The Christmas pudding to end all Christmas puddings
So this is Christmas… time on my hands to slowly steam the most decedent, clementine & Cointreau Christmas pudding. Bursting with citrus, laced with liqueur and shimmering with star-shine sparkle.
Christmas is often quiet for me, with a small family there are no pulls, no conflicts just peace, hibernation and often sickness! As the hum-drum of daily life grinds to a full stop and the Christmas holidays begin I make plans, mostly with food but also plans for the future. New year, new you and all that…
Sick and tired….
Last year, after hours of preparation, I fell sick and I mean really show-stoppingly sick, just as I was serving up dinner! 3 weeks later I emerged fragile and depressed. Vowing never to stay at home for festive breaks and yuletide logs, I made plans (mostly in my head) to escape to the sun. The trouble is, I love Christmas. I love the present giving, the roaring fire and the unadulterated hours spent preparing and scoffing food and so abandoning plans to escape I started this years festivities with a works party, one to many ‘mince pie martini’s’ (never again!) promptly followed by the mother of all colds!
And here I was again, Christmas: sick & tired with a whole host off food preparations. To distract myself from illness I started with this pudding, working very slowly, the stir of plump fruit and the simmering of clementine definitely lifted my snotty spirits. Unfortunately I was unable to drink a complementing glass of desert wine, instead it was served with a honey & ginger medicinal tea, by the bucket load.
Whilst I lacked sparkle and star-shine, this gooey, rich and decadent pudding helped put a smile back on my face.
Merry Christmas everyone, may it be filled with things that are real, meaningful and a little but of star-shine!
- 1 small Bramley apple
- 1 carrot
- 100g almonds (whole)
- 150g breadcrumbs
- 200g suet (vegetarian)
- 300g light muscovado sugar
- 100g dark muscovado sugar
- 1 tbsp nutmeg (freshly grated)
- 2 tsp cinnamon (ground)
- 175g plain white flour
- 150g sultanas (pre-soaked/drained)
- 150g raisins (pre-soaked & drained)
- 100g dates (chopped & pitted)
- 4 eggs, large & organic
- 3 tbsp marmalade
- 2 tbsp Cointreau
- 3 clementines (zest and juice)
- Unsalted butter (for greasing)
- For the candied clementine slices
- 50g Unrefined golden caster sugar
- 1 Clementine(s) (sliced)
- For the Cointreau cream
- 300ml Whipping cream
- 1 tbsp Icing sugar
- Zest of 1 Clementine
- 2 tbsp Cointreau
- Edible gold lustre dust
- For the candied clementine slices – which can be made a day or two ahead
- Dissolve the 50g sugar in 50ml water in a small pan over a gentle heat, stirring to make sure the sugar doesn’t stick.
- Simmer the clementine slices, in the syrup, for 30 minutes, turning halfway.
- Transfer the slices to non-stick baking paper to cool.
- For the Pudding
- Core and peel then grate the apple, carrot and chop the almonds.
- Place all three ingredients into a large mixing bowl with the breadcrumbs, suet, sugars, spices, flour and dried fruit, and stir to mix.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with the marmalade, Cointreau and clementine zest and juice, then pour into the dry ingredients. Stir everything thoroughly together.
- Heavily butter a 1.5 litre pudding basin, brushing the inside with edible gold lustre dust.
- Line the basin with the candied clementine slices (save some back for finishing)
- Tightly pack the rest of the mixture around taking care to keep the slices in place.
- Cut a large square of non-stick baking paper and butter one side of it. Cut out a square of kitchen foil the same size and place both on top of the basin, with the buttered side of the baking paper face down first.
- Make a pleat in the middle of the paper and foil, folding them together - this will give room for the pudding to expand as it cooks.
- Tightly secure the foil and paper with a double-length string around the top of the basin, then cross the string over the top and secure it on the other side - this will make a handle that can be used to lift the hot pudding out of the pan once it is cooked.
- Steam the pudding for 4 hours, making sure the water stays at a gentle boil and top with boiling water to keep the water level consistent.
- Leave the cooked pudding to cool. Once cold remove the paper and foil and replace with a fresh set, then store the pudding in a cool, dry place until Christmas Day, when it will need a further 2 hours steaming.
- For the Cointreau cream
- Whip the chilled cream with the icing sugar, then fold in the zest and a little Cointreau
- Serve with the pudding, with a sprinkle more edible gold lustre dust and top with the leftover candied clementine slices.