independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Last minute Christmas pudding

If you like to have a homemade pudding but haven’t got around to it yet, this unusual plum pudding recipe from Annie Bell’s Gorgeous Desserts could be just what you’re looking for — a cross between a traditional pudding and a cake.

WHAT YOU NEED

100g (4oz) raisins

100g (4oz) sultanas

200g (7oz) currants

100ml (4fl oz) stout

4 tablespoons brandy

100g (4oz) diced candied peel

50g (2oz) finely chopped blanched almonds

50g (2oz) un-dyed glace cherries, chopped

½ tsp each, ground cinnamon and nutmeg

125g (4½ oz) unsalted butter

125g (4½ oz) dark muscovado sugar

2 medium eggs

1 tbsp treacle

180g (6½ oz) self-raising flour, sifted

50ml (2fl oz) milk

TO SERVE

Creme fraiche or cream



Method

1 Place the dried fruits in a small pan with the stout and brandy and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until all the liquor has been absorbed. Transfer the fruit to a large mixing bowl and leave to cool for 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in the peel, almonds, cherries and spices.

2 Cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes in a food processor, then incorporate the eggs, one by one, then the treacle, the flour and the milk. Blend this cake mixture with the dried fruit mixture.

3 Butter a 1.2 litre pudding basin, line the bottom with baking paper and butter. Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin and smooth the surface. Cut out two circles of baking paper to cover the surface of the pudding, with several inches to spare on either side. Lay them on top of each other, pleated in the centre, butter the surface that will come into contact with the pudding and place over the top. Tightly tie the paper in place with string, just below the rim.

4 Place in a large pan with boiling water that comes two-thirds of the way up the sides, cover and simmer over a low heat for 2½ hours. Check the water level now and again and top it up if necessary. When ready to serve, run a knife around the rim of the pudding and invert onto a warm plate. Serve with creme fraiche or cream.

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