This Christmas pudding is my last minute go to recipe! I make this every year and literally do it just a few days before Christmas so if you don’t want to get a store bought pudding and prefer to make it yourself then this is a really good recipe to do during Christmas week! Normally you need to make Christmas pudding months in advance allowing it to age and mature however as we all know…sometimes time escapes us! I find that adding extra alcohol always makes it taste better. This year I’ve soaked the dry fruits in Oloroso Sherry whereas in past years i’ve tried soaking them in rum or brandy (as done so traditionally) so you can easily use that instead. I think Oloroso Sherry works perfectly with desserts, it is a darker, nuttier and richer sherry. I’ve topped the pudding with frozen Lingonberries which look so lovely and have an extremely unique sour flavour. You can use anything else though like blueberries, cranberries, raspberries or whatever other berries you can find.
What I love about Christmas time is decorating the tree, the house, the food and the Christmas table. This year we are going a bit more minimalist around the house and lately I’ve really been drawn to green. So the garden was a great place to get some natural decorations. We have plenty of rosemary, bay leaves, vine leaves, thyme and other herbs so we will be using these this Sunday.
Here are some simple ways you can decorate your Christmas pudding using your garden herbs and plants
1 1/2 cup sultanas
1 1/2 cup prunes (seed removed and roughly chopped)
1 1/2 currants
1 1/2 cup grated orange zest
1 cup dark sugar (muscovado, brown or even coconut – for a lighter pudding)
250g butter (softened)
1 cup flour (plain or wholemeal spelt)
200ml Oloroso sherry
2 cups fresh sourdough bread crumbs (remove the edges and blend until fluffy and light)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
apple cider vinegar
1 cup of your desired berries (I’ve used Lingonberries)
Your herbs of choice
- The day before you plan to make the pudding, soak the dry fruits and zest in a bowl with 200ml of the sherry.
- Beat the butter with the sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Add the eggs on one by one and continue beating until combined.
- Fold in the fruit mixture, then the flour, spices, bicarb soda + apple cider vinegar (Pour the cider vinegar onto the bicarb soda so that it fizzes).
- Fold in the breadcrumbs and make sure the mixture is all well combined.
- Prepare your pudding base by brushing the base and walls of the inside with a layer of olive oil. Use a large pudding base that can serve approximately 8 people, otherwise split the mixture between small pudding basins).
- Get some baking paper and place the basin on to the paper and use a pencil to mark the size of the circle. Using some scissors cut a circle out and place into the inside base of the pudding basin.
- Pour in the pudding mixture using a spatula to get all the mixture out and pat it down nicely. Leave at least 2 cm from the top.
- Meanwhile prepare a large wide pot that the basin can sit in. Fill the large pot with boiling water or bring some water to the boil. Make sure it’s about 1/3 full of water.
- Cover the pudding basin with a large square of baking paper and foil (using some olive oil or butter to stick the two together, and place foil side up). Leave enough of the foil and paper to cover the edges where the dent of the basin is. Use a strong string to tie around the dented edge of the basin and tie it together. Then use another string to create a handle.
- Lower the basin down carefully into the hot water. Cover with a lid. Make sure the heat is strong enough so there is a consistent simmer. Also make sure to keep refilling the pot with more water every 40 minutes or so as it will evaporate.
- Boil for approximately 3 and a half hours.
- Using the string handle remove the pudding basin and place onto a plate allow to cool for a bit and check that the pudding is completely cooked by inserting a wooden skewer. If it’s clean then the pudding is cooked.
- Remove all the baking paper and foil allowing the pudding to cool then using a knife gently run it around the edge of the pudding. Turn it upside down and the pudding will come out.
- Place in a plate and cover with a cotton or linen kitchen towel. It can stay like this overnight.
- Serve with a sherry anglaise, a sherry cream or a sherry glaze.