This recipe will serve 10-12 people so is a great dessert if you have lots of friends or family over for Christmas.  The great thing about Christmas pudding is it can keep for up to 8 weeks, allowing you to enjoy it over and over again this festive season.  So let’s get started.

The ingredients you will need to make your cake are:  

• 200g currants
• 200g raisins
• 200g sultanas
• 150ml sweet sherry
• 175g unsalted butter
• 175g brown sugar
• 4 eggs
• 150g self raising flour
• 100g fresh breadcrumbs (can be white or wholemeal)
• 50g chopped almonds
• 2 dsp milled organic flaxseed
• Juice of 1 large orange
• Grated rind of ½ large orange
• Grated rind of ½ large lemon
• ½ tbsp mixed spice

Now that you have your ingredients ready, let’s begin.

Step 1 – Soak your fruit:
The first step to making a great Christmas pudding is soaking your mixed fruit.  Soaking the fruit adds flavour to the pudding and brandy, sherry, whiskey and brandy are all suitable alcohols to use when soaking your fruit.  For this pudding we have opted for sherry to add a deep, rich flavour.


 Once you have added sherry to your mixed fruit, cover and leave it to soak for at least 2 hours.  This is something you can even leave to soak overnight if you are planning to start making your pudding early in the morning.

Step 2 – Prepare the mix:
Now that your fruit has soaked the sherry, it’s time to start preparing the mix.  The first thing to do is add the butter and brown sugar together in a bowl.  Mix this together until you have a grainy like mix.


  To this mix you then add 4 eggs and mix.  Once this has been mixed together, get ready to add you flour to the mix.


  When adding the flour it is important to gently fold the mix together.  This folding process is important in ensuring the pudding will be light and fluffy.  Your mix will be ready when there is a nice smooth texture like below.


Next up is the addition of the soaked fruit to your mix.  Pour the fruit into the bowl and mix this around using your spoon so that the fruit is mixed throughout it.


  To this fruit mix you then add and mix breadcrumbs.  As with the folding of flower, breadcrumbs will make the cake light and fluffy, a texture which all great Christmas puddings should have.


  You’ll be happy to know that your mix is almost complete.  Now all you have to do is add the last few ingredients to the bowl.  First, add almonds, mixed spice and the rind of ½ and orange and lemon.  This adds a real depth of flavour to the cake.  To this you then add your milled flaxseed mix – 2 dessertspoons will be enough here.


  The final ingredient you need for the mix is the juice from 1 large orange.  Add this to the mix and stir everything together.


  
Step 3 – Add mix to a bowl:
Now that your mix is complete, it’s time to add your mix to a bowl and get ready to cook it.  Use a 1.2lt (2 pint) pudding bowl and grease the inside of the bowl before spooning in your mix.


Once the mix has been added to the bowl, be sure to pack it down well, leaving a gap of 2.5cm (1 inch) around the top of the bowl.


Now all that remains to be done is to cover the bowl and add it to a pot of boiling water.  Steam puddings have a beautiful texture to them and are the best way to prepare a Christmas pudding.  Before you add your bowl to water, cut a circle from greaseproof paper that will cover the top of the bowl.  A quick tip here is to cut round a larger plate.  Grease this with paper and add to the top of the bowl.  You must then tie this in place with a piece of string.  It is important that the string is tight and there are no gaps between the paper.


  The final step in preparing your mix for the pot is to add 2 layers of foil to the greaseproof paper at the top, again, wrapping with a string.

Step 4 – Add to water:
Now that your mix is ready to cook, you fill a pot with boiling water and add your bowl with the pudding mix.  Ensure the water comes up 2/3 of the bowl.  Reduce the heat and simmer the mix for 6 hours, topping up the water when necessary.
The video below takes you on a quick guide to preparing your mix and adding it to the pot of water.

Once the mixture has finished cooking for 6 hours, remove it from the heat and leave to cool.  You can pierce it with a skewer or chopstick to ensure the mix has been cooked the whole way through.

Step 5 – Get ready to serve:
Finally, the time has come to enjoy the rewards of your hard work.  Serve up your pudding on Christmas Day as a nice treat for the family or keep it in the fridge to serve to guests visiting you over the festive period.  You can store the cake in the fridge for up to 8 weeks and reheat it by steaming for 2 hours.

Additional serving suggestions:
Add some homemade custard, a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice-cream alongside a slice of the steamed pudding for a great accompaniment that really screams of Christmas.
Decorate with icing sugar and add holly or shortbread to make the pudding a real centrepiece of your table this Christmas.

Is Christmas pudding a regular at your table over Christmas?

Why not add some flaxseed this year and let us know how your pudding looks and tastes by sharing your photos with us on Facebook and Twitter.  You can also share some of your own Linwoods inspired Christmas recipes with us and who knows, you may even feature on our recipes page for a recipe of the month.