classic christmas pudding
- ¼ cup (40g) sultanas
- ½ cup (80g) currants
- ¾ cup (105g) chopped pitted dried dates
- ½ cup (70g) slivered almonds
- ½ teaspoon mixed spice
- ⅓ cup (80ml) brandy, plus ⅓ cup (80ml) extra
- ⅓ cup (80ml) sherry
- 125g unsalted butter, chopped and softened
- ¼ cup (45g) brown sugar
- ¼ cup (55g) caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup (50g) plain flour, sifted, plus ⅓ cup (50g) extra
- 1½ cups (105g) fresh white breadcrumbs
- Place the sultanas, currants, date, almonds, spice, brandy and sherry in a large bowl and stir to combine. Cover and allow to soak in a cool, dark place for 24 hours. Place the butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8–10 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add the eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Add the fruit mixture, flour and breadcrumbs and mix well to combine.
- Place a 60cm square piece of calico cloth in boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. Carefully remove from the water, allow to cool enough to handle and squeeze to remove excess water. Open the cloth out and sprinkle with the extra flour and evenly rub over the calico. Place the pudding mixture in the centre of the cloth.
- Gather the ends of the cloth together firmly. Using kitchen string, tie the cloth as close to the mixture as possible, leaving at least 15cm of string ends. Cook, covered, in a large saucepan of boiling water over medium heat for 4 hours, adding more water if needed.
- Remove from the saucepan, place in a colander, set over a bowl, and refrigerate until cold. To reheat, boil for 45 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Unwrap, pour over the extra brandy. Serves 12.
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