Makes 4 pies
For the pies
4 wheels Cornish Brie, approximately 200g each
450g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp salt
120g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
150g vegetable shortening, cold
80ml boiling water
1 egg, beaten
For the pickle
250ml distilled vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp coriander seeds
6 shallots, halved
165g gherkins in vinegar, drained
For the pickle: Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt and coriander seeds in a heatproof bowl. Microwave on high for 40 secs, then stir well to dissolve the sugar and salt.
Add the shallots and gherkins to the
pickling solution. Cover the bowl, and chill
For the pies: Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl, making a well in the centre. Place the butter and shortening in the well, then pour over the boiling water.
Stir well until the fats melt, then start to incorporate the flour into them with a fork. Once a rough dough forms, turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into four pieces. Knead briefly before wrapping in cling film. Chill for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Turn out the pastry onto a floured surface. Roll each piece out into a 30cm wide round. Place the Brie wheels on their centres, and bring the pastry up and around the cheese to envelop.
Seal the pastry on top, and arrange on a large baking tray, spaced apart. Brush with the beaten egg, then bake for 30-40 mins until golden brown all over. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Serve with the pickles.
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500ml dandelion and burdock drink
550g vanilla ice cream
11 sheets of gelatine
Fill a 900g loaf tin with water, then empty without drying and cover the inside with cling film. Place five sheets of gelatine in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for 5 mins. In the meantime, pour the dandelion and burdock into a saucepan and bring to a simmer for 1 min, until lukewarm. Drain and squeeze the excess water from the gelatine sheets, and stir them into the dandelion and burdock. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and chill for 3 hrs, until set. Remove the block of jelly from the tin using the cling film, then chop into cubes. Re-wet and reline the tin with cling film, and pile the cubes inside.
Take the ice cream from the freezer and let it melt in a saucepan. Heat for 3 mins, until piping hot, then allow to cool to just above room temperature. While the liquid cools, place the remaining sheets of gelatine in a small bowl of cold water and leave to stand for 5 mins. Drain and squeeze the excess water from the sheets, and stir them into the liquid ice cream. Allow to cool completely, then pour into the tin. Chill for 3 hrs, until completely set.
Remove the jelly block from the tin, using the cling film. Slice into squares and serve.
Other jelly recipes in July/August issue of LandScape:
Strawberry and cream jellies
Fruity yogurt jelly
Strawberry and mint fizz jellies
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Fresh barbecued meals outdoors heightens the pleasure of warm summer days.
2kg chicken wings
60ml runny honey
10g root ginger
1 garlic clove
3 tbsp dark soy sauce,
plus extra to serve
2 tbsp vegetable oil
50g sesame seeds
Zest one of the lemons and set the zest aside. Peel the root ginger and then grate it, along with the garlic, into a mixing bowl. Add the soy sauce, vegetable oil, honey, the juice of 1 lemon and half of the sesame seeds and mix thoroughly. Place the chicken wings in a large tub and pour over the honey mixture. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 1 hr.
Heat the barbecue until the coals are completely white. Place the barbecue shelf on the bottom position and add the chicken. Cook for 4 mins, then turn over and cook for a further 4 mins, until the meat is white throughout. Serve, sprinkled with the remaining sesame seeds, and garnished with the remaining lemon, cut into chunks.
A bowl of homemade ice cream is the perfect accompaniment to a sunny day.
Makes 2 litres
1 tbsp vanilla paste
200g caster sugar
600ml double cream
Separate the white and yolk of all the eggs, putting the whites in a large glass bowl and the yolks in a small bowl. Whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk for 2 mins, until firm. Add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking on low power for 4 mins until the mixture makes stiff, glossy peaks.
In another large bowl, whisk the cream and vanilla paste
for 5 mins, until it just thickens and is still soft. Whisk in the
egg yolks. Fold the egg whites into the mixture, smoothing
down any lumps of egg white until it is all combined. Transfer
to a 2-litre sterilised container, cover with a lid and freeze overnight before serving.
A choice of flavours
Make the vanilla ice cream and transfer to the sterilised container. Blitz 300g blackberries in a food processor into a rough purée. Spoon the purée over the ice cream in zigzags. Cover with a lid and freeze overnight before serving.
