Christmas Pudding with brandy custard
20 minutes prep.
4 hours cooking
- 180 g dried figs, chopped
- 130 g seedless raisins
- 50 g dried apricots, chopped
- 75 g mixed peel
- 90 g brown sugar
- 180 g beef suet, grated
- 100 g plain flour
- 90 g dried breadcrumbs
- grated zest and juice of 1 orange
- grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 vanilla bean, sliced open, seeds removed
- 1 nutmeg, grated
- 2 eggs
- 75 ml brandy
- 600 ml milk
- butter, for greasing
- 500 ml thickened cream
- ½ vanilla bean, split
- 8 egg yolks
- 100 g castor sugar
- 35 g cornflour
- 35 ml brandy, or to taste
- To prepare the pudding, mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl, then cover the bowl with plastic film and refrigerate overnight.
- Grease a large pudding bowl with butter and spoon in the pudding mixture. Wrap the bowl tightly with several layers of plastic wrap to make it waterproof.
- Place the pudding bowl in a large saucepan, then fill the pan with water until it is 2 cm from the top of the bowl. Cover the pan with aluminium foil, bring the water to the boil then boil for approximately 4 hours, replenishing the water every 40 minutes or when required. Check to see that the pudding is cooked – a wooden skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.
- Remove the bowl from the saucepan and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Remove the wrapping from the pudding and seal with a new layer of plastic wrap. Store in a very cool place, or for longer storage, keep it in the refrigerator.
- To prepare the brandy custard, pour the cream into a medium saucepan, add the vanilla bean and bring to the boil. Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl. Add a small amount of the cream mixture then stir well. Gradually add the remaining cream and cook gently for about 10 minutes until thickened, stirring constantly.
- Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and set aside to cool.
- Add the desired amount of brandy just before serving.
- When ready to serve, reheat the pudding in a steamer for about 30 minutes then serve with the warm brandy custard.