Monday, December 17, 2007

Recipe for Christmas Pudding

My granny was an excellent cook of the old fashioned English kind. She made dishes like Lancashire lamb chops with peas, amazing Yorkshire puddings, perfect shepherd pies (her recipe for this is here) and all manner of traditional English puddings, many involving large amounts of suet.

I don’t have many regrets in life but one of my biggest is that I never wrote down all my granny’s recipes before she died. I used to spend hours in her kitchen as a child, helping to shell fresh peas, or whisking up pudding batter. I know a few of her recipes, but most of the food she prepared seemed to materialise magically, and I never learned exactly how.

She died suddenly when I was 21 on my graduation day. I think if I had been older I would have appreciated what she knew much more, and made an effort to record her recipes.

Luckily I do have the recipe for one of her most famous family puddings: ‘Granny’s Christmas pudding, there’s no flour in it you know.’

Every Christmas dinner, as we were all tucking into this most delicious of British Puddings, my Granny would wave her knife at us and pronounce ‘Mmmmm. Do you know what makes this pudding so light? There’s no flour in it you know. Just breadcrumbs.’ And every year we would humour her and pretend that she didn’t tell us this nugget of information every year, without fail.

Having said this I can confirm that her Christmas pudding was the best I’ve ever tasted. It was actually really light, and shop bought puddings I’ve had since have been so heavy and disgusting in comparison, and full of hard lumpy bits of peel.

The Christmas after Gran had died we found a pudding in the cupboard that she had made the previous year, and I swear it was the best ever. We all savoured the delicious light texture, waved our knives and asked each other ‘Did we know why it was so light? No? tell me why! Because there’s no flour in it you know!’

I made my first pudding last year. It wasn’t quite right because I didn’t make it early enough, and I didn’t have a steamer big enough to fit my pudding basin in, but it was a pretty near approximation. This year I have left it far too late, and will be making my pudding tonight. This is a slight disaster – the concoction has to steam for 7 hours, so I will be setting my alarm for 2 in the morning to go and turn it off. It is also supposed to mature in the larder for a couple of months. A week will have to suffice.

Last year I made 3 puddings, and saved one for this year. Unfortunately I threw it out in September when we moved house in a fit of de-cluttering. How silly of me. A Christmas pudding matured for a year would be a pudding fit for the Queen.

So lucky you, I’ve decided to share this secret family recipe. Only because I know you’ll never make it. And that’s your loss, because it truly is the best pudding you’ll ever taste.

½ ld Breadcrumbs
½ lb currants
½ lb rasins
½ lb sugar
½ lb suet ( I use vegetarian suet)
Large grated carrot
Large grated apple
5 eggs

(NO FLOUR you know, that’s why it’s so light)

Mix all the ingredients together and divide into 3 pudding basins. Cover with muslin or foil and tie around the rim of the basin. Gather up the skirt of the muslin and tie on the top. Steam for 7 hours. Leave to mature. Steam for an hour before serving. Tip out of the pudding basin. Douse liberally in brandy or rum, turn out lights in dining room and set on fire to huge whoops of joy. Apply brandy sauce or butter and tuck in. Don’t forget to wave your knife!

9 Comments:

Blogger Chris said...

Seeing as you seem to be happy making this recipe with vegetarian suet, I think I will try this in the new year ready for next Christmas.

11:24 AM  
Blogger OboeJane said...

That sounds like a lovely light pudding. I wonder what makes it so?

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please save some for february!! - Eleanor

2:30 PM  
Blogger Twila Grace said...

Granny's Pudding sounds wonderful! I love your stories Rach!

2:49 AM  
Anonymous Gracie said...

Oh my word, just talking about that delicious pudding is making my mouth water! Can't wait to eat it! See you on friday xx

8:07 AM  
Blogger rach said...

Ther's no flour in it you know.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice story! However, since bread is made from flour, and breadcrumbs are a main ingredient, it DOES contain flour!! Bless her though - great to know she was passionate about her puds!

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Phil Jones said...

Great to find this recipe. My Gran used to make Xmas Pud and always said the same - "No Flour in it". I asked my cousin (grans granddaughter) did she have the recipe and she said no she'd lost it - so i did a search and found yours. Going to make some for xmas.

Phil

8:32 AM  
Blogger fairycake said...

Hello from Australia,
Sadly the keepers of our generations old recipe went to their graves without divulging the recipe . I had an advantage over my siblings and cousins as I spent the most time with my Grandma and her sister and several hours in the kitchen which gave me an idea as they did not cook with a recipe but by heart . I spent years trying to create a light fruity pudd until I realized the flour is what made the puddings stodgy and heavy ( frankly a Chritmas turd ) and that the breadcrumbs were indeed to stand alone in this recipe and not be paired up with flour .Does your recipe not include any spices or alcohol ?
Thaking You Kindly ,
H.

2:40 AM  

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