Gillian's Larder

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from the Cornish cooking shop.
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Traditional Christmas pudding

This is the best Christmas pudding recipe I know. Itís not too heavy, itís just spicy enough, and with cream or custard, itís heavenly.

This recipe will make two large puddings (in 6in basins). Halve the quantities for one, halve again for a small pudding. For each pudding you will need a pudding basin; string; and greaseproof paper.

  • 225g/8oz suet
  • 225g/8oz breadcrumbs
  • 60g/2oz plain flour
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 225g/8oz currants
  • 225g/8oz raisins
  • 115g/4oz chopped glacť cherries
  • 170g/6oz dark brown sugar
  • 115g/4oz mixed peel
  • 115g/4oz chopped blanched almonds
  • A level teaspoonful mixed spice
  • A large cooking apple, grated
  • A level teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda in a tablespoonful warm milk
  • A medium-sized carrot, grated
  • A dollop of marmalade

Butter your basin and place greaseproof paper discs in the bottom. Mix the dry ingredients. Add the eggs and the milk and bicarb, and mix thoroughly (not forgetting to make a wish).

Fill the basin to an inch short of the top, not compressing the mixture. Cut a disc of greaseproof paper twice the width of the basin; cover the basin top, fold down all round and secure with string. Make a string handle across the top. Lower the basin into a saucepan of water, making sure the water level is only about half-way up the basin. Put on the pan lid. Place on the hob until the water boils, then turn down to a simmer.

Cook for at least three hours, topping up the boiling water as it evaporates. Use a fork to catch the basinís string handle to lift it out.

Keep in the fridge until Christmas day, then microwave for six minutes or boil as before for an hour. Turn out onto a serving plate, dress with icing sugar and holly. Take to your table. Dim the dining room lights, flame the pudding with brandy and enjoy the applause!

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I'd love to hear how you get on! You can email me at: gillian@

Good luck!