This rich and indulgent traditional Christmas pudding is the perfect crowd pleaser.
For the pudding:
450g dried mixed fruit
1 small cooking apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
Juice and zest of 1 orange
3 tbsp brandy, sherry or rum, plus extra for flaming
75g Connacht Gold Creamery Butter, softened plus extra for greasing
100g light muscovado sugar
2 free range eggs
100g self-raising flour
1 Tsp mixed spice
40g fresh white breadcrumbs
40g whole shelled almonds, roughly chopped
For the brandy butter:
100g Connacht Gold Unsalted Butter, softened
225g icing sugar, sieved
3 tbsp brandy, rum or cognac
4 tbsp brandy or rum
- Measure the dried mixed fruit and apple into a bowl with the orange juice. Add the measured brandy (rum or sherry), stir and leave to marinate for about one hour.
- Put the measured butter, sugar and orange zest into a large bowl and cream together with a wooden spoon or a hand-held whisk until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding a little of the measured flour if the mixture begins to curdle.
- Sift together the flour and mixed spice, then fold into the creamed mixture with the breadcrumbs and almonds add the soaked dried fruit with their liquid and stir well.
- Generously butter a 1.4 litre pudding basin. Cut a small disc of foil or baking parchment and press into the base.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared basin and press down with the back of a spoon. Cover with a layer of baking parchment and foil, both pleated across the middle to allow for expansion. Tie securely with string and trim off excess paper and foil.
- Put a metal jam jar lid into the base of a large pan to act as a trivet. Place a long, doubled strip of foil in the pan, between the trivet and the pudding basin, ensuring the ends of the strip reach up and hang over the edges of the pan. This will help you to lift the heavy pudding basin out to the pan of hot water when it has finished cooking.
- Lower the pudding on to the trivet and pour in enough boiling water to come half way up the side of the bowl. Cover with a lid, bring the water back the to boil, then simmer for seven hours, until the pudding is deep brown in colour, topping up the water as necessary.
- For the brandy butter, place the butter into a mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer until light and fluff. Beat in the sieved icing sugar until smooth, then add brandy rum or cognac, to taste. Spoon into a serving dish, cover and set aside in the fridge.