Christmas pudding

The first of the Christmas puddings this year, look at it aflame:

IMG_0477This was the first Christmas pudding I’ve ever made too, using Dan Lepard’s recipe from Short and Sweet. We had it a week ago at a family get together and everyone apart from the kids loved it. Many moons ago, when I first had English Christmas fare, I didn’t like Christmas pudding or mince pies either and, having been brought up not to leave food on the plate, I’d take the tiniest amount possible and never ask for seconds. Then I learned (thank you Delia!) that homemade mince meat can actually taste pretty good if you put nice things in it and that I can just about tolerate Christmas pudding. This one from Dan is really good though. I made Nigel Slater’s brandy butter to go with it, recipe here and I’d definitely recommend it – ground almonds and soft brown instead of icing sugar give it a really good taste.

The pudding was one of three I’ve made this year, also have a Plum Plum pudding from Dan for Christmas Day and another traditional Christmas one for another family get together but with slightly different ingredients – golden syrup instead of treacle and a different sugar (I think – I stupidly didn’t make notes as I made them!) so will try to see if this makes a difference to taste. Again, I used dried fruit that I like and no glace cherries! And, as we had our Christmas pudding last week, the sun was setting allowing for some great views of London:

IMG_0478These photos were taken with Nikon camera, don’t think iphone camera could have handled all those pud flames.

Two puddings for Christmas

Yay! Done! Well, they’re simmering, not quite done but the weighing, stirring and the washing up is. So, have got a Plum plum pudding from Dan Lepard’s Short and Sweet, a little one:And also a big Simple Christmas pudding from same book. Unfortunately, they don’t make particularly good photos as once they’re covered, that’s it. So, here’s a photo of the big one ‘going in’:

The plum one has a fresh plum and prunes, raisins, currants, black treacle, dark brown sugar, mixed spice, pinch of cloves, butter instead of suet and a few other things. The traditional Christmas pud has everything but the kitchen sink – ale and grated carrot, breadcrumbs and all sorts of dried fruit. I’ve actually made two of those, one for an early December eating. Stupidly forgot to note down which dried fruits I’ve put into the early one – I think there were blueberries and sour cherries, possibly cranberries as well as raisins, currants, prunes. Also used black treacle and dark brown sugar. The new one has golden syrup and muscovado sugar, mostly the same dried fruits. Wander if they’ll taste any different?  Can’t wait to try.