My favourite memory of this time of the year is : Christmas Pudding….
I personally only made it once, Adrian was a baby, he is now 19 years old. This pudding requires the Midas touch, something invisible but very present in my Da’ Amos van Schoor.
He took over from my mom years ago, the preparation, steaming watch, and finally the unveiling of the most important flavour of Christmas. I found success when I made mine years ago, so my folks taught me well, but there is a something special my Da’ has that makes it a head turner….
The aroma is positively mesmerising, completely I can only but surrender.
The are recipes with and without the brandy. Both I have tasted, both equally divine. The brandy one will however always be my most favourite. The way my Da’ uses those beautiful hands he has, I have his hands, but those fingers suit masculine dexterity better. He is a handsome man, who has been very involved in my upbringing and for that I am very proud. He once told a young man to marry A girl because he loved her, for no outside reasons, of which I don’t have to go into right now. The girl, the young man and the girl’s mother took what he said completely the wrong way and chose to defile my Da’s humanness, he’s wisdom purely because they are in my opinion very shallow, self serving examples of humanity, with blinkered vision. My Da’ is a great example of hard work, ethic, kindness, forgiveness, strength, humanity. I wish I had today the same man by my side, who disappears too often into an abyss of loneliness. But I digress, his love of God and mankind, is present when he makes our family’s Christmas Pudding. Every year my folks,my siblings, get our own pudding to take home and share with our friends and loved-ones.
Here are our favourite variants of the recipe:
Traditional Christmas Pudding
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Raisins
1 cup Dates
1 cup Currants
1 cup Margarine* This recipe would traditionally use Suet.
1 cup Shredded Carrot
1 cup Grated Potato
1 1/4 cups Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 pinch Salt
* Traditionally Suet would have been used instead of Margarine.
Mix all the ingredients together in large bowl.
Cover the bowl with tinfoil, heavy duty preferably.
Steam for 3 hours**
** To steam the pudding, use a large pot with a water hovering up the sides but far from top of pudding. Cover the pot, and cook on medium heat, water should definitely not be at a standstill. Make sure you continue to add small amounts of boiling water to the pot so that it doesn’t boil dry over the 3 hours steaming time. Gas burner is an excellent choice given the 3 hour length of steaming.
Serve with a Brown Sugar Sauce or Custard or like my brother Dave, with melted vanilla icecream.
Brown sugar Sauce :
Melt sugar & butter in a saucepan, add water, simmer till it thickens.
900g fruit cake mix
grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
225g soft butter
225g brown sugar
4 large eggs
110g self raising flour
110g bread crumbs
85g chopped nuts ( almonds or pecan)
Put fruit in in bowl, add orange zest and juice. Cover and soak overnight. Grease 2 litre ovenproof pudding bowl. Cream butter and sugar for 5 min., or until pale. Whisk in egg 1 at a time, mixing well. Add the fruit mixture with liquid and mix well. Add flour, crumbs, mix well, add cinnamon, nuts, mix. Turn batter into prepared tin, cover with foil, securely tucked in. Place in pot, add boiling, steam for 3hrs. Can be stored for 2- 3 mths in cool dry place. To serve, top with berries and creme anglaise.
Creme Anglaise Recipe
Bring 500ml milk, 500ml cream, 1 vanill pod to boil. Whisk 150g white sugar, 12 egg yolks;), in bowl until pale. whisk the hot liquid into yolk mixture, a little at a time until sugar dissolved. Return to pot and stir over very low heat until thickened. Do not let it burn.
If you’ve made an abundance you can freeze. Make sure it’s well wrapped. In an airtight container. Keeps for months.
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