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Recipe of the Month The Perfect Christmas Pud!


Makes 4 x 1 pint (450ml) or 2 x 2 pint (1 litre) Preparation time


30 minutes plus 5-6 hours steaming time, plus 2 hours re-steaming on the day of eating. Ingredients


225g/8oz golden caster sugar 225g/8oz vegetarian suet 340g/12oz sultanas 340g/12oz raisins 225g/8oz currants 120g/4oz chopped candied peel 120g/4oz plain flour 120g/4oz fresh white breadcrumbs 60g/2oz flaked almonds Zest of 1 lemon 5 eggs, beaten 1level tsp ground cinnamon 1level tsp mixed spice 1 level tsp freshly grated nutmeg Pinch of salt 150ml/5fl oz brandy or rum


Method Mix together all the dry ingredients.


Stir in the eggs and brandy and mix together thor- oughly.


Scrape the mixture into 4 x 1 pint (450ml) or 2 x 2 pint (1 litre) lightly-greased pudding basins.


Put a circle of baking parchment and foil over the top of each basin and tie securely round the rim with string.


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Make a string handle by tying both round and over the basin, to make it easier to pick out of the pan after cooking.


Put the basins in a large steamer of boiling water and cover with a lid.


Boil for 5-6 hours, topping the boiling water up from time to time if necessary so that it doesn’t boil dry. If you don't have a steamer, you can use a large pan and stand the basins on inverted saucers placed in the base. Pour in boiling water to come a third of the way up the sides of the pudding bowls. Cover and steam as before. Cool.


Change the baking parchment and foil covers for fresh ones and tie up as before. Store in a cool cup- board until Christmas Day.


To serve the pudding on Christmas Day, steam for 2 hours and serve with brandy butter, rum sauce, cream or home-made custard.


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