Tuesday, December 31, 2013


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
new year gif Animated Happy New Year gif Images Celebration Graphics



 CUBBIES   
Happy new year graphics 
Love From Aunt Jeannie
Have a Fantastic Year

Monday, December 30, 2013

Genie's 'Speedy/on the Run'... Chicken stew

Picture of Chicken Stew Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 carrot, peeled, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 chicken breast with ribs (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can organic kidney beans, drained (rinsed if not organic)
  • Serving suggestion: crusty bread

Directions

Heat the oil in a heavy 5 1/2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, and onion. Saute the vegetables until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme. Add the chicken breasts; press to submerge.

Bring the cooking liquid to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently uncovered until the chicken is almost cooked through, turning the chicken breasts over and stirring the mixture occasionally, about 25 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken breasts to a work surface and cool for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Add the kidney beans to the pot and simmer until the liquid has reduced into a stew consistency, about 10 minutes.

Discard the skin and bones from the chicken breasts. Shred or cut the chicken into bite- size pieces. Return the chicken meat to the stew. Bring the stew just to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. I just use skinless and boneless chicken...much faster.

Ladle the stew into serving bowls and serve with the bread. Tasty, comforting on a cold wet day and nutritious; best of all, fast. If you need more spice ( sometimes we like it hotter) Add some 'chipotle/mango ' spice...Awesome.You are a great cook

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sausage Sweet Onion 'n' Spaghetti

Makes 5 servings

6 .......................ounces  uncooked spaghetti
3/4 ...................pound Italian turkey sausage links , casing removed
2 .....................teaspoons olive oil
1 .....................sweet onion , thinly sliced
1.....................pint cherry tomatoes  , halved
1/2 ................cup loosely packed  fresh basil  leaves  , thinly sliced
1/2 ...............cup half-and-half cream
Shaved Parmesan cheese  (optional)

1 .           Cook spaghetti  according  to package  directions  . Meanwhile , in a large skillet  over medium heat  , cook sausage  in oil  for 5 minutes . Add onion ; cook 8 to 10 minutes  or until meat is no longer pink  and onion is tender .
2 .           Stir  in tomatoes  and basil  , heat through . Add  cream ; bring to a boil . Drain spaghetti  ; toss  with sausage  mixture . Garnish with cheese if desired .
Heart healthy

Friday, December 27, 2013

Bolognese Ragu

Makes 4 serving

1/2 .....................pound Italian turkey sausage  links , casing removed
1 .......................large carrot , finely chopped
1 .......................celery rib , finely chopped
1 .......................small onion , finely chopped
1 .......................can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1/2 ...................cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 ......................tablespoons  balsamic  vinegar
1/4 ...................teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 ...................cup fat-free milk
4 ......................cups  uncooked  spiral pasta
2 ......................tablespoons  prepared pesto
1 ......................tablespoon  chopped ripe olives

1 .          Crumble sausage  into a nonstick Dutch oven . Add the carrot , celery and onion ; cook  over medium heat  until meat is no longer  pink . Drain .
2 .           Stir in the tomatoes  , broth  vinegar  and pepper flakes . Bring to a boil  . Stir in milk  . Reduce heat , simmer  uncovered  for 1 to 1/2 hours  or until thickened  , stirring occasionally .
3 .           Cook pasta according  to package  directions  . Stir pesto  and olives  into meat sauce  . Drain pasta  , serve with meat sauce .
Heart healthy

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Jonny, Sha, Jenny, Man, Chris, Sheryl & Bubba
Lots of love
&
Happy Christmas Wishes
Christmas snowman
Aunt Jeannie 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Tiramisu

Make 12  servings

A fix ahead  dessert is just what a speedy meal needs . This Italian delight  is the perfect  way to cap it off .

