I’ve always been a keen home baker, and even more so now I have my trusty little helper by my side. The process may be a little slower and messier than it used to ever be, but there really is something lovely about baking cakes together on a wintry Sunday afternoon (usually while Daddy is watching football!).
Christmas, to me, is all about the food and the home cooking. For years I have always made my own Christmas cake, following a tried-and-tested family recipe. I’m rarely organised enough to make it in time for it to mature properly, but who cares…it still tastes yummy!
But I have never before attempted to make a Christmas pudding. Every year I say to myself I will, but then I chicken out. I think it’s the steam cooking that has always put me off, but now I see how silly I was as it’s actually a doddle!
Sometimes you need an easy introduction to these things. I don’t usually like to cheat when it comes to baking, but the ‘Make-a-Wish Christmas Pudding’ by Riverside Lifestyle is so homely and rustic, that it seems more like a helping hand than a shortcut.
The Christmas pudding-making kit comes complete with all of the organic ingredients needed, of the highest quality. All we needed to add was orange juice, eggs and butter (with the booze being optional, which we left out on this occasion so that Little I can enjoy some too on Christmas day). It felt like such a treat to have everything already weighed out for me, in individual bags; particularly since that’s usually the bit when Little I gets bored and fidgety and starts licking anything that’s edible and within her reach. It also really helped to reduce the usual amount of messy chaos!
Keeping to tradition, we each gave the pudding a final stir, making a wish while we did it. I’m not telling you what I wished for! I suspect Little I’s wish may have had something to do with princesses!
We then scooped the mix back into the basin that it arrived in, pushed the sixpence inside, and put on the lid. Simple! We even made a fancy string handle before steaming (so that it’s easy to lift out).
There was a slight technical hitch when I discovered I didn’t have a saucepan big enough to fit the pudding basin inside for steaming (it needs to be pretty big!), but luckily it just about squeezed inside my electric steamer. I know this isn’t quite the traditional way of doing things, but it seemed to work a treat. And three hours later…voila!
If the top looks a little bit nibbled in this photo…all I can say is I felt it was important to do a small taste test. “Cooks privilege”, my Mum calls it! It tasted delicious and it took every ounce of willpower to not eat any more. It’s now safely stowed in the freezer, ready to reheat on Christmas day.
I now feel incredibly organised having my Christmas pudding all ready in the freezer. We’re almost a little over-organised, as ‘Stir it up Sunday’, the traditional day for families to make their Christmas pudding, is actually on 25 November this year.
If you’ve never steamed a Christmas pudding before, and are a little unsure about what to do, I came across a useful instruction video.
Do you have any nice tried-and-tested Christmas recipes to share? I’d love to hear about them below…