Lighter Christmas pudding
- November 2017
- Serves 10-12
- Hands-on time 1 hour 25 min, simmering time 3 hours, plus overnight soaking
Debbie Major’s fruity, chocolatey take on traditional Christmas pudding is made with panettone for a lighter result. It’s also made without suet, so is perfect for vegetarians.
Or, try this suet-free Christmas pudding, whose spherical shape is worthy of a Christmas card.
- Vegetarian recipes
- 19.6g (11.2g saturated)
- 65.5g (51.7g sugars)
- 150g sultanas
- 150g raisins
- 150g currants
- 50g ready-to-eat dried figs, cut to the same size as the sultanas
- 50g chopped candied peel
- 50g dried cranberries
- 50ml brandy
- Finely grated zest 2 oranges, plus 50ml juice
- 150g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp salt
- 50g each light and dark muscovado sugar
- 100g orange-flavoured dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 175g slightly salted butter, melted
- 200g chocolate panettone
- 1 large bramley apple (about 300g)
- 3 large free-range eggs, beaten
You’ll also need…
- 1.8 litre pudding basin (or two 900ml basins)
- Turkey-size foil
- Non-stick baking paper
- Kitchen string
- Put the dried fruit and peel in a bowl, mix with the brandy, orange zest and juice, cover and set aside overnight to soak. Sift the flour, spices and salt into another bowl and stir in the sugar and chocolate. Cover with cling film and set aside with the fruit.
- The next day, cut 2 discs of non-stick baking paper: one to fit into the base of the basin and a larger one to fit just inside the top rim (use the basin as a template). Brush the inside of the basin with a little melted butter and put the smaller disc of paper in the base. (If using 2 smaller basins, cut out 4 discs using the basins as a template.)
- Cut the panettone into pieces and whizz in a food processor into coarse crumbs using the pulse button. (Alternatively rub the panettone to crumbs on the coarse side of a box grater.) Peel, core and coarsely grate the apple. Stir the apple, remaining melted butter, panettone crumbs and beaten eggs into the dried fruit mixture, followed by the flour mixture. Spoon into the pudding basin(s) and press the larger disc(s) of paper onto the surface.
- To wrap the pudding(s) for steaming (for a single large basin), tear off one rectangular length of non-stick baking paper and an equal-size length of foil. With the shorter ends facing you, make a 5cm wide pleat across the centre of each (they should now be almost square – this will give the pudding space to expand as it cooks). Lay the paper over the top of the basin and press it down over the sides (another pair of hands is useful here). Cut a piece of kitchen string to about 1.5m, fold in half and wrap it around the basin just beneath the rim. Pass the 2 ends through the loop and pull it tight. Separate the 2 strands, then wrap in opposite directions back around the basin and tie on the opposite side in a tight knot. Trim the paper to within 5cm of the string, then trim off the ends of the string. Repeat with the foil, using a 2m length of string (this will also make a handle). Once you’ve tied a tight knot, pass the 2 pieces of string loosely over the top of the basin, poke them under the string on the opposite side, pass back over the basin and tie securely in place. Leave a little slack in the handle as the pudding will rise when it cooks. (Use the same method if making 2 smaller puddings; standard size foil will suffice.)
- To steam, sit an upturned saucer or petal steamer in the bottom of a large lidded saucepan deep enough to comfortably hold the basin with space to spare. Sit the pudding on the saucer and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the basin, to just below the edges of the paper and foil. Cover the pan and leave to steam for 3 hours, checking the water level every hour, topping up with boiling water as needed, until a skewer comes out clean. If using 2 basins, see Debbie’s tip.
- Carefully turn out the pudding onto a warmed plate and cut into wedges to serve.
I found a chocolate panettone in Waitrose (and coffee shops such as Caffè Nero often sell them too), but a chocolate chip or classic will do just as well. Divide the mixture between two 900ml pudding basins if you wish, and steam for 2½-3 hours until a skewer pushed into the centre of the puds comes out clean.
You need to start this recipe a day before cooking the pudding. You can also make the panettone crumbs and store overnight in a plastic bag if you wish. Prepare the dry ingredients the day before, mix in the wet ingredients the next day, then steam for 3 hours.
Although this pudding doesn’t need maturing, it will keep for up to 6 weeks, but Debbie recommends storing it in the fridge rather than the cupboard. If you’re storing it, re-cover the pudding with fresh pleated non-stick baking paper and foil as soon as it’s cooked, while still warm. Once cool, store in the fridge, then steam for 1 hour more on Christmas Day.
If you don’t want to reheat the whole pud, it’s also great sliced, plated, covered with cling film and microwaved when needed.
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