1/2 ....................cup strong brewed coffee
2 .......................2 tablespoons  coffee liqueur
2 .......................packages  (8 ounces each) cream cheese , softened
2/3 ...................cup sugar
2 ......................cups  (16 ounces) sour cream
1/4 ...................cup 2% milk
1/2 ...................teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ......................packages  (3 ounces each) ladyfingers  , split
1 .....................Tablespoon  baking cocoa

1 .           In a large  bowl , combine coffee and liqueur  ; set aside .
2.           In a large bowl , beat cream  cheese and sugar  until smooth . Beat  in the  sour cream  , milk and vanilla until blended .
3.           Layer  1 package  of ladyfingers  in an ungreased  11x7-inch dish  brush with half  the coffee mixture  . Top with half  of the cream cheese  mixture  . Repeat  layers ( dish will be full).
4 .         Cover  and refrigerate  for 8 hours  or overnight . Just before  serving , place  a cookie stencil on top  of the dessert , if desired  and sprinkle  with cocoa.
Heart  healthy

Thursday, December 19, 2013

White Chocolate Mousse & Gingerbread Trifle

Prep / Total time : 3 hours ... Serves 8 ... Can make ahead 
 
This trifle is three desserts in one : Mousse , Gingerbread and caramel  . Each part is delicious on it's own . 
Gingerbread :
Nonstick cooking spray
1-1/4 ..................cups  all-purpose flour
1-1/2 ..................teaspoons ground ginger
1 ........................teaspoon  baking soda
1/2 .....................teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 .....................teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 ....................teaspoon  freshly grated  nutmeg
1/2 ....................cup unsulfured  molasses
1/2 ....................cup sugar
1........................stick butter , melted
1 .......................large egg
1-1/2 .................teaspoons  finely grated ginger
1 ........................tablespoon minced crystallized  ginger
1/2 ....................cup water
Mousse :
2 ....................teaspoons unflavored gelatin
4 ....................large egg yolks
1/4 .................cup sugar
3 ....................heavy cups heavy cream
1/2 .................cup whole milk
2 ....................teaspoons  finely grated lemon zest
1/2 .................teaspoon kosher salt
10-1/2 ............ounces white chocolate  , chopped
Caramel :
3/4 .................cup sugar
1/2 .................cup pomegranate seeds
** Silvered crystallized ginger  for garnish **
 
1.             Make the GINGERBREAD : preheat the oven  to 325*F. Line the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan  with parchment paper and lightly spray the bottom  and side of the pan with cooking spray.
2 .           In a bowl , sift the flour  with the ginger , baking soda , salt cloves  and nutmeg . In a large bowl , beat  in the molasses  with the sugar  and butter  at medium speed until fluffy . Beat in the egg  and the fresh  and crystallized ginger . At low speed , beat in the dry ingredients  . Gradually  beat in water . Spread the batter  in the prepared pan .
3.           Bake the  gingerbread  for about 20 minutes  , rotating  the pan once , until a tester inserted  in center comes out clean .Transfer  the gingerbread  to a rack  to cool  for 30 minutes , then turn it out  and let it cool completely , 1 hour . Refrigerate  the gingerbread  until firm  , about 1 hour . Peel off the parchment  paper  and cut  the gingerbread  into 1-inch cubes .
4 .           Meanwhile , make  the Mousse :In a small bowl , sprinkle  the gelatin  over 2 tablespoons  of water  and let stand  for 5 minutes  . In a medium bowl , beat  the egg yolks  with the sugar until fluffy .
5.            In a medium saucepan , combine  1/2 cup of the cream  with the milk  , zest and salt and bring  to a simmer . While whisking  , drizzle  the hot mix mixture  into the egg yolks until incorporated  . Transfer  the mixture  to the saucepan  and cook over low heat , stirring  until  the custard  is thickened  and coats  the back  of a spoon , about 10 minutes . Remove  from the heat  . Add the gelatin  and white  chocolate  and stir until melted . Strain  the custard  into a medium metal bow of ice water   and cool to  room temperature , stirring  about 2 minutes  . Remove the bowl from the ice bath .
6 .           In a large bowl , beat the remaining  2-1/2  cups heavy cream  until soft  peaks form . Fold  the whipped  cream  into the custard . Refrigerate  the mousse  until chilled  , about 2 hours .
7 .          Make the Caramel : In a medium  saucepan , combine  the sugar  with 3 tablespoons  of water  and cook over moderate  heat , stirring  until the sugar dissolves ; brush  down the side of the pan  with a wet pastry brush . Cook undisturbed  until a medium-amber  caramel forms , about 5 minutes . Carefully  add the pomegranate  juice  and lemon juice  and simmer until slightly thickened , about 5 minutes  . Let cool to room temperature .
8 . In an 8-inch , 2-quart  trifle bow , make  4 layers  of the  gingerbread  , mousse  and caramel . Garnish  with pomegranate seed (optional)  and crystallized  ginger slices  and serve .
Heart healthy   

