Donna Hay’s Christmas Pudding

Donna Hay’s Christmas Pudding

This month, for something a little different, we bring you Donna Hays Christmas pudding – a surefire way to get into the festive spirit!

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ CUP (40G) SULTANAS
  • ½ CUP (80G) DRIED CURRANTS
  • ¾ CUP (100G) RAISINS
  • 8 SOFT FRESH DATES (160G), PITTED AND CHOPPED
  • ½ CUP (70G) SLIVERED ALMONDS
  • ½ TEASPOON MIXED SPICE
  • ? CUP (80ML) SWEET SHERRY
  • ? CUP (160ML) BRANDY
  • 125G UNSALTED BUTTER, SOFTENED
  • ¼ CUP (45G) LIGHT BROWN SUGAR
  • ¼ CUP (55G) CASTER (SUPERFINE) SUGAR
  • 2 EGGS
  • ? CUP (100G) PLAIN (ALL-PURPOSE) FLOUR, SIFTED
  • 1½ CUPS (100G) FRESH WHITE BREADCRUMBS
  • BRANDY CUSTARD, TO SERVE

METHOD

  1. Place the sultanas, currants, raisins, dates, almonds, mixed spice, sherry and half the brandy in a large bowl and mix to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to soak in a cool, dark place for 24 hours, mixing occasionally.
  2. Place the butter and both the sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8–10 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the butter mixture, half the flour and the breadcrumbs to the soaked fruit and mix to combine.
  3. Place a large saucepan of water over high heat and bring to the boil. Add a 60cm-square piece of calico cloth and boil for 5 minutes. Using tongs, remove the calico and allow to cool. Squeeze to remove any excess water. Drain, refill the pan with water and bring to the boil. Open the calico out and top with the remaining ? cup (50g) of flour. Rub the flour over the calico to form a large circle. Spoon the pudding mixture into the centre of the calico to form a mound and gather the ends together firmly. Tie the calico as close to the mixture as possible with kitchen string, leaving at least a 15cm length of string at both ends. Place the pudding in the water, reduce the heat to medium and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Simmer for 4 hours, adding more water if necessary.
  4. Drain and hang the pudding over a bowl for 24–48 hours or until dry. Cut the string and invert the pudding onto a serving plate. Gently remove the cloth, top with the remaining ? cup (80ml) of brandy and serve with brandy custard. Serves 6–8

COOK’S TIP:
+ While English tradition would see families make their puddings on the last Sunday of November and hang them in a cool place until Christmas, warm Australian summers say otherwise! If the weather’s warm, it’s best to make this pudding up to 2 weeks in advance and store it in the refrigerator. You can reheat the pudding by boiling it for 1 hour or simply removing it from the cloth and microwaving it in single serves.

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