Make the vanilla ice cream recipe using only 450ml of cream and one fewer egg. Before whisking the egg yolks into the cream, break 150g milk chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Sit the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not come into contact with the water, and no water comes into contact with the chocolate. Add the melted chocolate to the cream and yolk mixture instead of the vanilla paste. Mix thoroughly. Continue to fold the egg whites and cream mixture together, then add 100g white and 100g dark chocolate chips. Transfer to the 2-litre sterilised container, cover with a lid and freeze overnight before serving.
2 tbsp dried lavender, plus 2 lavender sprigs
6 apricots (300g)
280g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g self-raising flour
175ml double cream
Halve the apricots and remove the stones. Place in a saucepan and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of sugar. Cover with cold water and add the lavender sprigs. Poach, covered, on a medium heat for 10 mins, then allow to cool with the lid on.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Grease and line
2 x 20cm sandwich tins. In a bowl, combine the remaining sugar with the dried lavender. Place in the microwave for 45 sec. This will help infuse the sugar with the lavender flavour. Stir, then set aside around a tablespoon’s-worth to decorate the cake with later. Add the butter to the remaining lavender sugar and cream into each other with the back of a wooden spoon. Beat in the eggs, one at
a time, then stir in the vanilla. Sift in the flour gradually, folding
it into the mixture. Stir in 25ml of the cream.
Divide the batter between the two tins and bake for 20 mins until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in their tins then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
In a large bowl, whip the cream until thick. Whip in three tablespoons of the liquid from the apricots. Place one of the cakes on a serving plate and top with the cream, then layer on the poached apricot. Top with the other cake and sprinkle with the reserved lavender sugar. Serve.
9 large eggs
600g finely minced pork or sausagemeat
225g golden breadcrumbs
large bowl ice-cold water
1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
2 tbsp chives, snipped, plus extra to garnish
1.5 litres vegetable oil, for deep-frying
salt and pepper
Cook six of the eggs in boiling water for 7 mins. Drain, then refresh in the iced water. Once cool enough to handle, peel, and pat dry with kitchen paper.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the meat with 1 egg, 2 tbsp of the breadcrumbs, the herbs and plenty of seasoning until thoroughly combined.
Divide the mixture into six, and wrap around the boiled eggs, forming them into balls. Beat the remaining eggs in a shallow dish with some seasoning, and dip the sausage balls in the egg mix to coat. In another shallow bowl, coat the balls in the remaining breadcrumbs. Chill until needed.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan to 180°C, using a thermometer to accurately gauge the temperature.
Deep-fry the Scotch eggs, three at a time, for 4-5 mins until golden brown and crisp. Remove to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain. Cut in half, and serve with a garnish of snipped chives.
Other picnic recipes in the Jul/Aug issue of LandScape include:
- Stuffed picnic bread wreath
- Salad served in preserving jars
- Fig tarts
- Cornish Brie and pickles
- Berry lattice tart
- Peaches baked in dough
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Makes approximately 4 x 250ml desserts
1kg strawberries, hulled, plus 4, including stalks, for decoration
350ml whipping cream
9 sheets of gelatine
4 tbsp caster sugar
Blend the strawberries together in a food processor until a smooth puree. Drain the juice into a small saucepan through a sieve, stirring the pulp to extract the liquid. Transfer the strawberry pulp into a separate saucepan and set aside.
Add enough cold water to the strawberry juice to make the liquid up to 480ml in total. Warm 240ml of this juice mixture with half of the sugar for 3 mins, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture thickens slightly. Allow to cool a little.
Place seven of the gelatine sheets in a small bowl of cold water and leave to stand for 5 mins. Drain and squeeze excess water from the sheets, then add two to the thickened mixture. Divide this between four serving glasses and freeze for 30 mins.
Bring the pan of strawberry pulp to a simmer on the hob, stirring. Simmer for
1 min, then allow to cool slightly. Add the remaining soaked gelatine sheets to the pulp and stir.
In a large bowl, whisk 250ml of the cream for 4 mins, until soft peaks form. Mix a third of the pulp into the cream and stir thoroughly. Add a layer of the pulp to the glasses, using half of the mixture. Follow with a layer of strawberry cream, using half of the cream mixture. Freeze until needed.
