The most memorable sight this week was Glen's face when, about an hour after he had put a batch of Christmas puddings in the oven (and they take quite a lot of preparation) I went to use the food processor and found the 12 ounces of bread crumbs he had made but omitted to add to the pudding mix. When I asked what these bread crumbs were for, his jaw dropped and his eyes widened and possibly even dampened a little. His paralysis was brief but discernable, but then we both went into action and, although unsure whether this was the right thing to do, we emptied out each individual Christmas pudding, remixed the now hot fruit, spices, eggs, butter and sugar adding the bread crumbs, and then repotted them, and got them back into the oven.
I am now snowed in at Killinchy where I spend my weekends, so I haven't seen the finished puddings. Hopefully they will have been forgiving.
I have been making this recipe for Christmas pudding for about 35 years. It came from my mother and doesn't have any suet in it, which I think makes it a bit lighter. My brother also claims to make our mother's Christmas pudding in his restaurant.........I think he must have deviated somewhere from the original, as he has quite a different result.
Yes, my brother and I both have restaurants, and they are within five miles of each other. We share quite a lot of customers, and are looking forward to doing some joint marketing in 2011. I include the (real!)pudding recipe here:
1/2 lb currants
3/4 tin Guinness
1/4 lb mixed peel
rind and juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 lb butter
1/2 lb soft brown sugar
4 eggs beaten
2 oz plain flour
2 oz blanched almonds
6 oz white bread crumbs
Soak the fruit in the Guinness overnight.
Cream the butter and sugar until light.
Add the eggs, gently.
Mix the dry ingredients, and then mix everything together.
Line two small or one large pudding bowl with greaseproof paper.
Fill the bowl to within a centimeter of the top.
Cover with pleated greaseproof paper, and secure with string.
Place on a trivet in a saucepan, add water to half way up the bowl.
Cover tightly and steam for 4 or 5 hours, checking the water every half hour or so.
In The Bay Tree I now make individual puddings in a steamer in the oven