Ginger and Orange Christmas Pudding

Recipes

In our house, when making the pudding, we keep the fantastic tradition of stirring…………

In our house, when making the pudding, we keep the fantastic tradition of stirring – each family member has a go and makes a wish (usually about possible large Christmas gifts!) I’ve added ginger here for a tasty twist to this pudding and also to add another level to the festive flavours.

FOR STEEPING

100g raisins
100g sultanas
75g currants
3 tbsp mixed peel
1 tbsp finely chopped crystallised ginger
3 tbsp Grand Marnier (or other orange liqueur or brandy)
100ml orange juice
75g dark brown sugar
melted butter, for brushing
50g golden caster sugar
3 tbsp ground almonds
40g fresh white breadcrumbs
80g plain flour
½ tsp ground ginger
½ orange, zest only
1 egg, beaten
60g chilled butter or suet, finely chopped

Combine all the ingredients for steeping, cover and leave in a cool place overnight. To make the pudding, generously brush a 900ml pudding bowl with melted butter. Line the base with a circle of parchment paper. Mix the caster sugar, almonds, breadcrumbs, flour, ginger and orange zest together in a large bowl. Carefully stir the soaked fruit into the dry ingredients, then stir in the beaten egg. Finally, add the butter or suet. Spoon the mixture into the pudding bowl. Then cover the bowl tightly with a well-fitting lid or a layer of parchment paper and foil. Secure with string, ensuring to cross the string over the top of the bowl. This forms a handle. Place the bowl in a saucepan a quarter full of boiling water – the water should be only halfway up the sides of the pudding bowl – and reduce the heat. Cover and leave to simmer very gently for 4 hours – remember to top up with boiling water as required. Carefully remove the pudding from the saucepan, cool in the bowl and store in a cool, dry place.

FOR THE ORANGE SAUCE

100ml fresh orange juice
50ml caster sugar
1 tbsp butter
icing sugar, for dusting
4 to 5 crystallised ginger pieces, roughly chopped, to decorate
½ orange, zest only

To make the orange sauce, combine the orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan over a   medium heat. Simmer for 12 minutes until thick. Whisk in the butter and cool. This will keep in the fridge overnight. On Christmas Day, reheat the pudding by steaming again for at least 1½ hours. Turn the pudding out and dust with icing sugar. Warm the orange sauce and decorate the pudding with ginger pieces and orange zest on top.

(P.S. A dash of brandy in the orange sauce is nice too!)

Fine foodCatherine FulvioGood living