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and combine thoroughly. The best way to do this is to get right in there and mix with your hands.
2) Butter your pudding basin and add the pudding mix. Press it down a little, the pudding should come to about 1 to 2cm from the top of the basin. Place a circle of greaseproof paper on top of the mixture within the basin. Cover the entire basin and part way down the sides with a couple of layers of foil, tie some string tightly around the sides of the basin and over the top and bottom to secure in place. Leave a loop at the top to act as a handle to take in and out of the saucepan.
3) Place the pudding in a large saucepan (you must have a lid for it). The pudding should NOT be tight fitting and there should be ample space around the sides. Pour in boiling water until the level reaches ¾ of the height of the basin.
4) Place on the hob with the lid on and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer gently for 5 hours. As the water level in the pan drops top up with boiling water, you will probably have to do this 3 or 4 times. After 5 hours take off the heat and leave to cool in the pan.
5) The pudding will now keep for up to one month in the fridge or a year in the freezer. Please note that this pudding won’t keep for lengthy periods in the fridge in the same way as puddings that contain preserving suet do.
6) When you want to eat your pud, boil for one hour in the same way as above. Turn out of the basin and serve! Flamed with brandy if you wish. Definitely with brandy butter. And lashings of cream. Or even custard. It’s personal.
Brown Sugar Brandy Butter
Serves 6 +
100g unsalted butter, room temperature
100g soft light brown sugar
1 dessertspoon finely grated orange zest
2 tablespoons brandy
1) Cut the butter into small pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Beat until smooth by hand or electric whisk
2) Beat in the soft brown sugar until smooth, followed by the orange zest and slowly the brandy
3) Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
Wishing you delicious puddings and a very Merry Christmas!