I first made this version of a Christmas pudding last year and it went down so well with all my guests! So much so that I have been asked to make it again this year! I have to thank the BBC Good Food Magazine for this amazing recipe as it was in my December issue last year, but you can also find it on their website.
One thing I like about this version of a Christmas pudding is that you don't have to steam it as you bake it in the oven, and because it is baked in a loaf tin it cuts so much more easily for your guests than a pudding bowl version!
I made a couple of adjustments to the recipe this year, having stuck to the original last year, but the recipe is as follows:
400g dried mixed fruits
85g glacé cherries * I added dried cranberries and some sour cherries instead*
1 Bramley apple , about 175g, grated, plus zest 1 orange and 1 lemon
150ml good apple juice
2 tbsp brandy
2 tbsp Cointreau (or use more brandy)
140g butter , plus extra for greasing
100g dark muscovado sugar
2 large eggs , beaten
85g self-raising flour
100g white breadcrumbs
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
25g toasted hazelnuts , pecan nuts and blanched almonds, roughly chopped
FOR THE TOPPING
50g dark muscovado sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp brandy
25g each toasted hazelnuts, pecan nuts, blanched almonds and glacé cherries , left whole
Put the dried fruit, cherries, apple, zests, apple juice, brandy (and Cointreau) in a large bowl. Microwave on High for 1 min, then leave to soak overnight.
Butter and line a 2lb loaf tin with a strip of non-stick baking paper. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Put the kettle on to boil and have a roasting tin, plus a sheet of buttered foil, ready.
Beat the butter and sugar together until it turns a little paler, then stir in the eggs, flour, breadcrumbs, syrup, spices, salt, soaked fruit and the nuts.
The soaked fruit and the dry ingredients
Everything mixed together including the nuts (which I almost forgot to add earlier! Blame my baby brain!)
Spoon into the loaf tin and smooth the top.
Scrunch the foil loosely over the tin, twisting corners to tighten it around the tin's edges. Sit it in the roasting tin, then pour in a few cms of boiling water. Carefully transfer to the oven and bake for 40 mins.
After 40 mins, turn down the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3 and cook for another 1½ hrs, topping up the water level every now and again.
Here is the cooked pudding, wrapped up ready to going into the fridge until the 25th
Once the pudding has completely cooled down, wrap it in foil and place in the fridge until you need it. I left it in there a week last year, as I am doing again this year, but you can make it up to 4 weeks in advance to allow it to mature.
To reheat the pudding, either return it to a medium oven for 30 mins in its tin, or turn out onto a serving plate, cover loosely with cling film and microwave for 5 mins on Medium.
TO MAKE THE TOPPING
Gently heat the butter, sugar and syrup together until the sugar dissolves, stir in the brandy, then tip in the nuts and fruit. Spoon over the hot pudding.
Obviously I don't have photo of the finished pudding with it's gorgeous topping as no one took a photo of the one I made last year, and it's not Christmas Day yet so I don't have a photo of this one yet either! So I will have to use the Good Food picture instead! But it does look like a shop bought pud once it's presented on the table! Trust me I know as my guests last year asked me if I had really made it! How rrruuude!
Here is my finished pudding, served on Christmas Day, not bad nah?! :)