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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bring in the Pud!

G'day! I haven't put anything on for a while and I appologise for that. I just haven't cooked anything interesting lately. But, with winter on it's way, I'll be busy doing stews, casseroles and other good stuff.

Today I finished making our Christmas Pudding. For the unfortunate among you that haven't had a Christmas Pudding before, here's and explanation as to what it is: Christmas pudding 

My Grandpa (Dad's Dad) was the pudding maker in our family, so, even in the stinking hot Summer of an Australian Christmas, we'd have pudding and custard after our Christmas lunch. Dad never made the pudding, but he did give me Grandpa's recipe and when he died, I took up the pudding making and continued to do it ever since. Even when I moved to the US, I introduced it to Chanin's family...some like it, others don't, but that just means there more for me!

On to the recipe.


Ingredients:

½ lb butter (226g or in the US, 2 sticks)
10 eggs
6 cups fresh breadcrumbs (I buy a loaf of white bread and run it through the food processor)
1 tsp nutmeg
¾ lb brown sugar (340g)
12 g mixed spice (0.5 oz) (mixed spice is available on-line but you can make your own by combining 1 tbsp each of ground nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon)
1 cup plain flour
1 lb sultanas (golden raisins) (450g)
1 lb currants (450g)
1 lb raisins (450g)
½ lb mixed peel (226g or 1 pack of lemon peel and 1 pack of orange peel)
6 tbsp brandy

Method:

Combine all the fruit in a bowl, add the brandy and mix well. Cover with Glad wrap and let it sit overnight.


The next day....
Cream butter and sugar. Add well beaten eggs.








Combine fruit, mixed spice, nutmeg, egg sugar mix and mix.


Add breadcrumbs and mix well.


Add flour a little at a time and mix.

  
Have an extra large pot (pasta pot is best because of the insert) of water boiling vigorously. Wet 2 squares of muslin/calico (32 in x 32 in) in the water and lay flat one atop the other, after wringing out.

Sprinkle a little flour on the top cloth and place pudding mixture in the centre.

 
Bring the corners of the first cloth together, then the corners of the second cloth. Form the mixture in the cloth into a rough ball shape and tie the opening with cooking twine as close to the pudding as possible and as tight as you can, leaving some excess twine to hang the pudding. (There should be excess cloth that you can hold onto.)

 
Place pudding into pot and boil for 5 hours, keeping an eye on the water level and topping up when required. If you don’t have a pasta pot then you will need to suspend the pudding in the water, so it doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot. You can do this by winding the string around a wooden spoon and suspending it that way.

  
Once cooked, hang in a cool dry place for 2 or 3 weeks. (The longer it hangs, the better the flavour – I hang mine for 5 to 8 weeks.)


On day of use, again have water boiling vigorously and cook for 1 hour. When done, unwrap and place on a platter for serving. Having the water boiling is very important! If you put into cold water and bring it to the boil, you will ruin your pudding. This will keep for a long time in the fridge after you have it on Christmas Day. I'm usually still having a bit in late January. All you have to do is wrap it in foil and stick it in the fridge.



Onto the custard. This is my Mum's recipe, which I don't believe varies too much from any other recipe.


500mls milk (17oz.)
1 egg
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
1 tsp vanilla

Put 400mls (13.5oz.) milk into a non-stick pot, add egg and whisk into milk. Add sugar and heat the milk mixture until hot, but not boiling.

Put cornflour into a small dish, add remaining milk and mix to combine.

Add to milk mixture and stir continuously until it comes to the boil.

DO NOT over-boil. As soon as the first bubbles appear, remove from the heat. Make sure that the custard does actually boil otherwise it will have a real uncooked taste from the cornflour.

Add the vanilla and stir to combine.

Place lid on saucepan and put aside to cool. (The lid prevents a think skin from forming on the custard.)

To prevent the custard from becoming lumpy, don’t have the heat up too high once the mixture starts to thicken. The time it goes lumpy is just as the mixture turns from thin to about the consistency of whipping cream.

If you want your custard “pouring” consistency, then add extra milk…but be careful as it can go runny.
It's really that easy to make the custard from scratch instead of using custard powder.
So there you go, I know what I'm having for Christmas this year, do you?
I'll update a couple of the photo's after Christmas to show a slice of the pudding with the custard on there.

Enjoy!

Matt

3 comments:

  1. Looks amazing Matt! May just have a go at it myself! Teresa GF :)

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  2. Good luck Teresa. It's pretty easy really, just follow the recipe and you'll be right.

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  3. Yum! My dad makes one every year...wouldn't be Christmas without one. Cheers!

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