Light Christmas Pudding

English Country Cooking at Its Best
by Caroline Conran
Villard Books 1985

1/2 cup whole pieces of candied fruit
2 slices fine fresh wholegrain bread without crusts
1 1/2 cups large seedless raisins (untreated sun-dried muscatels)
1 1/2 cups sultanas (untreated sun-dried if possible)
1 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup raw sugar
pinch of sea salt
6 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
grated rind and juice of 1/2 large or 1 small lemon
2 eggs
3 tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice

Pour boiling water over the candied fruit and let it soak for 3-4
minutes, then drain and cut into slivers. Make fine bread crumbs with
the wholegrain bread. Mix together the large raisins, separated from
each other with your fingers if necessary, sultanas, candied fruit,
ground almonds, bread crumbs, sugar and salt. Stir in the butter or rub
it into the dry ingredients with the fingertips, until it is well mixed
in. Add the grated lemon rind and juice.

Beat together the eggs, brandy and milk, whisking them well, then add
them to the bowl and mix. Lastly, add the spices, using more or less
according to your tastes. Let everyone stir the pudding for good luck,
then put the mixture into a buttered 3 3/4 cup pudding mold. Push in
silver charms or a silver coin.

Place a circle of buttered waxed paper on top of the mixture, cover the
top loosely with a round of kitchen foil and tie it on with a piece of
string, making a handle across the top to lift the pudding.

Steam the pudding for 4 hours.

On Christmas Day, steam the pudding for 1 hour and serve with a light
brandy sauce. Don't forget to pour heated brandy over the top and set
it alight as the pudding makes its grand entrance at the Christmas
dinner table.

Some notes she mentions prior to the recipe.

Make this pudding a few days before Christmas or on Christmas Eve if
you like, it needs no maturing. First and highly important is the
shopping. To make a really good pudding you must go the the health food
store and buy proper golden Demerara sugar, untreated sun-dried
muscatels or jumbo raisins -- these are the sticky ones, not the ones
you eat with almonds -- and untreated sun-dried sultanas. Find an
old-fashioned grocer who sells whole pieces of candied orange, lemon,
and citron peel and buy some of each -- do not buy chopped candied
fruit or worse still, those boxes of mixed dried fruit. It is just not
good enough for this pudding.

You will need ground almonds -- I make them myself, buying whole
skinned almonds and grinding them a bit coarser than the ones you buy
already ground.

On the day you are going to make the pudding, buy or make a loaf of
wholegrain bread that has air in it -- you must not use a brick-like
loaf or the bread crumbs will not be a light as they should be.

End of recipe quote

I haven't tried anything out of this book yet, so I can't 
guarantee this recipe. Good Luck.

Jan Moore