Nana Moon's Christmas Pudding
3 c Flour (unbleached)
Combine the suet, flour, sugar, bread crumbs, fruit and brandy. Cover and allow to stand
Place in two 1 1/2 quart pudding basins, cover with paper and several layers of aluminum foil, and steam for approximately 4 hours. If you do not have a steamer, you could preheat your oven to 350 F. Fill a shallow roasting pan with a half inch of boiling water. Place the pudding basins in or above the "water bath". Add more boiling water if necessary. An easy way to test for "doneness" is to lift the lid and stick a wooden toothpick into the heart of the pudding. The toothpick will come out clean when the pudding is fully cooked.
This pudding needs time to age between when you cook it and Christmas. My mother generally
makes it about a month before. Keep it in the refrigerator until the day you will be
Each pudding will serve about 8-10 people. If you halve the recipe, use 3 eggs. You can also add cherries, figs, almonds and so on when you're adding the fruit.
Old-fashioned Christmas boiled pudding -- This recipe was first written down by my
great-grandmother. It's an old-fashioned boiled pudding, and was always a special part of
Christmas in my family. Nana Moon's family came from Sofala, the site of the 1851 gold
rush in New South Wales, Australia, where they raised sheep (before the gold rush). It's
probably based on an English recipe.
The suet can be replaced with some other form of shortening. The packaged suet we used to be able to get in Australia was only about 35 percent suet, the rest was cornflour (cornstarch). Avoid that at all costs. For a few years, we bought suet from the butcher and grated it ourselves (ok, we used a blender), but no one should have to do that (at least, not during an Australian summer).
If you decide to go for authenticity and use a pudding bag, here's how:
To light the pudding, heat about 1/4 cup of brandy in a saucepan. Light it, then pour over the pudding and carry it to the table.
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