Christmas is coming …

It’s November. Cold and dark evenings. We need some sharp citrusy and warm spicey smells to get us in the mood for the pre-Christmas madness to come in December. We are puddinging and mincemeating. Read on…

I don’t understand why anyone would buy a Xmas pud. So easy to make your own, the only onerous bit is the shopping but that’s hardly an issue since we’re all in and out of the supermarket all the bloomin time anyways. The recipe should really just read – buy the stuff, mix it up, cook it, easy peasy lemon squeasy but here it is in full just in case.


500g mixed dried fruit (best quality, don’t scrimp here)mixed fruit soaking in rum and raki
RUM & RAKI (lots)
100g chopped pecans and walnuts
125g veg suet
50g brown breadcrumbs
125g dark brown muscovado sugar
2 tblsp treacle
50g plain flour
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
zest and juice of a lemon and an orange
2 eggs
(Sue forgot the eggs. The night -and possibly Christmas itself – was saved by Hannah-round-the-corner)

At least a day before start to soak your fruit – we used a mixture of rum (because we like it and it reminds us of Mojitos) and Raki for a waft of liquoricey exotica. Add as much as the fruit needs and keep adding it if the fruit keep soaking it up.

Next day, combine the fruit, nuts, suet, breadcrumbs, sugar, treacle, flour and spices and mix well. Then mix together the eggs and zests and juices and add to the fruit.Christmas pudding mixingChristmas Pudding mixing

Butter your bowl and spoon in the mixture. We scaled up this recipe and made some big puds and little ones too. It’s REALLY nice to cook a little one – ramekin size – and eat it on the day of cooking. Put the pudding in a saucepan of water with the water level halfway up the pudding and gentle simmer away for 2 hours. When the pud is cooked, let it cool then keep in the fridge til Christmas. To reheat on Xmas day – simmer for 45 mins or zap in the microwave.

The smell when you’re grating, chopping, mixing and cooking is absolutely delish.
Whilst the puddings were cooking we made mincemeat…


500g mixed fruit
3 apples, grated
150g best-quality mixed peel
zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
juice of 1 lemon
3/4 tsp ground cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon
150g dark brown soft sugar
your alcohol of choice

Put everything in a big bowl and mix thoroughly. Tradition has it that everyone should have a stir starting with the littlest – this had the dangerous potential to start a sizest arguement so we just took turns as WE ARE GROWN UPS. Spoon the mincemeat into sterilised jars up to 2cm from the top and top up with your chosen liquor. We had access to a fine selection belonging to someone who wasn’t there so we went for Mandy’s fave Metaxa. Pop on the lids and keep in the fridge topping up the liquor every now and then as it needs. Delish in teeny tiny bite sized pies as everyone knows but we are going to have a go at mincemeat ice-cream if there’s any left in January. Nice.


Feeling super virtuous looking at our stack of jars we were also hungry. The tiny ramekin-sized puds were done so we tipped one out onto a warmed plate, splashed it generously with brandy and set it afire! We ate it with unpasteurised Jersey cream and Meadow Farm ice-cream from Blackburn & Haynes Farm Shop in Headley.

Christmas pudding aflameChristmas pudding with cream and ice-cream

We drank…
 mulled wine of course, first of the year. We also had a snifter or two of the Metaxa and Brandy to help us decide which to use haha.

We talked about… impending operations, Skyfall, Farnham Food Initiative, kids at Uni, mice in kitchens (not the one we were cooking in!), OHs in SA, visiting scousers, stilleto marks in wooden floors, Christmas singing falalalala

8 thoughts on “Christmas is coming …

  1. Pingback: The ultimate Christmas Pud |

  2. Ooooh my mouth is watering. I would love to have a go at the above. There are only 2 of us in the house and neither of us have particularly sweet cravings so if I made the pud it would probably last us for a good couple of months. Would it be a good idea to freeze half of it or does the alcohol content keep it fine kept in a cake tin? Also I would be interested in the mincemeat ice-cream – I do a very passable French Vanilla and am happy to broaden my repertoire with a bit of help ….. cheers Eleanor

    • Tell you what would be best…using the quantities in our recipe, make 2 puds. Eat one on the day you make it – it tastes extra good when it’s not even Christmas yet – and keep the other one in the fridge til Christmas day. If you don’t finish either, you can fridge the leftover and reheat the next day in slices fried in butter, naughty but nice. Ours were delicious with the cream and icecream from Blackburn & Haynes in Headley – definitely worth a visit. We are going to try the mincemeat ice cream in Jan if we have any mincemeat left! There’s a really ace sounding easy recipe from Nigel Slater which is just whip a carton of double cream, stir in a carton of good quality custard then stir in your mincemeat then freeze in a tub and stir every half hour or so to break up the crystals. Let us know how you get on if you do it before we do!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s