Like fine wine and Helen Mirren, Christmas pudding is one of those things that just gets better with age, so you need to think about making yours now to give it time to mature for Christmas. Traditional is usually best in this case, so go for a classic recipe, made in a proper Xmas pudding basin.
Christmas pudding basins at Wares of Knutsford
Mason Cash make the best pudding basins we’ve found, and we keep a range of different sizes in stock. They come in the traditional Christmas pudding basins shape, with sizes starting at 11.5cm and going on through 12.5cm, 14cm, 16cm, 17cm, 20cm and 22cm. If you make a lot of puddings, you can also buy a set of seven containing each size. The basins are glazed in white and feature a protruding rim to make tying a lid easy and hold it on through the steaming process, while the vented base allows for the release of air pockets during steaming. While designed for steaming, the bowls can also be used in a conventional oven and are microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe.
A basic recipe for your Christmas pudding basins
These quantities will make about 1.7 litres of Christmas pudding – adjust according to your basin size.
- 150g each of currants, sultanas and chopped prunes
- 175ml brandy, rum or sherry
- 100g plain flour
- 125g breadcrumbs
- 150g suet
- 150g dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Quarter teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Zest of one lemon, grated
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbsp honey
Soak the currants, sultanas and prunes in the alcohol in a large covered bowl overnight or for up to a week. When you are ready to use the fruit, mix in all the other pudding ingredients, stirring well to combine. Set a large pan of water to boil and butter your Xmas pudding basin. Scrape the pudding mix into your basins and make a vented lid from greaseproof paper. Wrap the whole lot in a layer of silver foil then put the bowls in your saucepan so that the water comes at least halfway up the side of the basin. Leave to steam for five hours, adding more water to the pan when the level drops. After cooking remove the basins from the pan carefully, remove the foil wrapping and store in a cool, dark spot until Christmas.
When you’re ready, re-wrap in foil and steam for another three hours, then turn out and serve garnished with a sprig of holly and with custard, cream or ice cream.