It is difficult to make Christmas pudding in small batches – it just doesn’t seem right – so make plenty and give extras away as presents. This recipe makes enough for two large basins but you can make whatever size you want. Only the cooking times will vary. I usually make the puddings in September and store it in a dark cool place or in the fridge until Christmas. They can, however, be kept for a year if refrigerated."
The flavours of Matusalem Sherry are so intense it is almost like drinking Christmas pudding – not a wine for glugging. Surprisingly, Port is a good match for the pudding and you can carry on drinking it with the Stilton afterwards “à l’Anglaise”. But at home we usually have Sauternes – à la Française!
Put all the ingredient in a very big mixing bowl – or even the kitchen sink! Mix well, then cover and refrigerate for at least 24hours – if you don’t have space in the fridge, just leave in a cool place. Fill the pudding basins up to 2cm below the rim. Cover with greaseproof paper, then a cloth and tie tightly with a string. Place in a double boiler or steamer and cover. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, topping up with boiling water when necessary. Transfer to a bain-marie or a shallow pan filled with water and bake in the oven, 150°C / gas 2, for a further hour and half without the lid. Remove and check whether the pudding is cooked by gently pressing the top with your fingers – it should be firm to the touch. Alternatively, insert a knife into the pudding – it should come out clean. Leave to cool. Tie on a clean cloth and wipe the basin before putting away.
To serve, put the pudding back into a double –boiler or steamer with a loose-fitting lid and simmer for 3 hours. Turn out on to a dish. Warm some brandy or dark rum, pour over the pudding and ignite to serve. Accompany with some double cream.