Heat the remaining strawberry juice mixture and remaining sugar for 3 mins, until warm. Place the remaining two sheets of gelatine in cold water to soak for 5 mins. Allow the strawberry juice mixture to cool slightly, then add the softened gelatine, after draining and squeezing out the excess water. Stir, then divide between the glasses. Return them to the freezer for 30 mins.
Add a layer of the remaining strawberry pulp on top of the jelly layers and smooth over with the back of a metal spoon which has been dipped in boiling water. Do the same with a layer of the cream mixture. Whisk the remaining 100ml of cream into soft peaks and layer on top of each jar. Allow to chill for 2 hrs. Add a single strawberry to the top of each before serving.
Other jelly recipes in the July/August issues of LandScape
- Raspberry jelly
- Fruity yogurt jelly
- Elderflower jellies
- Dandelion and burdock and ice cream jelly
- Strawberry and mint fizz jellies
100g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
50g icing sugar, plus extra to dust
zest of 2 oranges
100g plain flour
60g thick apricot jam
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5 and grease a large, flat baking tray. In a large mixing bowl, gently cream together the butter and icing sugar until smooth and thick. This will take approximately 5 mins. Stir the orange zest into the mixing bowl, then sift in the flour. Mix together thoroughly until a thick consistency is achieved.
Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a medium nozzle. Pipe thumb-sized mounds onto the tray, spaced 4cm apart. Bake for 15 mins, until golden.
After leaving to stand for 5 mins, transfer the biscuits to a wire rack. When completely cool, sandwich pairs of the biscuits together with a teaspoon of jam, dust with icing sugar, and serve.
Other regional biscuit recipes in the Spring 2017 issue:
- Maidstone biscuits
- Shrewsbury biscuits
- Goosnargh cakes
- Bosworth Jumbles
- Cornish ginger fairings
For back issues click here, or to subscribe to LandScape click here.
3 prepared crabs
750g asparagus spears, finely sliced lengthways
50g fresh mint
sea salt and black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey
240g radishes, sliced
Zest and juice the lemons into a large bowl. With a small knife, cut away any segments left inside the skins and add to the juice. Reserve some mint for garnish, then chop the rest very finely. Add it to the bowl and season with the salt and pepper. Mix in the olive oil and honey, and chill.
Arrange the sliced asparagus and radishes between six plates, then add the crab. Pour over the lemon and mint dressing, garnish, and serve.
Other spring feast recipes in the Spring 2017 issue:
- Roast pork shoulder with perfect crackling
- Apple sauce
- Spinach and spring onions
- Pan-fried broccoli and nuts
- Lemon roasted new potatoes with sorrel
- Rhubarb and orange trifle
250g plain flour, plus
extra to dust
100g caster sugar, plus extra to sprinkle
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp baking powder
pinch of sea salt
100g chilled unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra for frying
Combine the flour, sugar, mixed spice, currants, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the butter cubes and rub into the dry ingredients with fingers and thumbs until integrated. Beat the egg in a small bowl and stir it into the flour and butter mixture. Gradually add sufficient milk to bring the mixture together by hand until it forms a dough.
On a surface lightly dusted with flour, roll out the dough to 2cm deep. Cut out rounds with an 8cm cutter.
Heat 1 tsp of butter in a frying pan. Fry the cakes for 4-6 mins, turning over once, until golden. Dust with sugar and serve warm with butter.
Other classic Welsh recipes in the Mar/Apr 2017 issue of LandScape:
- Welsh onion cake
- Lamb cawl
- Laverbread with bacon and poached egg
- Welsh crempog
- Welsh dripping cake
800g white bloomer, sliced medium thick
2 tbsp plain flour
100ml white wine
280g Cornish brie,
1 tbsp freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and mix in the flour. Heat, stirring, for 1 min. Stir in the white wine gradually, then the milk. Bring to a boil, stirring until smooth. Keeping on a simmer, add the brie to the pan, before seasoning with pepper and half of the nutmeg. Stir until the cheese has melted. Set aside.
