Life

James Street South Cookery School: How to make classic Christmas pudding and Christmas stuffing

Christmas pudding mix
Niall McKenna

CHRISTMAS entertaining is all about being prepared and, in the cookery classes over the next couple of weeks, all our customers go away with ingredients that can be made now and stored for Christmas Day.

One of the key festive recipes is for Christmas pudding and, as all lovers of puddings know, the longer you store it the tastier it becomes. This is the recipe we use in the restaurant.

The stuffing recipe is a long standing one that our chefs have adapted over the years. This year we may even have a vegan stuffing on the menu which is surely a sign of the times!

The pudding can be stored in an airtight container and the stuffing, once made, can be frozen. There's always lots to do for Christmas entertaining, so ticking these off your list over the coming weeks can make things a bit more manageable. And, if you want to get ahead of yourself for 2020, why not check out the Cookery School schedule for 2020 at Cookinbelfast.co.uk

:: Individual Christmas pudding (makes 8)

250g sultanas

250g raisins

250g currants

3 tbsp brandy

Zest and juice of 2 oranges

2 tsp mixed spice

50g almonds, chopped

200g light brown sugar

100g butter, softened

2 large eggs, beaten

75g fresh white breadcrumbs

75g plain flour

Place the sultanas, raisins and currants in a large bowl and pour over brandy, orange zest and juice and mix well and cover. Leave overnight for mix to absorb.

Add the remaining ingredients and beat until well combined. Grease 8 175ml pudding basins and then line with a disc of grease proof paper.

Spoon in the pudding mix between the pudding basins. Cover the top of each pudding basin with a buttered piece of tin foil, with butter side down on each pudding basin and tie with piece of string so no steam can escape.

Arrange the basins in the base of a steamer and put steamer on top of saucepan filled with water and bring to the boil, simmer for 2.5 hours.

Check water regularly and top up as necessary.

Remove foil and replace with a new piece of foil. These can be stored in fridge or frozen.

To serve, you need to steam again for up to 90 minutes until piping hot and serve with a brandy cream.

:: Sage, onion stuffing and apricot

4 onions, diced fine

10 sage leaves fresh

50g butter

250g breadcrumbs

250g sausage meat (optional)

250g apricots

100ml milk

2 cloves garlic

Salt and pepper

Finely chop the onion and garlic and fry in butter on medium heat until soft for approximately 10 minutes. Add in sausage meat and cook out for 10 minutes until thoroughly cooked. Add in the breadcrumbs, apricots and milk, the best way to do breadcrumbs is put in a blender and mix up.

Add in the sage and season with salt and pepper. Set stuffing mixture onto a sheet of parchment that is laid on top of tin foil, then roll the mixture into a sausage shape and twist the ends – it’ll look like a Christmas cracker (6inches long by 4 inches wide).

Place on a greased tray and put in oven at 180C for 30 minutes.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 for the first month to get full access