Last week when Jinksy posted about her Christmas preparations I commented that for some years now I have made a Christmas pudding that is cooked in the oven, rather than steamed and she has asked for the recipe. There is no need to worry about the pan boiling dry or boiling over and I did not even need to put the extractor fan on last night! Then to heat it up on Christmas Day all you need to do is to heat it up in the microwave. The recipe came from Ideal Home magazine about ten years ago. It is lighter than a conventional Christmas pudding and should be made at least one week before Christmas. There is no need for it to age or mature. So you still have time to make it. Ideal Home magazine have called it Boozy Christmas Pudding. This recipe provides six generous portions.
400g/14oz mixed fruit such as dates, apricots, cherries, figs, raisins, all roughly shopped
grated rind and juice of one small orange
125g/4oz butter (at room temperature)
125g/4oz dark brown sugar
2 eggs beaten
25g/1oz toasted, chopped hazelnuts
50g/2oz self-raising flour
1tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- place the dried fruit, orange rind and juice, and brandy in a large bowl and set aside for an hour or two until all the liquid has been absorbed. Preheat the oven to 160 C, 325 F, gas 3.
- in a bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until soft and well blended, then beat in the eggs, nuts and fruit mixture. Sift over the flour and spices and fold in the breadcrumbs. Spoon the mixture into a buttered 1 litre or 2 pint pudding basin.
- cover the top of the pudding basin with greaseproof paper, pleated in the centre and tied down with string. Cover with foil. Put the basin in a roasting tin and pour boiling water into the tin so it comes about 6cm up the side of the basin.
- cover the whole roasting tin with foil, making sure that the edges are tightly sealed.
- bake for 3 1/2 to 4 hours until the pudding is just firm to touch, checking occasionally to see if the water needs topping up.
- to reheat, cover the basin with microwave film and cook on medium for 6 to 8 minutes in the microwave, then rest for two minutes before serving.