Pour a quarter of the cheese sauce into a large ovenproof dish and layer with a quarter of the bread. Pour over another quarter of the sauce, and layer with the bread, continuing until the layers reach the top of the dish. Grate the Cheddar over the top and sprinkle with the remaining nutmeg. Bake for 15-20 mins, until golden.
Other leftover bread recipes in the Mar/Apr 2017 issue:
- Mini apple Charlottes
- Chocolate bread trifle
- Glamorgan sausages
- Herby bread puffs
- Exeter pudding
200g Stilton cheese, broken into small pieces
500g strong white bread flour
7g sachet fast-action yeast
25g olive oil, plus extra for greasing
30g flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
In a large bowl, mix the flour, yeast and olive oil. Stir in 300ml of lukewarm water and mix into a dough. Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 mins. Place in a clean mixing bowl and cover with oiled cling film and a warm, damp tea towel, then place in a warm place to rise for 1 hr.
Knead the parsley and a sprinkle of black pepper into the dough. On a lightly floured surface, shape the dough into an oval. With a sharp knife, cut twice, making three long strips, from the top to the bottom, then roll them individually in flour. Press the Stilton onto the inner sides of the strips, holding a third of the cheese back. From the top, plait the strips and tuck in the ends. Scatter the remaining Stilton over the bread, making sure it gets into the folds of the plait.
Grease a large, flat tray with oil and transfer the loaf to it, using a long spatula. Cover with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place for 20 mins. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Bake the loaf for 20 mins until hard when tapped. Serve.
Other Stilton recipes in our Jan/Feb 2017 issue:
750g beef mince
650g King Edward potatoes, cubed
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 red onion, sliced
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp oats
400ml beef stock
salt and black pepper
300g baby carrots
fresh curly parsley, for garnish
In a large saucepan, heat the oil and fry the onion for 3 mins, stirring almost constantly. Add the mince and fry for 8 mins, stirring occasionally. Add the cornflour and stir for a further minute. Add the oats and beef stock, then combine, season and add the carrots. Simmer for 20 mins, stirring occasionally.
Place the potato cubes in a large pan of cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for 15 mins. Drain the potatoes and serve with the mince, garnished with parsley.
Other mince recipes in our Jan/Feb 2017 issue:
- Cottage pie with parsnip mash
- Mince flan
- Mince bread balls
- Turkey and bacon pies
- Mini shepherd’s pies
zest and juice of 6 unwaxed lemons
400g caster sugar
4 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
Place the zest and lemon juice into a saucepan, then whisk in the sugar and eggs. Place on a medium heat and continue to whisk for 5 mins. Turn up the heat to high and whisk for 3-5 mins, until thick and glossy. Stir in the butter and allow to cool.
Transfer to sterilised jars and seal with wax discs, before covering with sterilised lids. Store in a dark, cool place for up to three months. Once opened, keep in the fridge and eat within a week.
Other lemon recipes in our Jan/Feb 2017 issue:
Makes approx 40
300g roughly crushed hazelnuts
250g double cream
400g dark chocolate
icing sugar, to dust
Place the cream in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Grate half of the chocolate into a mixing bowl and pour the cream over it. Mix thoroughly and stir in half of the crushed hazelnuts. Allow to cool, then with hands dusted with icing sugar, scoop a rounded teaspoon of the set mixture out and roll into a ball. Place on a plate and continue until all of the mixture is used. Chill for 1 hr.
Place the remaining crushed hazelnuts on a large plate and have an extra plate handy. Break up the remaining chocolate into a heat-proof bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, taking care not to let the bowl touch the water. Stir occasionally until melted. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth, then dip each ball into the chocolate, to cover completely, using two teaspoons. Place on the plate of nuts and roll around to cover. Transfer to the extra plate. Repeat with all the balls. Chill for 1 hr, then serve.
Other nut sweet recipes in the Christmas 2016 issue:
- Hazelnut caramels
- Fruit and nut fudge squares
- Peanut brittle
- Sugared almonds
- Walnut meringues
200g baby carrots
2 red peppers
200g button mushrooms
100g ready-roasted chestnuts
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
sea salt and black pepper
350g crusty white bread
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp brandy
1 tsp cinnamon
1 sprig of rosemary,
plus extra for garnish
cranberry sauce, to serve
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Slice the carrots in half and deseed and halve the peppers, then place on a roasting tin. Add the mushrooms, cranberries, pinenuts and chestnuts. Coat with the oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast for 15 mins.
