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TRADITIONAL ENGLISH CHRISTMAS PUDDING 
4 oz flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
4 oz breadcrumbs
1/2 lb suet (beef suet is best but vegetarian will work)
4 oz white sugar
4 oz dark brown sugar
6 oz sultanas
6 oz raisins
6 oz currants
juice and zest of one orange
juice and zest of one lemon
2 eggs, beaten
2 dessert spoons of black treacle
2 tablespoons brandy

This was my Great-Grandmothers recipe. It is best made a few weeks before Christmas, then stored in a cool dry place (no need to refrigerate). To serve, you can either steam the whole pudding again for a couple of hours, or heat individual portions in the microwave. It is traditional to serve Christmas Pudding with brandy butter, but in my family we have always preferred double cream.

Tip - use a fine grater to get the zest off the citrus, before you squeeze the juice out.

Mix together the dry ingredients thoroughly. Add the orange and lemon zest. Mix the juice and the brandy into the beaten eggs, then pour all the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix. Add the black treacle and mix well.

If you are so inclined, it is a nice tradition to get every member of the family to come and give the pudding a stir and make a wish at this point.

The mixture should hopefully be a dropping consistency, if not, add a little milk.

Line a medium-sized pudding basin with a small round of greaseproof paper and grease the whole thing well. Fill with the mixture not quite to the top. Cover with more greased greaseproof paper, then foil, and tie with a string.

Stand on an upturned saucer in a pan of water (the water should come about 2/3 up the sides of the basin). If you don't have a pudding cloth, put a long strip of folded foil underneath to help you to lift the basin out later. Cover loosely and steam for 5 - 6 hours, frequently topping up the water. Once cooked, remove from the water and allow to cool, then re-cover with fresh greaseproof and foil and store in the basin.

Submitted by: Elaine Coates
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