This originated as long ago as 1066 at William the Conqueror's Coronation. It was then a sort of meat stew (a girout) and eaten at coronations up to George V. The Elizabethans added herbs and prunes (to make it a stewed broth, and hence the plum pudding of Medieval times). It then changed to a pottage and the meat was phased out, prunes and sultanas came in and so it evolved to what we have today.
|2 oz (57 g) plain flour|
|4 oz (113 g) fresh breadcrumbs|
|4 oz (113 g) shredded suet (beef fat) or vegetable suet|
|4 oz (113 g) brown sugar|
|8 oz (226 g) raisins|
|4 oz (113 g) currants|
|4 oz (113 g) sultanas|
|2 oz (57 g) ground almonds (or 4 oz chopped almonds)|
|4 oz (113 g) mixed candied peel|
|Rind and juice of 1 lemon|
|1 tablespoon black treacle (molasses)|
|½ teaspoon ground cinnamon|
|½ teaspoon ground nutmeg|
|½ - 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice|
|Pinch of salt|
|1 medium apple, grated|
|1 medium carrot, grated|
|2 oz (57 g) chopped tinned / dried prunes and/or dry ready-to-eat apricots|
|¼ pint Stout - a dark ale almost as dark as Guinness|
Steam for 6 to 8 hours (or pressure cook for 2 hours). Do not let it boil dry.
Leave to cool and re-cover with fresh dry greaseproof paper tied on.
Store in a cool dry dark place.
To serve: Re-steam for 2 hours on the day, turn onto a serving plate. Garnish with a sprig of holly and serve with cream, brandy butter and/or castor sugar.