PEAR & GINGER CHRISTMAS PUDDING
Hands-on Time 30 minutes, plus overnight soaking and cooling
Cooking Time About 4½ hours
Serves 8 (This is best matured, but can be eaten immediately)
For the pudding
• 250g sultanas
• 75g each dried apricots, dates (stoned) and figs, chopped
• 225ml pear cider
• finely grated zest of 1 lemon
• butter, to grease
• 75g vegetarian suet
• 100g light brown soft sugar
• 2 tsp each ground cinnamon and ground ginger
• 75g plain flour
• 50g fresh white breadcrumbs
• 1 large egg
• 1 pear, coarsely grated (skin on)
• 40g ginger preserve (about 2 balls), coarsely grated
For the topping
• 1 pear, peeled and cut into 1cm pieces
• 20g ginger preserve (about 1 ball), finely chopped
• 1 tbsp golden syrup
1 For the pudding: put the dried fruit, pear cider and lemon zest into a large nonmetallic bowl. Cover and leave to soak overnight at room temperature.
2 When fruit has soaked, lightly grease a 1l pudding basin with butter; line base with a disc of baking paper. Put a large square of foil on top of a square of baking paper of the same size. Fold a 4cm pleat across the centre of both, together; set aside.
3 To make the topping, mix together the pear, ginger and golden syrup, then scrape into the base of the prepared pudding basin. Set aside.
4 In a separate large bowl, mix together suet, sugar, spices, flour, breadcrumbs, egg, grated pear, ginger preserve and the contents of the soaked fruit bowl. Stir well, then spoon into the prepared pudding basin and level the surface.
5 Put pleated foil and paper square (foil-side up) on top of the basin; smooth down to cover. Tie a long piece of string securely under the lip of the basin, then loop it over again; tie to make a handle. Scrunch in excess foil around edges, to cover excess baking paper – this will help stop moisture getting into the pudding.
6 To cook, put a heatproof saucer in the base of a large, deep pot. Lower in the prepared pudding and pour in enough water to come halfway up the sides of the basin – try not to get any on top of the pudding. Cover pot with a lid, then bring water to the boil, turn down heat and simmer gently for 4½ hours, topping up the water as necessary. Remove pudding from the pot and, if not serving immediately, cool completely, keeping wrapped and tied.up) on top of the basin; smooth down to cover. Tie a long piece of string securely under the lip of the basin, then loop it over again; tie to make a handle. Scrunch in excess foil around edges, to cover excess baking paper – this will help stop moisture getting into the pudding.
7 When cool, wrap the entire basin, still with its foil lid, tightly in clingfilm and then another layer of foil.
Store in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months.
TO REHEAT ON THE STOVE
Remove the top layer of foil, clingfilm and pleated lid. Re-cover the top of the basin with a baking-paper and foil lid as before. Using the instructions in step 6, reheat for 1½ hours. Leave to stand for a few minutes, then remove lid, invert pudding on to a lipped plate and peel off baking-paper disc. Serve.
TO FLAME YOUR PUDDING
Warm 4 tbsp brandy in a small pot. Carefully light the brandy using a long match and pour over the pudding.
Per serving 1 700kJ, 5g protein, 10g fat (5g saturated), 71g carbohydrate (58g total sugars), 5g fibre.