Monday, December 16, 2013

 
HAVE A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY
AND MAY ALL YOUR DREAMS AND WISHES COME TRUE
 
 


 TO A VERY SPECIAL GIRL
LOADS OF LOVE AND HUGS AND KISSES
FROM AUNT JEANNIE

XOXOXOXOX
 
 
 

Gorgeously Golden Fruit Cake





This is the fruity, light cousin to that dark heavy cake, soaked in spirits, that has delighted generations of Christmas cake lovers. It delivers, as promised, a cake of apricot-pear-and-ginger goldenness and goodness. This is a gluten-free treat for the greedy; fruit cake with the emphasis firmly on the first word.
The lack of flour makes for a lusciously moist cake, but it does mean that unless you cut it into quite fat slices, it can break into fruity pieces rather than geometrically precise triangles. This is why it tastes so good of course. And, what’s more, it makes a fantastic pudding at the end of a seasonal supper.
This recipe is perfect for those of you who would prefer a change from the usual marzipan and icing covered Christmas Cake.  And it is a cake for all seasons and occasions.

Ingredients

for the cake

  • 1 ½ cups roughly chopped dried pears
  • 1 ¾ cups roughly chopped dried apricots
  • 1 ¾ cups golden raisins
  • 1 ½ sticks soft butter
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • ½ cup white rum
  • ¾ cup ginger jam (or preserve or marmalade)
  • 2 ¼ cups almond meal
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds (or mixture sunflower & pumpkin)
  • seeds from 3 cardamom pods
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 large eggs

for the topping

  • ½ cup whole blanched almonds


Holiday Hot Cake Pudding With Eggnog Cream

 
A warming, welcoming pudding full of seasonal spice that can be thrown together in a matter of minutes. Truly a comfort pudding. Sit down and have a nosh.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 teaspoons butter
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup advocaat

Thanx to Nigella Lawson

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Twixy Shortbread Bars



 
       
Makes: 48 servings
Prep 35 mins... Chill 1 hr 30 mins... Bake 350°F 20 mins... Cool 10 mins ... Stand 5 mins
 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2  cups  butter, softened
  • 1/2  cup  sugar                    
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  vanilla
  • 3  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1 13.4 ounce can  dulce de leche
  • 3/4  cup  whipping cream
  • 6  tablespoons  butter
  • 3  tablespoons  light-colored corn syrup
  • 12  ounces  semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4  teaspoon  vanilla
 
 
Directions
 
1. In a large bowl, beat 1-1/2 cups butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla; beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer; stir in any remaining flour. Cover and chill for 30 to 60 minutes or until dough is easy to handle.
 
 
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Press dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

3. Spread dulce de leche in an even layer atop cooled crust. In a medium saucepan, heat whipping cream, 6 tablespoons butter, and the corn syrup to boiling over medium heat, stirring to dissolve syrup. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and vanilla to saucepan. Do not stir. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Let stand 10 minutes at room temperature to cool slightly. Slowly pour chocolate mixture over dulce de leche layer, spreading evenly. Cover and chill 1 to 2 hours or until chocolate layer is set.
 
4. Layer bars between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Use the foil to lift uncut bars out of pan. Cut into bars. Makes 48 bars.

