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Chunky Apple and Mincemeat Sponge Pudding

This is a winner for a family Sunday lunch. Because it's a light sponge, it's not as devastatingly calorific as a suet pud. It also has the advantage of being blissfully simple, taking only 5 minutes to mix from start to finish then it sits happily steaming for 2½ hours, needing no attention apart from a top-up of hot water.

 Chunky Apple and Mincemeat Sponge Pudding

  Serves 6-8

 1 medium Bramley apple, cored, unpeeled and roughly chopped
 3 heaped tablespoons mincemeat
 4 oz (110 g) butter, softened, plus a little extra for greasing
 4 oz (110 g) caster sugar
 5 oz (150 g) self-raising flour
 pinch salt
 grated zest 1 lemon
 2 large eggs
 1 dessertspoon rum
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You will also need a 1¾ pint (1 litre) pudding basin, well buttered, some foil and string.

This recipe first appeared in Sainsbury’s Magazine.


All you do is place the butter, sugar, flour, salt and half the lemon zest in a large mixing bowl, then break in the eggs and whisk the whole lot together, preferably with an electric hand whisk, until you have a good, soft creamy mixture. Next fold in the apple chunks.

Add the remaining lemon zest to the mincemeat, along with the rum, and mix well before spooning into the bottom of the pudding basin. Then pile all the pudding mixture on top and level it off with the back of a spoon.

Now take a double square of foil and smear it with a little butter. Make a pleat in the centre and fix it over the pudding, tying it securely around the rim with string. Place the pudding in a steamer fitted over a saucepan of boiling water and steam for 2½ hours. Check halfway through cooking that the water in the pan isn't getting too low.

Serve the pudding hot and steaming with lots of proper home-made custard sauce.


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Home-made Christmas Mincemeat with Cranberries Makes 6 lb (2.75 kg)

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Surprisingly easy to make, this lovely mincemeat is bound to become a Christmas favourite. The addition of cranberries adds colour and flavour to a classic preserve that can be adapted easily for vegetarians.




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