Having lived in Somerset, I know I could be accused of being biased, but I love using Cider in my recipes. Here, it gives extra moisture and wonderful flavour to the dried fruits and grated apple in a traditional Christmas pudding. And as if that wasn't enough, there's another secret ingredient too - chocolate!!
- 115 g raisins
- 115 g currants
- 115 g sultanas
- 55 g chopped mixed peel
- 115 g coarsely grated carrot
- 115 g cooking apple, peeled and coarsely grated
- finely grated zest of an orange
- 100 ml cider
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tbsp black treacle
- 115 g muscovado sugar
- 115 g plain flour, sieved
- 0.5 tsp mixed spice
- 0.5 tsp nutmeg
- 0.5 tsp cinnamon
- 115 g ground almonds
- 115 g vegetable suet
- 85 g bitter plain chocolate, roughly chopped
- Grease a 1.2 litre/2 pint pudding basin, cut out a small circle of greaseproof paper and use it to line the base.
- Place dried fruits, chopped peel, grated carrot and apple and orange zest in a large bowl, pour over the cider and allow to stand for about 10 minutes.
- Add the beaten eggs, treacle and sugar to the soaked fruits and stir well to combine, then add the flour, spices, ground almonds, suet and chocolate and mix well.
- Place a large piece of foil on top of a large piece of greaseproof paper, then fold in the centre to make a pleat. Place the pleated papers on top of the pudding basin and use a long piece of string to tightly tie the papers just below the rim of the basin. With an extra piece of string, tie a long loop across the top - you can use this as a handle to help lower and lift the pudding in and out of the pan.
- Place a heatproof saucer in the bottom of a large saucepan and sit the pudding on top.
- Fill the pan with enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the basin, then cover with a tightly fitting lid and bring the water to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 7-8 hours. Fill the pan with enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the basin, then cover with a tightly fitting lid and bring the water to the boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 7-8 hours.
- Serve with clotted cream, brandy butter or lashings of custard!!
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