Luke Mangan’s Family Christmas Pudding Recipe

When you think of Christmas, many would think of Christmas pudding’s. Luke Mangan shares his family’s Christmas pudding recipe.

About this time every year I get the standard call from my mother asking what I’d like for Christmas. My answer is always the same, one of her puddings, which are fantastic. This recipe is a very old and has been passed down through the generations. It’s best made around July or August, or even earlier if you can. Christmas pudding, or plum pudding, as it’s often referred to, has English origin and is quite heavy with a lot of dried fruit and nuts. For me – it’s the true taste of the festive season. It’s delicious with brandy sauce and a dollop of fresh cream or ice-cream. If you haven’t had time to make one this year, try one from my providores range. Merry Christmas!
christmas-puddingimage via pinterest

Ingredients

60g almonds (blanched and skinned)
40g hazelnuts
500g raisins
300g prunes
250g dates
100g currants
80g mixed peel
50g glace cherries
70ml brandy
70ml dark rum
1tsp mixed spice
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ginger
8 eggs
500g unsalted butter
250g plain flour
300g dark brown sugar
350g fresh white breadcrumbs (keep 50g aside)
100g ground almonds
1 stubby Guinness (flat)
A little castor sugar

My Brandy Sauce

250ml milk
250ml cream
4 egg yolks
3 tsp corn starch
1 vanilla bean (or few drops vanilla essence)
75g castor sugar
50ml brandy

Method

Chop the nuts, then place all the dried fruits, nuts and spices into a large bowl, pour over the rum and brandy and let macerate for a few days, at least.

When ready, melt butter over a double boiler until it’s melted, but not hot. Sift the flour over the macerated fruits, adding ground almonds, Guinness, breadcrumbs, brown sugar and eggs. Add the melted butter and mix well with a wooden spoon until it’s well incorporated (you will need strong arms as it’s quite thick and stodgy).

Grease a large pudding bowl with melted butter, then dust with some castor sugar mixed with some breadcrumbs, getting rid of any excess sugar mix.

Fill a greased pudding basin with the mixture and press well into the bowl, smoothing over the top and completely cover with buttered grease proof paper. Cover again with aluminium foil, doubling up and placing it well down over the sides. Tie the foil and paper securely with butchers twine, to ensure it’s a tight fit and the foil and paper will not come loose. You can cook immediately, or cook a day or so later to allow all the flavours to macerate.

Once ready to cook, place the bowl into a large stock pot which has boiling water which goes no more than ¾ up the side of the pudding bowl. Simmer for at least 6½ hours (check every 30-45 mins to ensure there is enough water in and has not evaporated).

Remove the pudding from the stock pot and take off the foil and paper, allowing the top of the pudding to dry overnight (this will help prevent any mould forming especially if you keep the pudding for several months, as recommended).

In the morning recover the pudding with paper and foil. Keep in a cool dry area for a couple of months, or longer.

At Christmas, or whenever you wish to eat your pudding, just place the bowl (which is still securely covered with foil and paper) into the stock pot again and simmer gently for 2½ – 3 hours to heat through.

Remove foil and paper and loosed edges carefully with a knife. Tip out onto a nice silver or heavy china platter. Pour over some brandy at the table and very carefully flambé the pudding.

Serve with brandy sauce, ice cream and enjoy. Merry Christmas!

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