Welcome to the Pudding Site

The start...

Use a LARGE mixing bowl and start by adding the suet, sifted flour (hold the sifter high to add some air) bread crumbs, salt, spices and sugar. Mix these WELL together, then gradually add & mix in all the Almonds Mixed Peel and dried Fruit, Then the Pear (or Apple) and the grated lemon zest. Make sure you have included everything, as, with all those ingredients around, it is easy to miss one. (I generally put all the ingredients all in a line in front of me).

 

 

 Step Two

 

In another bowl break the Eggs (if you break Eggs into another bowl, you won't spoil the main mixture if one of the Eggs is bad!)
Add the Muscat and Guinness, and blend or whisk them all together. Add this mixture into the large mixing bowl, and stir. (Add the Threepenny pieces here).
Make sure the mixture is well blended, it should look very light brown and should be fairly sloppy, you can test this by taking a spoonful of the mixture and tapping the spoon handle on the side of the bowl. If the mixture is right it will drop instantly from the spoon.
If in the previous test the mixture stuck to the spoon the mixture needs a bit more liquid. Add a trifle more Guinness until the test is successful!
Leave the mixture in the bowl, press the mixture down so there are no air-gaps, cover with stretch-film and leave overnight, (you can leave in the Larder, or, in the Fridge if you're in a hot country like Australia!) this is important as it will allow the Dried fruit and Breadcrumbs time to absorb the liquid.

 

 

 

 

Step three, now get the pudding bowl/basin ready....

You will need a three (Imperial/British) pint (1.7 litre) clean, dry, pudding basin, lightly greased, especially at the bottom of the bowl using some Suet. To make sure the pudding doesn't stick, after greasing the bowl with the Suet, sprinkle a small amount of caster sugar (or icing sugar) around the bowl to coat the suet, then turn the bowl upside down to remove the excess.

Step four, the next day

Next day pack the mixture into the prepared pudding bowl (see instructions above), the mixture should be within 1" 25mm of the rim of the bowl (this pudding doesn't expand much), cover it with a double sheet of greaseproof/silicone/baking paper (I use GladBake) and a sheet of foil. Tie these securely with string, pudding basins have a rim ideal for string! Tie another piece of string (see photo) to make it easy for you to lift the pudding out of the pot. 

 

Take your saucepan, add your home made "trivet", I just use a piece of bent coathanger wire to keep the pudding off the bottom of the saucepan (otherwise the pudding burns where it touches the bottom of the saucepan). 
Put the pudding in the large saucepan, then add boiling water, (about half to three-quarters of the way up the bowl) set to a high heat and watch it until the water boils. Reduce heat to allow a gentle simmer and steam the pudding for about 8 hours, make sure the lid is on for the whole of that time.

Make sure you keep a regular eye on the water level about once every 30 minutes, and top it up with boiling water as needed.
When the pudding is cooked, remove from the pot, let it get quite cold, remove the paper and foil and replace with fresh ones, duplicating your previous wrapping. (as an optional extra, you can add a top layer of pudding cloth, it makes it more attractive on Christmas day).

 

 

Store in a cool dark place, a larder will be fine. NOTE: this will keep for years stored like this!

 

Christmas Day

To serve on Christmas day, steam for 2½ hours.

Remove from the Saucepan, leave for a couple of minutes for any pressure to escape, remove string, foil and paper, you will find that it's a dark colour, and smells lovely! give it a little shake to observe how loose it is, (you might need to loosen it a bit using a flexible knife around the sides). Have a warmed serving plate ready, place the plate upside down on top of the pudding bowl, then flip the whole thing over give a gentle shake (you might hear a "slurp" sound, as the pudding releases). Place the plate on the table and carefully remove the bowl. HOORAY, it's done!
Serve with any or all of the following; Cream, home made Custard, or Cumberland Rum Butter.