Christmas or Plum Pudding

8 oz currants
8 oz sultanas
8 oz raisins
2 oz almonds (optional)
8 oz vegetable suet
8 oz bread crumbs
4 oz plain flour
8 oz demerara sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp mixed spice
4 eggs – beaten
1 bottle of Guinness
1/4 pt brandy

3 pint pudding basin well greased. I use a plastic one with a lid but you can use a ceramic one.
Mix the dry ingredients, add fruit, eggs and brandy then gradually add the Guinness stirring after each addition.  Continue adding until the mixture is sloppy but not too liquid. Pour into the basin and smooth the top with a spoon.  I usually make a greaseproof paper layer to go under the plastic lid just to keep all the loveliness trapped inside the pudding.You can also use string to tie round the greaseproof paper and create a little handle which greatly helps with the cooking.

Gently lower the pudding into a large pan and fill it about 3/4 with boiling water.  Steam for about 3 hours ( make sure to top up the water)  and then put it away until Christmas day but don’t forget about it.  It will need to be steamed for about 2 hours to make sure it is hot and ready for the sprig of holly and flaming brandy.



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