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Christmas Pudding


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Ingredients         

            (makes 2 x 2 litre puddings) For the Pudding
  • 200g butter at room temp
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 1 cup Hardy’s Black Bottle Brandy
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 70g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • Zest of 1 large orange
  • 1 apple grated
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • Pinch salt
  • 200g currants
  • 200g sultanas
  • 200g raisins
  • 150g dried fig, diced
  • 150g diced apricot
  • 150g dates chopped
  • 150g dried prunes chopped
  • 150g crystallised ginger chopped
  • 150g slivered almonds
  • 1 cup Hardy’s Black Bottle Brandy to serve
  • 150g mixed peel
Brandy Crème Anglaise
  • 250ml milk
  • 250ml cream
  • 100g sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • Fresh berries to serve
  • 2-3 tbsp Hardy’s Black Bottle Brandy (or more to taste)

Method
For the Pudding
Grease and line a pudding basin and set aside. In a large saucepan that will take the size of the pudding mould, place a trivet or an upturned plate and fill with water to 2/3rds of the way up the side of the pudding mould. Bring to the boil. Turn down the heat to a rolling simmer. Combine all the dried fruit, grated apple and zests and add the brandy and stir. Set aside overnight, or for a few days to absorb the brandy, and for the fruit to soften. (adding a splash more Brandy if you like!) Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and spices and add the bread crumbs. Beat the butter and the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time. Fold in the dry ingredients, then the fruit. Place in the prepared pudding mould leaving about an inch from the top. Cover with greased paper and foil and seal with a lid or tie very tightly with string, place into the saucepan and steam the pudding for aproximately 5 hours, topping up occasionally with water. Allow to cool. De-mould and wrap in plastic wrap or muslin cloth and store up to 3-4 months. To reheat place in a pot of boiling water and steam for 2 hours. To serve: Place the pudding on a large plate. Heat the brandy and carefully ignite it and pour over the hot pudding. Serve with brandy crème anglaise.
Brandy Crème Anglaise
Heat the milk, cream and scraped vanilla bean. Combine the egg yolks and sugar. Slowly pour over the hot milk mixture onto the eggs and whisk. Pour back into the pan and cook over a low heat stirring constantly until it starts to thicken but not scramble. Strain and serve with your Christmas Pudding and a few fresh berries.