Last year we had a supermarket pudding , the intense flavours, the dry fruits steeped in alcohol the soft delicious feeling of putting a spoon through a perfectly set pudding on christmas night ummmm… I decided that the next time I MUST make one at home !After sifting through a few recipes I knew it had to be Nigella’s Ultimate Christmas pudding.
I have now promised myself that I shall plan months ahead and soak the sultanas much in advance but well this year I soaked the sultanas and a nut mix for 2 nights in sherry. The variations in ingredients recommended by Nigella are my use of a regular apple, supermarket sherry and a currant and dry fruit mix off a shelf. But the resultant mixture and the process of slow steaming gave me a deep rich colour, a lovely texture and 2 yes two puddings instead of one and that is what was the MOST satisfying part of this process! Landing up with 2 awesome well set perfect puddings , one to eat at home and one to share with a special close pal made christmas special 🙂
Oh yes and a big thank you to Lakeland for making such an awesome product, my pudding steamer with a lid that fits so well and is really easy to clean. The pudding just slipped out after a gentle tap and sigh…. I couldn’t stop admiring the perfect shape, the dark colour …I almost burst into song !
Well now for the list of Ingredients:
- 150 grams prunes – mine were soaked in syrup and came from a cam but they served the purpose just the same, I squeezed the syrup out before adding them to the sultanas.If yours are out of a packet they need to be snipped into smaller bits.
- 150 grams sultanas
- 150 grams currants or a currants and nut mix for puddings available in all leading supermarkets.
- 175 ml sherry of your choice
- 100 grams plain flour
- 125 grams white breadcrumbs
- 150 grams suet – I used beef suet, if you are considering a vegetarian option I haven’t used vegetable suet , if anyone has tried it please share your experience.
- 1/4 ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon – I used a ready-made powder
- 3 medium eggs
- 150 grams dark muscovado sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 lemon large zest and juice
- 1 cooking apple (ideally) peeled and grated , I used 2 small red apples.
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 125 ml Vodka
- This mixture gives 2 full-sized puddings , I have a 1 litre pudding steamer with lid from Lakeland and I had enough to make two full-sized puddings.
- I must say our pudding is still sitting on a plate as I type this on the last day of 2012 , it’s asking to be microwaved and gobbled with some Remy Martin laced cream lying in fridge left over from Christmas, we had it Champagne cream on Christmas day and I assure you we had a feast and some very sleepy house guests after that …yes made me chuckle with satisfaction too.
- Mix the sultanas,prunes and currants into a large bowl and let them steep in sherry overnight or upto a week. I let them soak for 2 nights.
- When you are to start making the pudding mix take another large bowl and add all the ingredients in any order and then stir in the soaked sultana mix, scooping all of it off from the bowl.
- Fill a large saucepan with enough water such that your pudding basin is soaked in it and use butter to grease the pudding bin and the lid as well.
- Add the mixture into the basin and steam for 5 hours, checking ever so often and add some water to the saucepan. I must add that my pudding basin lid fits real well and after 5 hours were done it was quite easy to remove the basin from the saucepan and leave it aside to cool . No tying of strings , no foil and no danger of burning, besides like I mentioned cleaning is a breeze.
- Keep aside your wonderful pudding which is done now, I peaked inside and it looked so good I had to really take a deep breath and stop myself from turning it onto a plate and start digging right it, but NO it’s meant for the Big Day!
- Ok so now on D-day, steam the pud in its basin for 3 more hours, yes I trust Nigella’s recipes and hence the success for me a first time pudding maker 🙂
- Well after it has had its steam and had cooled to an extent when you can open it and turn it on to a serving dish , it needs a gentle tap this basin and Viola! a rich dark well set pudding is there for you to admire and show off.
- I did not add any charm before I started to steam it and I did not flambe’ it either but by all means use vodka and flambe’ to impress your guests !
Do leave your comments !