22nd November 2020 is Stir-Up Sunday this year – when families and bakers traditionally make their plum puds for Xmas. Do be aware that the fruit will need to be soaked in advance – at least overnight (but you could do a few days!) so you will need to get your shopping and soaking done ahead of time.
Chop larger fruit so it’s all the same size. Soak all the fruit in brandy at least overnight or a few days.
Prepare a 7″, 1 litre sized pudding bowl by buttering and flouring it and place a disc of greaseproof paper in the bottom.
Mix all the ingredients together really well – if it’s a little dry add some more brandy or orange juice.
Fill up the pudding bowl, pressing down and leaving some space at the top. Cover with a layer of greaseproof and then foil, sealing tightly with string or a band of foil. If you can make a little handle with string or foil around the top it will make it easier to pull out later.
Place in a pot with a trivet or upturned saucer in the bottom and fill 2/3 full with boiling water. Cover with a lid and leave on a low simmer for 3 hours, topping up the water as needed.
Leave to cool in the pot. Remove the old paper and foil, cover with a fresh piece of greaseproof pare and wrap tightly in cling film. Leave in a cool dry spot until Xmas.
ON CHRISTMAS DAY:
To reheat: pop back in the pot on the trivet and fill 2/3rds with hot water again. Steam for two hours (while you’re eating your Xmas lunch!)
To serve: turn out onto a plate. I usually ignite mine with vodka as I find it lights easier and for longer.
Put 150ml of vodka in a small saucepan and heat. As it starts to come to the boil quickly put a match to it and pour the flaming liquid over the pudding. It should burn for 10 seconds or so.
Brandy butter is the traditional accompaniment.