If I had known how easy making Christmas pudding was, I'd have done it years ago. Topping up boiling water for 8 hours in a steamy kitchen would be an enormous faff UNLESS of course you had a trusty slow cooker! It's a doddle, definitely better than the shop bought version (which are pretty nice anyway) and you still have time to make one for next week. 15 minutes prep time and you're done with all the crowns and accolades that befit a domestic god or goddess coming your way....
By the way, I've only given this in metric as I suspect Christmas pudding is pretty much unknown outside the UK but if you need it in cups, let me know in comments and I'll do my level best ;>)
Credit for the majority of this recipe must go to Katie Bishop of the "Slow Cooking" book fame.
Ingredients for 8:
Butter for greasing
100g golden caster (or soft brown) sugar
100g light shredded suet
50 g plain flour
50g fresh white breadcrumbs
(25 g flaked almonds - I omitted these as my Dad can't have nuts)
Finely grated zest of one orange
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
small pinch salt
2 large eggs, beaten
75ml brandy (or rum) plus extra for soaking
2 pint pudding bowl
string (about 1m)
Preheat the slow cooker to High (important step) and butter a 2 pint/1 litre pudding basin or pyrex bowl. Leave the bowl in the slow cooker to warm as you do your mixing so it won't crack with heat shock as it goes in.
Mix the dry ingredients together then stir in the eggs and brandy till well combined.
Spoon everything into the pudding basin (having removed it from the slow cooker).
Cover with a double layer of baking parchment then a layer of foil and tie the string to hold them on and to provide a handle for lifting the pudding into and out of the slow cooker. (See the photo)
Lower the pudding basin back into the slow cooker. Pour boiling water carefully around the edges until the basin is about 1/2 to 3/4 submerged.
Cook on High for about 8-10 hours, topping up water if necessary (it shouldn't be unless your slow cooker has a silly steam vent (which they shouldn't - I've covered mine with an elastoplast!)
Remove from the cooker, cool completely unless eating immediately and replace the parchment and foil with another clean set.
Store in the cupboard for up to 3 months, adding brandy or rum now and again if you'd like, although it's already pretty boozy without the extra feeding!
On Christmas Day, either repeat the cooking method, cooking for 4 hours on High or, far more sensibly, cook it for 5-7 minutes in the microwave depending on the strength of your microwave. We did it for 6 in our 800W.
Serve with brandy butter, cream, ice cream, custard or whatever your family likes. Obviously bring flaming to the table!
This was luscious! It was lighter in colour and in texture than the shop bought puddings I've had but the fruity and boozy flavours all came through and we thought it was fabulous. It has been eaten over the last few days in deference to the blog and it was so simple I whipped up another on for Christmas Day yesterday morning with a toddler around my ankles. It's worth noting that this really count as as baking and I am NOT a baker. It's that simple. May I have my domestic goddess crown now, please?
PS I actually made this one afternoon, left the bowl covered in the fridge over night then cooked it the next day so it is flexible if you don't want to make a pudding before work.