If your are looking for a light Christmas pudding then I can recommend this recipe. I have for many years avoided the shop bought puddings because they are usually too dark, too short on fruit and too big on price, I this prefer lighter textured, non suet pudding for Christmas day, however, if this is too light for you, it will do perfectly for a St. Stephens Day or Boxing day Pudding. I found this recipe in the RTE Guide a couple of years ago, which I cut out and kept, it was a recipe from Stork Margarine and it is delicious, now a family tradition (well they have to start sometime!!)
Yield: 2 x 1ltr pudding
Serves 6-7 each
175g Self-raising flour
1tsp Mixed spice
1tsp Ground cinnamon
½tsp Ground nutmeg
225g White breadcrumbs
350g Dark brown sugar
125g Mixed candied peel
125g Glace cherries, washed, dried and halved
50g Chopped almonds/Walnuts
Finely grated rind of 1 orange
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
225g Stock margarine, melted and cooled slightly
2tbsp Brandy, rum or whiskey
½tsp Brandy essence
Place the flour, spices, breadcrumbs, sugar, dried fruit, cherries and nuts into a large bowl. Grate the rind of the lemon and orange into the mix and stir everything thoroughly.
Add the beaten egg mixture and the melted stork. Stir until everything is mixed.
The next day, stir the mixture again and divide between the two prepared bowls, smooth the tops. Line the base of both pudding bowls with a small circle of parchment paper and grease the sides with soft margarine. Set aside. Cut four large dinner plate sized pieces of parchment paper, grease each piece and then proceed to make pleats cross ways in each piece. Set aside. Cut two large dinner plate size pieces out of tin foil and pleat as before. Set aside. Cut four by 1 meter pieces of string, set aside.
Now because this is such an important stage of pudding making, I've posted up a step-by-step video on how to prepare a pudding for steaming on You Tube Video to make the process a bit easier!
Place an upturned saucer in a deep (and large) saucepan, fill with 5-6cm of boiling water, place the pudding onto the saucer. Cover with a tight fitting lid and steam for 6 hours (this method needs less topping up) The second method used is with a double steamer, top up the saucepan underneath occasionally with boiling water, steam for 6 hours.
StoringWhen they are cooked, cool completely on saucer, remove the covers and recover with ungreased, double parchment paper and store in a cool dry place, for up to one year in a cool dark place (under your bed).
When needed either steam for two hours to reheat, covered with greased parchment and foil as before or heat individual servings in a microwave for 30-40 seconds on high. Serve with brandy butter, custard, or pouring cream.
English Tea Store: History of the Christmas Pudding.
Good Food, Shared: Delia's Rich Fruit Cake (Christmas Cake)