Martin Shaw’s Christmas Pudding
A lovely old-school Christmas pud, courtesy of actor Martin Shaw!
Make this in November, cover in foil and store in a cool place until Christmas. It isn’t difficult and mixing the ingredients is easy. However, you need to set aside several hours to steam in the traditional way so choose a day or evening when you’ll be around. Set your phone or alarm every hour and top up the water if it needs. It can also be made more quickly in a pressure cooker, but you’ll need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to do that as different models vary. And there is also the possibility of slow cooking – see below!
Slow cooking (Crockpot)
We haven’t trialled this method but it looks good and could be done overnight.
A 2 pint /1 litre pudding takes about 13 hours to cook on ‘high’. Smaller ones would need to have less time. This pudding is 4pints/under 2 litres, so check that your slow cooker is large enough to take a bowl that size first. Alternatively, halve the recipe quantities. Put the pudding in the slow cooker, pour in boiling water, to about 2/3 up the side of the basin and then cover and leave. It will not boil dry or spoil. If the bowl is slightly too tall for the lid on your slow cooker, just cover the top of the cooker and the pudding with a sheet of foil and tuck it under the rim, then put the lid on top to weigh it down. Just check the water first thing in the morning and top up with a little boiling water if it’s getting too low.
The good news is that once it’s cooked you can reheat quickly by either steaming – or faster still in a microwave. If using the microwave method, remember that the high sugar content in dried fruit makes puddings like this burn if cooked for too long! Start off with half a minute on high, test then try another half a minute or so.
Optional extras / notes
20-30 minutes preparation + 6 hours boiling (less if pressure-cooked)
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