In the meantime, in a food processor blitz the bread with the garlic clove to make large-sized breadcrumbs and then transfer to a large bowl.
Add the spinach and zest in the orange peel, then sprinkle with the brandy and 100ml of boiling water. Mix thoroughly, then stir the roast vegetables and cinnamon into the breadcrumbs and set aside. Chop the rosemary and add it to the mixture. Turn the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
On a lightly floured surface, push the two pastry blocks together to form one block and roll out to approximately 45cm squared. Transfer to a piece of baking paper. Gently mark two concentric circles, the inner 18cm in diameter, the outer 28cm, in the pastry. The filling will sit in the ring between the two circles. Cut curved lines, from the edge of the outer circle to edge of the rectangle. Then cut lines going from the inside of the inner circle through the centre point to the other side, creating segments.
Fill the circular rim with the stuffing mixture then start folding over the outer and inner strips. Wrap around each other to meet in the middle, trimming any excess pastry not needed at the ends and occasionally cutting away the strips to make room.
Beat the egg and brush all the pastry with it to glaze. Transfer, using the baking paper to support the wreath, to a large baking tray. Bake for 20 mins, covering with tin foil if it becomes too golden. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with the extra rosemary and cranberry sauce.
Other festive dishes in our Christmas 2016 issue:
- Roast turkey with pears and cranberries
- Cranberry turkey gravy
- Bacon and thyme roast potatoes
- Parsnip, swede and horseradish mash
- Brussels sprouts in a Clementine and honey sauce
- Cranberry sauce
- Chocolate yule log
200g dark chocolate drops
600g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100g caster sugar, plus extra to sprinkle
1 tsp salt
30g dried yeast
100g butter, softened
Place the flour in a large bowl and mix in the sugar and salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast. Heat the milk in a plastic jug in the microwave for 20 secs, then beat in the eggs. Add the milk and egg liquid to the well, then mix together with a fork, until it comes together to form a dough. Dust a clean work surface with flour and knead the dough for 10 mins. Then knead in 80g of the butter, a bit at a time. Place the dough into a clean bowl covered with cling film and a tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise for at least 3 hrs.
Knock back the dough by pushing the air out with a fist. Place it on a work surface and divide into three equal-sized balls. Roll each dough ball to a rectangle, measuring 30 x 40cm, then place one on a large sheet of baking paper. Scatter with half the chocolate drops and cover with the second piece of dough, then scatter the remaining chocolate drops over, followed by the last piece of dough. Lightly mark out a central tube for the tree trunk, then cut a triangle from the top middle to the opposite far corners. Make two incisions about 4cm up in the middle of the bottom, to make the bottom tree trunk. From the top to the bottom, on each side, cut strips coming away from the middle trunk, cutting further in higher up the tree. Transfer to a baking tray and twist each strip to form a spiral pattern. Cover with a clean tea towel and put in a warm place to rise for 15 mins. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5.
Melt the remaining butter and brush it over the bread. Bake for 15-20 mins, until golden and risen. Sprinkle with sugar and serve.
Other breakfast dishes in our Christmas 2016 issue:
- Rich scrambled eggs and smoked salmon
- Cranberry and orange sparkler
- Christmas pancakes
- Kipper kedgeree
- Sticky cranberry sausage sandwich
- Trio of mushrooms on toast
6 leaves gelatine
4 spring onions
200g cold smoked salmon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
6-8 sprigs of fresh dill
400 ml double cream
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 free-range egg whites
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the gelatine leaves into cold water for 10 min.
Finely chop the watercress and spring onions, and place in a bowl. Cut the tops off the dill sprigs and set aside for decoration. In a another bowl, thoroughly blend together the smoked salmon, lemon juice, the remainder of the dill and 4 tbsp. of the double cream, then add the cayenne pepper.
