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Christmas pudding

Here is an easy verision of the elaborate Christmas pudding:

Prep: 20-25 minutes
Cook: 8 hours total
Makes: 10-12 servings
§ 7 cups mixed dried fruit of your choice*(raisins, currants, sultans, figs, prunes, apricots, cherry, apple, dates..) of which ¼ must be candied citrus peel, chopped
§ ½ cup rum or brandy
§ 1/3 cup orange juice
§ 1/3 cup grated apple
§ 1tsp orange zest
§ 1tsp lemon zest
§ 225g cold butter, cut up into tiny cubes
§ 1 ¼ cup soft brown sugar
§ 3 eggs, lightly beaten
§ 1tsp baking powder
§ ¼ tsp ground dalchini (cinnamon)
§ ¼ tsp ground jaiphal (nutmeg)
§ 100g almonds, blanched and coarsely ground
1. Combine fruit with rum or brandy, juice and zest; cover and let steep overnight.
2. With fork, cream butter and sugar; mix in eggs, baking powder, spices, flour, then breadcrumbs and ground almonds. Batter should drop readily off spoon.
3. Bring a kettle of water to boil. Meanwhile, grease and line a 2 litre pudding basin. Pour in pudding batter, smoothen top till level. Place a secure of greaseproof paper over the basin, then a foil, and secure with string under rim. Make a handle of string attached to two sides of the string securing foil and paper.
4. Sit basin on a triver or upturned saucer in a large lidded pot and pour hot water into pot till it comes halfway up outside of basin. Cover and steam for 6 hours-water should be at a simmer-top up water if necessary. The pudding basin now may be wrapped in a muslin cloth and stored until Christmas.
5. On Christmas day, just before serving lounch, untie pudding and again set to steam for 2 hours.
6. Remove from heat and test with skewer. Let stand for 5 minutes before un mouldintg. If liked, drizzle over 2 tablespoon brandy and set alight to serve.


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