To Serve::

5. If desired, cut bars into smaller and/or larger squares and place on serving platter.
 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Chef's Salad With a Twist

Prep / Total time : 15 minutes ...Makes 6 servings

6 ................bacon strips , diced
1/3 .............cup white vinegar
2 ................tablespoons water
2 ................green onions  with tops , sliced
2 ...............teaspoons sugar
1/4 ............teaspoon salt
1/4 ............teaspoon pepper
8 to 10 ...... cups  torn leaf lettuce
4 ...............hard cooked eggs , chopped

1 .         In a large skillet  , cook bacon over medium heat  until crisp . Using  a slotted spoon  , removed  to paper towels  to drain.
2 .        To the hot drippings , add the vinegar  , water  , onions , sugar  , salt and pepper  , stirring  until sugar is dissolved .
3.          Place lettuce  in a salad bow  ; immediately  pour dressing  over and toss lightly . Top with egg . Serve immediately .
Heart healthy

Pot Luck Pasta Salad

Pasta salads are always well received  , but even if you're not  serving a crowd  , go ahead  and make this anyway  .. you can add  shrimp , chicken  , ham and eggs if you desire .... the salad  will keep in the refrigerate  for  2 to 3 days .

8 ...............ounces  uncooked  spiral pasta
1-3/4 .........cups fresh  broccoli florets
1-1/2 .........cups fresh cauliflowerets
8 ...............ounces Monterey Jack cheese  , cubed  ( cheese of your choice)
1 ...............can (6 ounces) pitted ripe olives  , drained and halved
1/2 .............cup quartered cherry tomatoes 

DRESSING :
1/3 .............cup olive oil
1/4 .............cup white wine  vinegar
1-1/2 ..........teaspoon Dijon  mustard
1 garlic clove , minced
1 ................teaspoon dried basil
1/2 .............teaspoon salt
1/4 .............teaspoon pepper

1 .          Cook pasta  according  to package  directions . Drain  and rinse in  cold water  . In a large bowl  combine the pasta  , broccoli , cauliflower , cheese  , olives  and tomatoes .
2 .           In a small bowl , whisk the dressing  ingredients  . Pour over  salad and toss  to coat . Refrigerate  until serving .

Snowy Raspberry Gelatin Mold

Prep : 30 minutes + Chilling   ... Makes 8 servings

1 .............envelope  unflavored gelatin
1/2 ..........cold water
1 .............cup half-and-half cream
1/2 ..........cup sugar
1 .............package (8 ounces) cream cheese , softened
1 ............teaspoon vanilla  extract
1 ............package (10 ounces) frozen sweetened  raspberries , thawed
Fresh raspberries (optional)

1 .    In a small bowl , sprinkle  unflavored  gelatin  over cold water  ; let stand  for 1 minute  . In a small saucepan , combine half-and-half  and sugar . Cook and stir just until mixture  comes to a simmer . Remove  from the heat ; stir into gelatin  until dissolved .
2 .    In a large bowl  , beat cream  cheese until smooth  . Fold in gelatin mixture  . Stir in vanilla  . Pour into a 6-cup mold coated  with cooking spray . Refrigerate until  set  but not firm , about 45 minutes . 
3 .       Dissolve  raspberry  gelatin  in boiling water  ; stir  in raspberries  until blended . Carefully  spoon over cream cheese   layer . Cover and refrigerate   for at least 4 hours .
4 .        Just before  serving , unmold  onto  a serving plate  . Garnish with berries if  desired .
Heart  healthy      

Party Sausage

Prep : 15 minutes ... Cook 1 hour  ...16 servings

2 ............pounds fully cooked  smoked sausage links
1 ...........bottle (8 ounces) Catalina  salad dressing
1 ..........bottle  (8 ounces) Russian  salad dressing
1/2 .......cup packed  brown sugar
1/2 ........cup pineapple juice

1.        Cut sausage  diagonally  into 1/2-inch slices  ; cook  in a skillet  over medium heat  until lightly browned . Transfer sausages to a 3-quart  slower cooker  ; discard  drippings.
2 .       Add dressing , sugar  and juice  to skillet  ; cook and stir  over medium-low heat    until  sugar is  dissolved  . Pour  over sausages  .
3 .       Heat on low  for 1 to 2 hours or until heated  through . Serve hot  .
Heart healthy

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Dried Pear- Hazelnut Loaf

 Prep /Total time : 2 hours  and 45 minutes ... Serves  16

2-1/4 .............cups all-purpose flour
1 ....................cup granulated sugar
2 ....................teaspoons baking powder
1/2 .................teaspoon salt 
1 ....................cup buttermilk 
6 ....................tablespoons  butter , melted 
1 ...................teaspoon vanilla 
1 ..................teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 ..................teaspoon gingerroot 
2 ..................eggs
1/2 ..............cup chopped hazelnuts  (filberts) toasted  skins  removed
3/4 ..............cup chopped dried pears 
1/2 ..............cup packed brown sugar
1/4 ..............cup cold butter
2/3 ..............cup all-purpose flour
1/2 ..............cup powder sugar
2 .................teaspoons milk

