PEAR & GIN­GER CHRIST­MAS PUD­DING

The Inside: Good Housekeeping - - SOUTH AFRICA -

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.

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