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Christmas Pudding

ingredients

1 lb. stoned (seeded) raisins
2 oz mixed peel
3/8 cup (2 oz) 50 g blanched almonds
1/2 lb. currants
1 1/2 cup (225 g). sultanas (golden raisins)
1 cup (1/4 lb) 125 g plain or self-raising flour
1/2 level teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 level teaspoon ground Mixed Spice (All Spice / Pumpkin pie spice)
1/2 level teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 level teaspoon sait
1/2 cup (2 oz) ground almonds
1 lb. shredded suet
1/2 lb. fresh white breadcrumbs
1/2 cup (90 g) soft brown sugar
6 large eggs
4 tablespoons brandy
8 fluid oz milk
2 tbsp (1 oz) 25 g unsalted butter

method

1. Chop the raisins, mixed peel and blanched almonds.

2. Mix together, in a large bowl, all the fruits, the sifted flour, spices, salt and ground almonds. Blend thoroughly until all the fruit is well coated (this is easiest done with the hands). Work in the suet, breadcrumbs and sugar.

3. Beat the eggs lightly and stir them into the pudding mixture. Add the brandy and milk, stirring until the pudding has a soft dropping consistency.

4. Butter well two 2 1/2 lb. pudding basins, spoon in the pudding and cover each basin with a pleated, double layer of buttered grease­proof paper. Tie down with a pudding cloth.

5. Set the pudding basins in one or two large pans of boiling water, reaching two-thirds up the sides of the basins. Boil steadily for 6 hours, and top up with boiling water as necessary.

6. Remove the puddings, leave them to cool, then cover them with fresh grease­proof paper and cloths. Store in a cool place.

7. On Christmas Day, boil the puddings for a further 4 hours.

8. Turn them out of the basins and garnish each pudding with a sprig of holly.

9. Pour over warmed brandy and set alight. Serve with brandy butter.

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