In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it stands in soft peaks and fold half into the salmon mixture and half into the watercress. Season the watercress mixture with salt and pepper. Remove the soaked gelatine leaves from the cold water and place in a small bowl with 2 tbsp. cold water. Place over a pan of gently simmering water and heat until the gelatine dissolves. Stir half the gelatine mixture into the salmon and half into the watercress. Whisk the egg whites and fold into the salmon mixture. Divide the smoked salmon mixture equally between 6 glasses, then top with watercress mousse. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours until set. Serve decorated with the dill tops.
Other smoked fish starter recipes in our Christmas 2013 issue:
• Smoked mackerel pate in sourdough croustades
• Smoked haddock soufflé on creamed spinach
Kitchen UTENSILS to help you
Makes approximately 12,
depending on size of cutter
150g plain flour
150g self raising flour
2 tbsp. icing sugar
150g butter, cubed
1 free-range egg
Caster sugar, to sprinkle
Sieve the flours and icing sugar into a large bowl, add the butter and rub the mixture with your fingers until it forms fine breadcrumbs. Separate the egg and add the yolk to the bowl with enough water to mix to a dough. Allow to rest in the refrigerator for 15 min. Roll out half the pastry and cut out Christmas tree shapes with a large cookie cutter and place, well spaced, on lightly greased baking sheets. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut the same amount of shapes.
Brush the pastry shapes on the baking sheet all over with beaten egg white and place a lolly stick on top of the pastry at the base of the tree. Press down lightly. Put a spoonful of mincemeat into the centre of each and cover with another piece of pastry, gently easing over the filling and pressing down the edges well to seal in the mincemeat. Press the top pastry down gently over the lolly stick so that it is secured in place.
Prick the pastry with a fork. Brush the tops with beaten egg white and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake in a preheated oven 200C/gas mark 6 for 12–15 min until golden. Transfer to a wire rack and cool.
• Mincemeat meringue pie
• Filo stars
• Orange and mincemeat pudding
• Christmas wreath
• Homemade mincemeat
Kitchen Utensils to help you
A festive tradition
Bursting with flavour, Christmas pudding can be made approximately a month before the big day. Traditionally it is prepared on Stir-up Sunday, which in 2016 falls on 20 November. The phrase comes from the 1549 Book of Common Prayer. The collect for the Sunday before Advent starts: "Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord…" It was suggested this reminded people it was time to make the festive pudding.
900g dried fruit, such as cranberries, apricot and figs
150g mixed nuts, such as Brazil nuts and hazelnuts
100g mixed peel
200ml brandy or whisky, plus extra for feeding
200g vegetable suet
100g self-raising flour
1 tbsp freshly grated nutmeg
4 tsp mixed spice
50g ground almonds
450g dark soft brown sugar
1 orange, halved
butter, to grease
Place the dried fruit, nuts and mixed peel in a large bowl and add the alcohol. Give the mix a thorough stir to combine, and leave to soak for at least 1 hr.
In a separate bowl, mix the suet, flour, nutmeg, mixed spice, breadcrumbs, ground almonds and sugar. Beat the eggs in another bowl and add to the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
Add the fruit and brandy to the mixture, and zest the orange into it. Juice the orange and pour it into the bowl, adding the flesh by hollowing out the orange halves with a teaspoon. Mix together thoroughly. This is the time when, traditionally, the pudding would be passed around the whole family, for each member to have a stir.
Grease a 1.7 litre pudding basin with the butter. Fill the basin with the mixture and flatten down. Cut a circle of baking paper to fit the top of the pudding and place on the top.
Tightly cover with a circle of tin foil 5cm bigger than the top of the basin. Place a similar size circle of muslin cloth over the tin foil. Secure both layers with a length of string wrapped twice around the circumference of the bowl. Fasten with a tight knot. Place a very large saucepan on the hob and put the basin inside. Fill the pan with boiling water and steam the pudding on a medium heat for 5 hrs.
Allow to cool completely, then remove the muslin and foil. The pudding should be cooked through and firm. Using a skewer, make several holes in the pudding and pour in 1 tbsp of the extra brandy or whisky. Cover with a new circle of baking paper and a double layer of muslin and tie with string. Keep in a cool, dark place until Christmas Day, removing the muslin and feeding with 1 tbsp brandy every week.
To cook on the day, steam on a medium heat for 2 hrs, making sure the pudding is piping hot throughout before serving.