This one is old fashioned, a very small amount of flour and lots of bread crumbs. It reminds me of a bread and butter pudding, with loads of eggs and fruit and cooked in a water bath or a steamer. As I was putting the mix together it didn't feel quite right so I booted off an email to Lucy, who has been making the family Christmas puddings for some years now. She said had always cooked the recipe from Aunt Happy. Lu felt I had the wrong recipe... I scouted through the book and realised that Nonna has 2 recipes , this one is Gran's, her mothers. I will do Happy's later.
It was a cold winters night, a perfectly lovely time to eat Christmas Pudding. We stirred brandy into the warm custard, just before serving. Gran served a Clear Brandy Sauce, the recipe is in Nonna's book, but I'm not a fan, it is just brandy, water and sugar thickened with arrowroot. I prefer Brandy Custard, or Brandy Butter or just Brandy flambe' - pour some brandy onto the pud and light carefully!
½ Glass Rum/Brandy (⅓ cup?)
¾ cup Sugar
½ cup Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tabs Mixed Spice
½ Loaf Stale Breadcrumbs (2 cups?)
1. Mix fruit with Brandy
2. Cream Butter and Sugar, I used brown sugar, but the recipe didn't specify so white would be ok too.
3. Add eggs one at a time
4. Sift Flour, Baking Powder and Mixed Spice
5. Fold Flour, Bread Crumbs, and Fruits and Brandy into Butter mixture
6. Spoon into well greased and paper lined pudding tin. Secure the tin so that there is no chance of water leaking inside. I used strings to secure and the paper from a block of butter to line the tin. Make sure that you keep an eye on the process so that there is always plenty of water in the saucepan and boil 4 - 5 hours.
7. Store in the fridge until Christmas and then boil a further 2 hours before serving with brandy Custard.
Recipe for Boiled Custard in another post soon!
N.B. How much is half a loaf of bread in Gran's language? And I'm sure it wasn't fluffy white sliced, so I actually used Gluten Free Potato Bread and decided to measure it out to 2 cups, perhaps you could use a little less, certainly no more. And any bread really would be fine.
How much is half a glass of brandy in Gran's language, a brandy balloon? a sherry glass? I decided it doesn't really matter and settled for a measured 1/3 cup, again you could easily put in more.