Steamed Christmas Pudding in a Cloth
Who doesn’t love a Steamed Christmas Pudding in a cloth for dessert at Christmas? I know it’s not Christmas yet, but it’s not far away. Christmas items are already appearing on the shelves at the local supermarket so it’s creeping up. I just wanted to share this Steamed Christmas Pudding in a cloth recipe and have it here as a reference point so when it comes the time to start looking up recipes, it’s here. This recipe is surprisingly enough, not that hard to make compared to other recipes that you will find on the internet. This recipe has been made by four generations of my family every Christmas for at least 80 years and hopefully we will still be making it for many years to come. Enjoy!
2 cups of Plain Flour
1 cup of Sugar
2 cups of Mixed Fruit
Pinch of Salt
tsp of Mixed Spice
1 tbs Butter
Heaped tsp of Bicarb Soda
Put the tablespoon of butter into a tea cup, almost fill with boiling water and stir until it melts.
Put the Bicarb Soda into a tea cup, almost fill with boiling water and stir until dissolved.
Sift flour into bowl, add sugar, mixed fruit, salt and mixed spice. Make a well in the middle and add the butter and Bicarb mixes. Gently stir the mix and ensure that it is soft but not runny. If it is too runny you can add extra plain flour or if the mixture is too dry you can add extra boiling water.
Boil the cloth (Muslin) to sterilize it then squeeze out the excess water. Lay the cloth on a flat surface and rub butter all over the cloth (where the pudding mix will sit) then sift plain flour over the top of the butter. This prevents the pudding from sticking to the cloth and also gives the outer shell of the pudding a coating which helps to prevent water seeping in.
Pour the mixture out onto the center of the cloth and gather up the sides.
Be very careful to make sure every scrap of material is pulled up into the bunch at the top. Fold a piece of string (24 inches) in half leaving a loop at one end, wrap the loose ends around the bunched up cloth, knot it off as you go leaving the looped end hanging out. Ensure the string is tight, the mixture should be in the bottom of the sack with a gap before the string for air.
Have a stockpot quarter filled with boiling water on the stove. Place an overturned saucer in the bottom of the pot.
Place the pudding inside the pot, on the saucer, the water will temporarily cool but start boiling again, pull the string out of the pot and place the lid on firmly. The string will keep the pudding upright and help later to lift the pudding from the pot. Boil the pudding for 2 hours constantly. Check the water level at intervals and top up if required with boiling water from the kettle. Keep the water below where the string is tied around the sack.
Be careful when removing the steamed pudding from the pot, using the string gently remove, place on the bench and cut the string off. Gently unwrap the cloth, put a plate on top of the pudding and turn the plate and pudding over. The pudding will now be sitting on the plate with the bottom up. Gently remove the rest of the cloth and decorate with Holly.
Some people tend to pull the pudding out of the water and hang up by the string to cool then untie and plate. We have never waited until it cools but it might prevent any cracking that has happened to us some years.
If you are not confident in making this recipe, do a practice run as this pudding will suit any occassion
Can be eaten hot or cold and can be re-heated in the microwave oven
Can be served with cream, custard or ice-cream
Pre-decimal coins were always put in the mix, it was a tradition and still is in some house-holds (warn people first though)