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Sunday, 10 November 2013

CHRISTMAS " TO DO LIST" ~ CHRISTMAS PUDDING

Good Morning to you,


Today I will be adding another tick to my Christmas "To Do List" as I will be making our Christmas Pudding.

So far, I have ticked,


Christmas Cake baked ...... tick

Christmas Cake fed with brandy each week...... tick

Pickled Onions, stored ....... tick

Christmas Pudding, making today ....... tick




I have ticked the Christmas Pudding prematurely, but don't you just love the red ticks.... I know I do. Our Christmas Pudding will be filled with sultanas, currants, raisins, and almonds. It will be  a rich pudding and it will be perfectly matured by the time Christmas arrives.  


When I make our Christmas pudding, my memories return to a time when our girls were small, as we would all have fun stirring the Christmas pudding.  When all the ingredients had been added to the Christmas Pudding mixture, the pudding would be stirred from East to West, to honour the Three Wise Men.  Whilst stirring, we would each make a secret wish, which we had to keep to ourselves, which of course the girls could never do, as they would always share their wish by whispering it to George or to me. They both thought, that whispering didn't count, and that the wish would still remain a secret. Of course being near to Christmas time, we found it useful that they told us their wish, as their wish  was  something which they hoped to receive as a Christmas gift.  Danielle was the funniest, as she always thought, that if she whispered the wish quick enough, she could list five things, thinking that as long as she whispered the list  quickly, the list would be granted as one wish..... don't you just love children.

I was thinking, that maybe the music I should have chosen, should have been Christmas music the girls enjoyed, but when they were little girls they listened to LPs.  I still have the LPs, but I cannot play them as I don't have a record player anymore.  The type of Christmas music they loved  were songs sung by Pinky and Perky, and one song I remember, is Winter Wonderland, now I wonder if the girls will remember Pinky and Perky and Winter Wonderland. Actually Pinky and Perky did not sing as they were puppets..... but you know what I mean.

I think my time for listening to Pinky and Perky has passed, so I have chosen to enjoy,



A Classic Christmas.  This has The Philharmonia Orchestra playing Bacchanale, Winter, The Hansel and Gretal Overture played by The London Symphony Orchestra and for something to sing along to, Ding, Dong, Merrily on High sung by The Bach Choir.  

So my apron is on, I am really enjoying this music, as it is the music I normally play on Christmas morning, and yes, I am in the Christmas Spirit and  ready to list my ingredients.


INGREDIENTS


150g plain flour
100g fresh breadcrumbs
100g Demerara Sugar
150g ground almonds
125g currants
125g raisins
225g  sultanas
1 large cooking apple
grated rind and juice of 1 orange
3 eggs
120 ml Guinness
100ml sunflower oil
3 teaspoons of mixed spice
1 teaspoon of grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon of salt


METHOD



2 x 1kg pudding basin

string
parchment paper
tin foil




Place the breadcrumbs into a large bowl
and


add the Guinness

Can you see the image of my hand and camera?

Stir until the Guinness has soaked into the breadcrumbs


add the sunflower oil and stir


add the demerara sugar
and stir


add the mixed spice and grated nutmeg
and stir


add the ground almonds
and stir


add the currants, sultanas and raisins
and stir


add the sifted flour and salt
and stir


add the 3 beaten eggs
and stir


add the grated apple
and


the grated orange rind
and


the juice of the orange
and
stir
Natasha and Danielle loved all the stirring
involved in making this Christmas Pudding.
Actually they didn't want to stop stirring
as they enjoyed it so much.


 Remember, now that all the ingredients are incorporated, 
it is  time
for each member of the family,
to take a turn, to stir,
from
East to West
and  to make 
Wish


Pour the Christmas Pudding mixture
into the greased pudding bowls.

Cut a double layer of parchment paper,
I usually use a large dinner plate to create my circle.
The parchment paper needs to be at least
6 inches larger than the size of the pudding basin
as you need to make a pleat in the centre,
to allow the pudding to expand during the 
cooking process.

 Cover with
parchment paper.


Tie string around the pudding bowl
to hold the parchment paper in place


Cover with tin foil and again
make sure the foil is large enough 
so that you can create a pleat.

Tie with string, just to be sure the tin foil stays in place

If you have a double boiler,
use this.

 If not
use a large saucepan and place a saucer on the
bottom of the saucepan. 
Place the pudding on the saucer.
Boil enough water to come halfway up the side
 of the pudding bowl,
then
reduce the heat to a simmer
and simmer for 4 hours.

REMEMBER
to keep an eye on the water level.
 Make sure the water does not evaporate completely
during cooking.
Top up with extra boiling water, as the need arises.

I found I only needed to do this once.


Allow the pudding to cool,
then remove the tin foil and parchment paper
and drizzle 1 tablespoon of brandy over the pudding.
Replace with fresh
parchment paper and tin foil
and store in a dark cool place until Christmas time.

On Christmas Day our Christmas Pudding will be steamed
for a further 3 hours
and served with
custard, cream 
or 
brandy cream,
whichever takes our fancy.

As with the Christmas Cake, I would advise you to list and tick each of the ingredients as they are weighed, to make sure that all the ingredients have been added.  I tend to weigh everything and put the ingredients in the order which I am going to use them, so that when I check my list, I know for sure that everything has been included.

Christmas Puddings are very rich, as are Christmas Cakes, but we only cut a small slice..... but, oh how enjoyable are these small slices.

Take care and I will see you on Wednesday.

This week I will be joining,

and
and







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