1 . Heat oven  to 375*F . Spray bottom and sides  of 9x5-inch loaf pan  with cooking spray.
2 . In large bowl  , mix  2-1/2 cups  flour  , the granulated sugar  , baking powder     and salt  in medium bowl  , beat buttermilk  , 6 tablespoons  butter , the vanilla , lemon peel , gingerroot  and eggs  with wire whisk  until well blended .Stir  into flour mixture  until blended  . Stir in pears  and hazelnuts  . Spread batter into pan.
3. In medium  bowl , mix brown sugar  and 1/4 cup butter  until blended  . Stir  in  2/3 cup  flour  , pinch with fingers  until clumps  form . Sprinkle  topping over batter.
4 . Bake 1 hour  or until toothpick inserted  in  center  comes out clean  , cover with foil  during last 25 minutes  ; remove  from pan  to cooling rack . Cool completely  , about  2 hours . In small  bowl , mix  powder sugar  and milk until thin enough  to drizzle . Drizzle over loaf and  . Let stand  10 minutes before  serving ......Heart healthy 
 
          

Chocolate Pistachio Cookies



animated gif 
Indulge your chocolate craving with these decadent pistachio
delights. Like many sweets served during the Holidays, these cookies are luxurious, rich and to die for.

Ingredients

U.S.
MetricConversion chart

  • 1/2 cup(s) sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 3 ounce(s) semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 4 ounce(s) (about 1 cup) salted shelled pistachios, ground to a paste in a food processor
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/8 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 6 ounce(s) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon(s) vegetable shortening
  • Slivered, unsalted, shelled pistachios (optional), for garnish



Directions
  1. Make filling: Bring 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved; set aside.
  2. Put egg yolks in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk by hand until yolks are warm to the touch, about 2 minutes. Fit mixer with the whisk attachment. Mix yolks on medium speed; pour in sugar syrup. Raise speed to high; mix until mixture is cool and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium; drizzle in melted chocolate. Refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.
  3. Make cookies: Put pistachio paste and rest of sugar in the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth. Mix in the egg white, vanilla, and salt.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a small (about 1/4 inch) plain round tip (such as Ateco #10). Pipe 1-inch rounds onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing about 1 inch apart.
  5. Bake cookies until firm and golden around edges, about 10 minutes. Transfer on parchment to a wire rack, and let cool completely.
  6. Place cookies, bottom sides up, on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Spread 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons chocolate filling on bottom of half of the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies. Freeze 1 hour.
  7. Make glaze: Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add shortening; stir until combined. Let cool, stirring, until mixture is lukewarm.
  8. Using a chocolate fork or regular fork, hold 1 cookie at a time above bowl of chocolate glaze. Spoon glaze over cookie, letting excess drip back into bowl. Transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Garnish with slivered pistachios. Refrigerate until set, 5 minutes. Cookies can be refrigerated in single layers in airtight containers up to 3 days.
Thanx to Martha Stewart
     Joke_13

    Remember, when the hustle and bustle of Christmas is giving you a tension headache...STRESSED is just DESSERTS spelled backwards.

    Happy Holidays

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Traditional English Christmas Pudding....With Rum Sauce....

 Christmas pudding recipe


No British Christmas is complete without a Christmas Pudding. Everyone needs a great recipe, and this is my favourite  recipe.

Despite reports that the traditional Christmas pudding has fallen out of favour for lighter desserts, it is as popular as ever. Christmas pudding is best made well in advance to allow it to mature  and traditionally, is made around the end of November.

Don't be put off by the number of ingredients in this recipe, although it may seem daunting, simply assemble all your ingredients in advance, and the rest is easy. All that is left then, is to make a wish.
 

