Last-minute Christmas pudding with caramel brandy sauce
Photography by Brett Stevens. Styling by Yael Grinham.
Serves 10 or moreCooking time:
More than 2 hoursCourse: DessertFavourite flavours: Cakes/baking
If you like Christmas pudding, but didn't get around to making one earlier in the year, here's a version that is still rich and moist. Instead of allowing the flavours to infuse over months, I simmer the raisins in some brandy for maximum flavour. If you do make this in advance, it can be cooled and wrapped in plastic wrap and sealed in a freezer bag or airtight container, then refrigerated for 3 months or frozen for up to 12 months.
2 1/3 cups (375g) raisins, halved
1/2 cup (125ml) brandy
1/2 cup (125ml) water
200g butter, softened
3/4 cup (165g) firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup (70g) stale breadcrumbs
12/3 cups (250g) Turkish apricots, chopped
3/4 cup (110g) plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon mixed spice
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
CARAMEL BRANDY SAUCE
100g butter, chopped
300ml thickened cream
1 cup (220g) firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup (80ml) brandy
1. Grease a 1.75-litre (7-cup) pudding steamer or basin; line base with a round of baking paper. Place a small wire rack or inverted saucer in the base of a large saucepan make sure the pan is big enough that the lid can fit with the pudding steamer inside. Half-fill the pan with water; cover, bring to the boil.
2. Combine raisins, brandy and the waterin a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to the boil. Simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes or until most of the liquid is evaporated; cool.
3. Beat the butter and sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Stir in breadcrumbs, apricots and raisins, then sifted dry ingredients until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared steamer; level off the top. Secure with steamer lid. If steamer or basin does not have a lid, place a sheet of foil on bench, top with a sheet of baking paper. Fold a 5cm pleat crossways through both layers. Place sheets, baking paper-side down, over steamer; secure around steamer with string. Make a handle using excess string tied across the top. Trim away excess foil and paper, leaving about 4cm. Crush remaining foil around string to help form a good seal.
4. Place steamer in the saucepan with enough boiling water to come halfway up the side of the steamer. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid; steam for 3-4 hours. (Longer cooking time will give a darker pudding.) Replenish with boiling water as needed to maintain boil and water level during cooking. Stand pudding for 10 minutes before turning out.
5. CARAMEL BRANDY SAUCE: Meanwhile, place all the sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan; stir over heat until the butter melts. Bring to the boil; boil, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. The sauce will thicken as it cools.
6. Serve hot pudding with Caramel Brandy Sauce and vanilla ice-cream. Decorate with fresh cherries, if desired.
Pudding and sauce suitable to freeze separately. Sauce suitable to microwave.