Victorian Christmas Pudding with Brandy and Fruit

Great for any time of the year, especially when the weather outside is freezing! Traditionally it was only baked for Christmas time, usually around four or five weeks before the time, and was considered the highlight of the day. The pudding was set ablaze by pouring a little brandy over the pudding, so as to make a grand entrance.

Just before serving, it was garnished with a sprig of holly on the top. A silver coin was baked into the pudding. Traditionally, whoever found the silver coin would have a year of prosperity and good luck to look forward to. Try this recipe to impress guests anytime!

Victorian Christmas Pudding Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 500g (1 pound) of seedless raisins
  • 500g (1 pound) currants
  • handful of chopped, glazed cherries
  • 100g (around 4 ounces) ground almonds
  • 50g chopped, candied lemon and orange peel
  • 500g (1 pound) cake flour
  • 250g (1 cup, or ½ pound) of moist brown sugar
  • 500g white breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 500g (1 pound) beef suet
  • 2 tsp mixed spice (cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 small, clean, silver coin or silver charm
  • 2 small glasses of brandy

Method:

  1. Pour the brandy over the raisins, currants and almonds and allow it to stand for four hours at least, longer if possible.
  2. Soak the breadcrumbs in milk until saturated, then squeeze out. Discard the milk.
  3. Mix the breadcrumbs, grated suet, cake flour and the brandied dried fruit together.
  4. Add the citrus peel, mixed spice and sugar.
  5. Mix in the 8 eggs and beat the whole mixture well with a fork or a wooden spoon. The batter needs to be fairly stiff or otherwise the fruit will sink to the bottom when it is cooking. If the mixture is runny, add a little more flour. Add the silver coin or charm.
  6. Press the mixture into a greased pudding basin or dish, add a lid and wrap with some foil so that the basin is watertight.
  7. Place the basin in a pan of boiling water (so that the water is about halfway up the basin) and steam for 5 hours, making sure the water does not boil away. Top up water when necessary.
  8. Store in its basin until it will be eaten until the day you are going to serve the pudding. On that day, place the pudding (still in its basin) back into a Bain Marie or pot of boiling water and steam for another 3 hours before serving.
  9. Pour brandy over the pudding and set it alight as you serve, or else heat up a half a cup of vodka, (don’t allow it to boil), pour over the pudding and set it alight.  Make a grand entrance as you serve this rich pudding (or get your butler to do it!)

If you find it too much work, and would prefer to buy a pudding like this, click on these images for some ideas and prices:

 

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