Colliers RECIPES

Stir It Up

From time to time we will post seasonal recipes...

CHRISTMAS PUDDING by Delia Smith

Foolproof but ever so tasty, our absolute favourite. You just need to ‘stir it up’…

Delia says that this recipe is for two puddings in 2 pint basins, or four in 1 pint basins. The spare puddings would make a good gift for a friend or neighbour. We have a huge number of extended family so I tend to pack the entire ingredients in a 4 pint basin.

  • 225g shredded suet
  • 110g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 225g white breadcrumbs from a stale loaf
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground mixed spice
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 450g soft brown sugar
  • 225g sultanas
  • 225g raisins
  • 575g currants
  • 50g mixed peel or finely chopped whole candied and citron peel if available
  • 50g almonds, blanched, skinned and chopped
  • 1 apple peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • Grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons rum
  • 150ml barley wine
  • 150ml stout
  • 1. Put the suet, flour, breadcrumbs, spices and sugar in a bowl, mixing in each ingredient thoroughly before adding the next. Then gradually mix in all the dried fruit, peel and nuts and follow these with the apple and the orange and lemon rind.
  • 2. In a different bowl beat up the eggs, and mix the rum, barley wine and stout into them. Empty all this over the dry ingredients – and then stir very hard indeed (it’s vital this mixing, so recruit some help if necessary*). You may find you need a bit more stout – it’s not possible to be exact with the liquid quantities, but the mixture should be of a good dropping consistency (that is, it should fall from the spoon when tapped sharply against the side of the bowl).
  • 3. After the mixing, cover the bowl with a cloth and leave it overnight. The next day, grease the pudding basins and pack the mixture into them right to the top. Cover each basin with a square of greaseproof paper, with a square pudding cloth on top**. Tie these round the rims of the bowls with string, then tie the corners of the cloth together on top.
  • 4. Steam the pudding(s) for 8 hours – keeping an eye on the water now and then to make sure it doesn’t boil away. When cooked and cooled, remove the paper and cloths and replace with a fresh lot. Store in a cool dry place and, when ready to eat, steam for 2 hours.
  • *It helps if they get to make a wish as they stir!
  • **I tend to use a tea-towel

Bonfire Party Pumpkin Soup

  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 medium sized pumpkin, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1cm root ginger, grated
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp red curry paste
  • 1 ltr vegetable stock
  • X2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 1. Heat your oven to 200/180 fan/gas mark 6. Put your chopped pumpkin into a roasting tray and toss with half the rapeseed oil, season generously and then put it in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • 2. In a decent sized saucepan put the oil, chopped onion and grated ginger and gently cook for 5 minutes until softened
  • 3. Add the chopped red pepper and continue to cook slowly for another 5 minutes.
  • 4. Stir in the red curry paste and cook for another 1 minute before adding the sweet potatoes and the vegetable stock
  • 5. Let the stock simmer for 15 minutes until the sweet potatoes are soft.
  • 6. Add the roasted pumpkin and after it has had a bit of time to cool blitz it either with a hand blender or in a larger blender.
  • 7. Give the saucepan a quick rinse out and then put the blended soup back on a gentle heat.
  • 8. Add the coconut milk and bring it back to a simmer for 10 minutes. Season to taste.
  • 9. Serve in a bowl or mug. Ideal to have with ‘Beca’s Ultimate Garlic Flatbread’ made on the Kids = Masterchef course in July.

Dandelion and Burdock Drink

With thanks to Adele Nozedar author of ‘Foraging with kids’, ‘The Hedgerow Handbook’ and owner of Brecon Beacons Foraging for giving me permission to use her recipe.

  • (Makes 700-800ml )
  • 1l (35fl oz) water
  • * 1 ½ tsp each ground burdock root and ground dandelion root *
  • 2cm piece of fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 whole star anise or 2 green cardamom pods, crushed
  • 350g (12oz) caster sugar
  • Sparkling water and ice, to serve
  • 1. Put all the ingredients, except for the sugar and sparkling water, into a heavy saucepan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  • 2. Let cool, then strain into a bowl, using a fine-mesh sieve lined with muslin to make sure no little bits manage to escape.
  • 3. Rinse the pan, return the liquid to it and set over a low heat. Add the sugar, and warm through until melted. Set aside until cold.
  • 4. Dilute the syrup to taste with sparkling water, stir well and serve over ice or dilute to taste with still water and enjoy it warmed up.
  • 5. Pour into sterilized bottles and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Alternatively freeze (leave space at the top of the bottles for the liquid to expand as it freezes) and defrost as needed.

Preparing the Burdock and Dandelion roots

*You will need to harvest and dry out the roots of both the Burdock and the Dandelion.

  1. The best way to harvest the Burdock roots without breaking them too much is to first choose a wet day, so the soil will be easier to break up, and then to dig a trench around the plant so that you can access the root more easily. The roots should be harvested in the autumn of the first year of growth – that is, before the distinctive burrs have appeared.
  2. At first, the roots are white; on exposure to the air, they turn yellow.
  3. Wash the root, then peel away the bitter rind.
  4. Grate, and soak in water for 20 minutes or so.
  5. Drain well.
  6. For the Dandelion roots try to dig up as much of the long tap root as possible. The spindly bits are fine to harvest, too.
  7. Remove the leaves.
  8. Break off as much of the clumpy mud as possible, then put the roots in a bucket.
  9. Rinse them repeatedly in cold running water.
  10. Chop the roots either in a food processor or with a sharp knife. Put the chopped roots into a bowl of clean water, agitating them with your hands – the water will go slightly milky. Rinse and repeat until the water runs clear.
  11. To dry out your roots, set your oven to a very low heat (110°C/225°F/Gas mark ¼). If you have a range cooker, use the coolest part.
  12. Spread the roots in an even layer on a baking sheet and pop into the oven. It should take about 2 hours to dry the roots thoroughly. They will feel brittle when they’re done and will break easily.

Colliers Cookies

  • 150g salted butter, softened
  • 80g light brown sugar
  • 80g granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 225g plain flour
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 175g plain chocolate chips or chunks
  • Heat the oven to 190C/fan170C/gas 5 and line two baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.
  • Put 150g softened salted butter, 80g light brown sugar and 80g granulated sugar into a bowl and beat until creamy.
  • Beat in 2 tsp vanilla extract and 1 large egg.
  • Sift 225g plain flour, ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda and ¼ tsp salt into the bowl and mix it in.
  • Add 175g plain chocolate chips or chunks and stir well.
  • Use a teaspoon to make small scoops of the mixture, spacing them well apart on the baking trays.
  • Bake for 8–10 mins until they are light brown on the edges and still slightly soft in the centre if you press them.

Leave on the tray for a couple of mins to set, and then lift onto a cooling rack.