You'll need to start this recipe up to five days in advance so it takes a bit of time — but it's worth the effort.
RECIPE: Traditional Plum Pudding
30g unsalted butter for greasing
45g dried cranberries
100g fresh dates, seed removed, sliced
140g mixed peel
80g slivered almonds
150ml dry sherry or brandy
1 orange, juice and zest
250g unsalted butter
100g dark brown sugar
180 plain flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp mixed spices
200g fresh bread crumbs
30ml (approx) milk
You will need a metal pudding basin with a lid for this recipe. Grease with a couple of layers of butter and set aside. In a clean bowl, marinate all dried fruit and nuts in dry sherry or brandy and orange juice and zest for 4-5 days. In a clean bowl with electric beaters, beat together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. A
dd eggs one at a time, making sure each is incorporated before the next is added. Fold in flour and spices, followed by fruit then breadcrumbs and milk. If mix is too stiff, add more milk. Pour mixture into basin, place a round of baking paper over top of mix, then a layer of foil followed by lid.
Gently lower into deep pot. Fill three-quarters with water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and continue to cook for 4 1/2 hours. You will need to keep topping up the water as it cooks.
Once the cooking time is up, remove from heat and allow to stand in water overnight or until cool. Once cool, remove pudding from basin and wrap in foil until Christmas Day. To reheat, you can pop pudding wrapped in foil into the oven for 1 hour on 170C or until warmed through. Serve with lashing of boozy cream or custard.