Last-minute Christmas Pudding

If you’ve been ‘blessed’ with last-minute guests for Christmas, there’s plenty of this pudding to go around.

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients

130g dried mango

100g soft prunes

100g soft apricots

100g pack dried cranberries

100g sultanas

3 tablespoons brandy

Zest and juice of 2 oranges

75g fresh white breadcrumbs

75g plain flour

2 teaspoons mixed spice

50g almonds, chopped

200g light brown muscovado sugar

100g butter, softened to room temperature

2 large eggs, beaten


Method
Butter a 1.2 litre pudding basin and line the bottom with foil. Chop the mango, prunes and apricots into small pieces and place these and the remaining fruits into a large bowl, pour over the brandy, orange juice and zest, mix well and cover. If you have time, leave overnight so that most of the liquid is absorbed. Drain the fruit into a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pudding basin and cover with a pleated piece of buttered foil – this will allow for expansion.
Ensure the foil covers the edges of the bowl and tie in place with kitchen string, making a string handle so that it is easier to lift the hot basin out of the pan. Place the basin in a steamer above water or stand on a rack in a saucepan. Pour water into the pan so that it comes half way up the basin.

Bring to the boil, then simmer for about five hours for a light pudding or about eight hours for a darker pudding. 

Remember to check the water level regularly as it will need to be topped up with boiling water.
Once pudding has cooled, remove foil and replace with a new piece. Store in fridge or freezer until needed.

On Christmas Day, steam for 90 minutes until piping hot, decorate with cherries, cover with brandy and light!

Written by Debbie McTaggart

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