Elsie's Christmas Pudding
½ this recipe makes 3 puddings (about 6 cups per pudding). Recipe provided by Elsie Romey
"Elsies recipe has been handed down through four generations and was first cooked in the 1650's in an original copper"
8 ounces flour (I use plain flour)
8 ounces breadcrumbs
8 ounces raisins
1 pound currants
8 ounces sultanas
4 ounces mixed peel
1 very large carrot grated (you will need at least ½ - ¾ kg)
1 pound suet (these days I use butter but you can still obtain suet from speciality stores)
8 large eggs
6 tablespoons rum (Pfeiffer Wines also suggested Pfeiffer Seriously Fine)
2 teaspoons almond essence
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 teaspoon bi-carbonate soda
1 pound dark brown sugar
Prepare fruit (leave fruit whole), pour spirit over fruit and carrot and let stand overnight in an airtight container. (It can be left standing for several days).
Cream suet (or the butter) with the sugar. Add eggs and dry ingredients. Stir in fruit. Place 6 cups of pudding mixture onto the centre of a prepared pudding cloth (½ metre square). Draw up corners/sides and tie strongly with string until you have the neck an inch and ½ long.
Place pudding into boiling water. (The water MUST cover the pudding). Rapidly boil for 7-8 hours (4-5 hours if halving this recipe). If the water goes off the boil the pudding will absorb the water.
Hang on clothes line to dry for several days. (Cloth will be stiff). This recipe is traditionally made 3 months ahead and I try to always make my puddings in September.
"If not cooking in the cloth, the no failure method for the "newer chums" is to use a 6 cup steamer lined with glad bake"
Ways to Prepare Pudding Cloth
Boil cloth in a pot of water. Wring out and spread on bench and HEAVILY coat with plain flour.
Boil the water and immerse pudding back in water. (Covering does help keep the water boiling). Boil for 2-3 hours. (I prefer to use a microwave – just peel off the cloth and wrap in glad wrap before microwaving.). Enjoy with a glass of Pfeiffer Late Harvest Muscadelle.