Collecting family recipes is one of my favourite things. And this one is a doozy.
My friend Anna is one of the best cooks I know. She's also super organised and despite having just had a baby, (hello Miss Polly) having a toddler in tow (hello Mr Fred) and running a growing interior design business here in Orange, Derham Interiors, is completely ready for Christmas.
So when, I think, Anna realised the depth and breadth of my lack of preparation this year, she invited me over to cross one thing off the list - the pudding.
Tom and I came with dried fruit and Ninja Turtles in hand. He and Fred played while we baked and a few hours later, we left with the pudding done and a much-needed boost in Christmas spirit.
Anna's Christmas pudding comes from her late Grandmother's recipe collection and I feel very honoured to be able to share it here. It really is very easy - you don't even have to soak the fruit so it can be made even the day before Christmas - and it tastes amazing.
Grandma Booth's Christmas Pudding225g butter
225g caster sugar
110g mixed peel, chopped
225g Granny Smith apples, grated (unpeeled)
225g soft breadcrunbs
55g plain flour
1/2 cup blanched almonds, chopped
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 cup brandy
Cream butter and sugar together and add eggs, once at a time, beating well between each addition. Fold in the dried fruit, peel, apples, flour, almonds, breadcrumbs and mixed spice. Finally, mix in the brandy and spoon into a buttered pudding basin. Cover with a layer of baking paper and secure tightly with string. Finish with a tight layer of foil and place in a large saucepan of boiling water over high heat. Boil for six hours, topping up the water as you go.
Once cooked, Anna suggests you keep your pudding in its basin, in the fridge until needed. Then just return it to that large saucepan, fill with boiling water and cook for 20 minutes or so, just until heated through.
Turn out onto a pretty plate and serve with cherries and/or berries and almond cream.
Almond and brandy creamThis is Anna's recipe and it's just beautiful with her Christmas pudding. Much nicer I think than a rich hard sauce and far easier than a custard. Serve any leftovers on boxing day with a bowl of cherries to dip into.
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon brandy
1/2 cup whipped cream
125 g toasted slivered almonds
Beat the egg yolks and sugar until creamy, add brandy and fold in cream and toasted almonds. Makes about 1 cup.
If you haven't made a Christmas pudding this year, or even ever - please take my word for it and give this recipe a go, it's completely fool proof and delicious. T