Catherine Leyden's quick and simple, light Christmas pudding
Catherine Leyden is well-known to TV3 viewers and as the Odlums home economist (see Catherine's Kitchen on www.odlums.ie). The unusually short list of ingredients in this pudding makes it a good option for a first-time cook. And "there is no need to top up with water if steaming in the oven".
YOU WILL NEED
125g/4oz brown sugar
50g/2oz self-raising flour
1 level tsp mixed spice
1 packet/375g fruit mix
1 tub/100g cherries
2 tbsps whiskey
Beat the margarine and sugar together, add the eggs and mix well. Stir in the flour and mixed spice, then add the fruit and cherries. Mix well.
Finally, add the breadcrumbs, stout and whiskey. Stir well. Cover and allow to stand overnight. The next day, transfer the mixture to a greased, one-litre/two-pint pudding bowl. Cover with a layer of greaseproof paper and then tinfoil, making it watertight. Steam for about four hours.
This creates a light pudding. To steam the pudding in the oven, pre-heat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2. Put two long strips of tinfoil crosswise on the work top. Place a roasting tin on the foil. Sit the pudding bowl in the tin and fill with boiling water to within one inch of the top of tin.
Quickly bring the foil around the bowl to form a parcel, which should be airtight to prevent any of the steam escaping. Place in the oven quickly and steam for four hours.