Prep Time: 45 minutes.....Cook Time: 8 hours....Marinating Time: 12 hours....Total Time: 20 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: Serves 8

 

Ingredients:

  • 1lb /450g dried mixed fruit (use golden raisins/sultanas , raisins, currants)
  • 1 oz /25 g mixed candied peel, finely chopped
  • 1 small cooking apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • Grated zest and juice of:
  • ½ large orange and
  • ½ lemon
  • 4 tbsp brandy, plus a little extra for soaking at the end
  • 2 oz /55 g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 level tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 oz /110 g shredded suet, beef or vegetarian....Your butcher should have it ( if you don't wish to use suet, you can also use shortening  [like Crisco]  that you have frozen and chopped very small)
  • 4oz /110g soft, dark brown sugar
  • 4 oz /110 g white fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 oz /25 g whole shelled almonds, roughly chopped
  • 2 large, fresh eggs

Preparation:

  • Lightly butter a 2½ pint/1.4 litre pudding basin/17cm
     
  • Place the dried fruits, candied peel, apple, orange and lemon juice into a large mixing bowl. Add the brandy and stir well. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to marinate for a couple of hours, preferably overnight.
  • Stir together the flour, mixed spice and cinnamon in a very large mixing bowl. Add the suet, sugar, lemon and orange zest, bread crumbs, nuts and stir again until all the ingredients are well mixed. Finally add the marinaded dried fruits and stir again.
  • Beat the eggs lightly in a small bowl then stir quickly into the dry ingredients. The mixture should have a fairly soft consistency.
  • Now is the time to gather the family for Christmas Pudding tradition of taking turns in stirring, making a wish and adding a few coins but we usually skip this bit in spite of our British heritage.
  • Spoon the mixture in to the greased pudding basin, gently pressing the mixture down with the back of a spoon. Cover with a double layer of wax paper or baking parchment, then a layer of aluminum foil and tie securely with string.
  • Place the pudding in a steamer over a saucepan of simmering water and steam the pudding for 7 hours. Make sure you check the water level frequently so it never boils dry. The pudding should be a deep brown color when cooked. The pudding is not a light cake but instead is a dark, sticky and dense sponge.
  • Remove the pudding from the steamer, cool completely. Remove the paper, prick the pudding with a skewer and pour in a little extra brandy. Cover with fresh wax paper and retie with string. Store in a cool dry place until Christmas day. Note: The pudding cannot be eaten immediately, it really does need to be stored and rested then reheated on Christmas Day. Eating the pudding immediately after cooking will cause it to collapse and the flavours will not have had time to mature.
  • On Christmas day reheat the pudding by steaming again for about an hour. Serve with anyone of these lovely accompaniments. Brandy or Rum Sauce, or  English custard

Christmas Pudding - Recipe for Christmas Pudding

My father always poured some brandy over the pudding when it came to the table and set it aflame. We would lower the lights and watch it glow prettily for a few seconds until the brandy burned off . This is just a custom and optional, of course, but I thought it added some zest to the flavor.

 Left over Christmas pudding can be reheated by wrapping tightly in aluminum foil and heating through in a hot oven.


**********
 
Rum Sauce
 
 There are various sauces that work well with the pudding, including this delicious Rum Sauce . If you prefer, substitute brandy for the rum, also delicious.

This Rum sauce recipe is so easy to make and can also be made a day or two in advance and refrigerated then simply reheated when the pudding is ready.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

 

Ingredients:

  • 2oz/55g butter
  • 2oz/55g plain flour
  • 1 pint/570ml milk
  • 2oz/55g fine/caster sugar
  • 5 tbsp dark Rum

Preparation:

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the flour and stir to create a thick paste. Cook for 1 minute taking care not to burn.
  • Using a hand whisk, slowly add the milk, stirring vigorously. Continue whisking until thick smooth sauce is formed (about 5 minutes). Do not have the heat too high or the base of the sauce may burn.
  • Add the sugar and whisk until dissolved. Lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes stirring from time to time.
  • Finally add the Rum and serve with the Christmas pudding.
If you make the sauce in advance, prepare up until adding the Rum, then cool, store or freeze. Reheat the sauce and add the rum before serving.

It takes some effort to get to this point but if your family has British roots or just loves rich fruity things, you will get raves. Happy Holidays