My concession to "traditional" (ie British) Christmas is plum pudding. Love it.
Why "plum pudding" if there are no plums? Because pre-Victorians called raisins plums.
A couple of years ago I came by a simply great, never-fail recipe, and so the ritual has begun. No need to hang for months in muslin (til it gets mouldy in Sydney humidity!) Traditionally suet (raw beef or mutton fat) was used - I prefer butter!
I am led to believe this is the same recipe the royal family dine on.
First, fruit: dates, sultanas, currants, raisins soaked in sherry or rum. I chose sherry this year.
Sift flour, nutmeg, mixed spice three times
Cream butter and brown sugar
Add one egg at a time and mix well after each addition
At this time a finger-dip 'n' lick is mandatory!
Add Parisian essence for a great rich dark brown colour, lemon essence and vanilla extract
Fold in flour mixture
Add walnuts and fruit mixture
Place in pudding steamer
Steam in large pot for 4 hours.
On the day, infuse with more alcohol, steam for another hour and serve with custard.