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Yule Figgy Pudding

One of the modern traditions in Scotland is charity runs. Not only does this help the over-all fitness of the Nation but helps raise valuable amounts for good causes. So we extend congratulations to the thousands of runners, all in Father Christmas suits, who took part in the Great Scottish Santa Run in Edinburgh and the Santa Dash in Glasgow on Sunday past (16 December 2007) and raised £30,000 in the process. The colourful run attracted a large supportive crowd in both cities as the red-suited runners did their bit for charity. Among the runners in Glasgow was Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who well summed up the event for all those who took part –

 “I feel great after that, it was hard work, this was my first 5k, but it’s a great feeling of achievement. It was great fun, the atmosphere’s brilliant, the streets were lined all the way round the route and it’s all for charity. Some people were taking it a bit more seriously in terms of personal bests and things like that but I was just happy to get across the finishing line.”

Well done Nicola and your fellow Santa Clauses – raising siller for charity surely truly reflects the real spirit of Yule,

All runners would probably enjoyed a tuck-in of this week’s recipe – Yule Figgy Pudding - after their hard work, but be warned if you plan to enjoy this dish over The Daft Days, cook at least two months in advance!

Yule Figgy Pudding

Ingredients: 100g (3 ½ oz) soft and juicy figs, chopped; 100g (3 ½ oz) dried blueberries; 100g (3 ½ oz) raisins; 100g (3 ½ oz) sultanas; 50g ( 1 ¾ oz) glace cherries, chopped; 2 tsp sweet mixed spice; 1 small dessert apple, peeled, cored and grated; juice and jest of 1 orange; zest of 1 lemon; 75ml (5 tbsp) dark rum; 115g (4 oz) butter, softened, little extra for greasing; 115g (4 oz) dark brown soft sugar; 2 large eggs, beaten; 75g (2 ¾ oz) self raising flour, sieved; 75g (2 ¾ oz) fresh white breadcrumbs

Method: Place the figs, blueberries, raisins, sultanas, cherries, apple, orange zest and juice, lemon zest and rum into a large bowl. Stir well, cover and leave in a cool place for 4 hours or if possible overnight. Lightly grease a 1 litre (1 ¾ pint) pudding basin and place a disc of parchment paper on the base. In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Slowly beat in the eggs a little at a time. Add the flour, breadcrumbs, spices, soaked fruit and any juices and mix well together. Spoon the mixture into the prepared basin and level the surface with the back of a spoon. Cut a large sheet of greaseproof paper and one of foil. Lay the foil on top of the greaseproof and fold a large pleat down the centre. Lay over the top of the basin and secure with a string. Stand the pudding in a steamer or in a deep pan on an upturned heatproof plate. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up the side of the pudding bowl. Bring to a simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid and steam for 3 ¼ hours, topping up with boiling water as necessary. Carefully remove the pudding from the pan and leave in basin to cool. When cool, replace foil and greaseproof. Store in a cool, dark place for up to two months. Then enjoy.

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