Here’s a great recipe for your Christmas puddings this year. Today is Stir It Up Sunday and the day to be making the puds.
Traditionally, the preparation of Christmas puddings began on Stir-up Sunday an informal term in Anglican churches for the last Sunday before the season of Advent.
I made this whilst on a photoshoot with the great chef Martin Blunos, when he was an ambassador for Buckfast Tonic Wine. Martin is a wonderful chef and we had a blast with Barry Mellor, a food photographer who really knows his business.
Martin says that Buckfast Tonic Wine is an ideal ingredient to include in the recipe and I have to agree. It is rich and sweet and has flavours that complement the seasonal dish.
180ml Buckfast Tonic Wine
25gr mixed peel, finely chopped
25gr glace cherries, halved
25gr almonds, chopped
1 small apple, peeled, cored and grated
1/2 lemon, zest microplaned
1/2 orange, zest microplaned
110gr shredded suet
60gr self raising flour
110gr white bread crumbs (from a day old loaf)
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
½ tsp mixed spice
225gr soft brown sugar
2 medium eggs
. pinch of salt
Makes 1 x 1.2 litre or 2 x 570ml puddings in basins
Place all of the dried fruits into a bowl and pour the Buckfast over – cover well and leave for a couple of days in the fridge.
Strain the soaked fruits, keeping the Buckfast.
In another (large) bowl mix the suet, flour, breadcrumbs, sugar, spices and salt – mix well.
Then mix in the zests, peel, nuts, apple and finally the drained soaked fruits.
In another bowl beat the eggs with the reserved Buckfast pour all over the dry mixture and stir – this is a big job to do so you can cheat by using a machine, but as its Christmas everyone in the family should give the pudding mix a stir for good luck – the mix should be a dropping consistency if it’s a touch dry add a little more Buckfast.
Cover bowl with cling film and put in the fridge overnight for the flavours to develop.
Grease your chosen (size) pudding basin with plenty of unsalted butter.
Pack in the mixture and level off evenly, cover with a circle of greaseproof paper then a pleated piece of tin foil sealing around the rim of the basin/s well.
Steam pudding/s for 8 hours minimum, check from time to time that the pan you’re steaming in doesn’t boil dry!
When done – cool and store (best made in late October/November)
When needed steam for 2 hours and serve with a drizzle of Buckfast over the top of the piping hot pudding and a good dollop of clotted cream.
©martinblunos for Buckfast Tonic Wine