Christmas pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg packet mixed dried fruit
  • 500 g dried fruit of your choice
  • 125 g packet glace ginger – finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp mixed spice
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup port
  • 1 cup sweet sherry
  • 2 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup treacle
  • 250 g butter – softened
  • 3 cups dried breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 8 eggs
  • 200 ml milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup overproof dark rum
  • custard -to serve
  • ice cream – to serve

Step 1

Combine dried fruits, ginger, spice, vanilla, port, sherry, brown sugar and treacle in a large bowl. Mix well and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

Step 2

Rub butter, breadcrumbs and flour together in a large bowl until well combined. Stir in milk, eggs and fruit mixtures.Set aside to rest for at least 3 hours.

Step 3

Fill a pan with water and bring to the boil. Add a 70 cm square of washed calico to pan and boil for 10 minutes. Wring out well. Immediately brush one side of calico with oik, then dust with remaining flour.

Step 4

Lay calico in a large colander, then spoon in mixture. Gather material around pudding mixture, avoiding any deep pleats, then tie closed with a triple thickness of kitchen string.

Step 5

Fill a large heavy-based pan with 5 cm of water and set over medium heat. Suspend pudding over simmering water using a wooden spoon or piece of dowel. Cover with 3 layers of foil and cook for at least 5 hours.

Step 6

Hang pudding in a cool, dark place overnight to dry. Gently peel cloth from pudding – skin will darken on standing. Sprinkle pudding with a little run each day for a week.

Serve with custard and/or ice cream