Food: My favourite Christmas pudding

Christmas pudding main  Really Pretty Useful
Christmas pudding main Really Pretty Useful

Stir up Sunday is this weekend so I thought I'd share my favourite Christmas pud recipe with you all. I see this Sunday as the official start of Christmas and I am therefore legitmately allowed to start playing all my festive cds. This Christmas pud is simple and traditonal. It's easy to make, there's just a lot of ingredients and it needs a lot of time to steam, but that's just an excuse to stay at home and watch films all day, so that's fine by me. I've adapted this recipe from one by Delia and it makes a large pud, that serves 8-10 people or gives you loads of leftoves. You'll need a 1.2 litre pudding basin for it, or you could make two smaller ones, just reduce the steaming time by a couple of hours. You'll need to start this recipe on Saturday so make sure you have all your family about to stir the pudding and make a wish.

To make your own pud you will need:

110g shredded suet - I use veggie 110g breadcrumbs 1 tsp ground mixed spice 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 225g soft dark brown sugar 110g sultanas 110g raisins 275g currants 50g candied peel 1 small cooking apple, cored and finely chopped (skin on) grated zest 1/2 an orange grated zest 1/2 a lemon 175ml brandy 2 large eggs 50g self-raising flour


Christmas pudding  Really Pretty Useful
Christmas pudding Really Pretty Useful

In a large mixing bowl stir together the suet, breadcrumbs, spices and sugar, then gradually mix in the fruit, peel and zests - it might help to tick things off to make sure you get it all in.

In a measuring jug measure out your brandy and then mix in the eggs and give it a thorough stir. Pour the brandy and egg mix over the rest of the ingredients and get all of your family to take a turn at stirring and making a wish. When everything is thoroughly mixed pop a cloth or some cling film over the bowl and leave it to steep over night.

The next day stir in your flour and then pack it into a lightly greased pudding bowl. Cover with a double layer of baking parchement and a layer of foil or muslin and tie securely with string - it's much easier to do with help. My pudding bowl is 1.5l so there is room for my pudding to rise, but if your mix comes up to the top of the basin put a pleat in the parchment and foil to allow it to expand as it cooks. Tie a piece of string over the top to make a handle to make it easier to lift the handle in and out of the steamer.

Christmas pudding 2  Really Pretty Useful
Christmas pudding 2 Really Pretty Useful

Place your pudding in a steamer over some simmering water and steam for eight hours. Every so often check the water level so it doesn't dry out. Top it up with freshly boiled water from the kettle.

When your pud is steamed let it cool completely before replacing the parchment and foil and store it until Christmas day. Keep it in a cool place.

On Christmas day steam the pudding for 2 hours. To get it out of the basin run a palette knife around the edge, hold a plate over the top of the basin and flip both the plate and the basin up to turn the pudding out on the plate. Serve with lovely brandy butter and wear your stretchiest trousers.