Welcome back chefs! I can’t believe that it is the beginning of November already and the Holiday season is just around the corner. With the weather getting cooler and the meals getting heartier, it is a great time to start planning your Christmas meal. A classic British dessert and Middleton favorite that is sure to wow your guests is Christmas Pudding with brandy butter from Pippa’s book Celebrate. This dessert is similar to a fruit cake and was traditionally made with thirteen ingredients to represent Christ and the twelve apostles. A coin was also added to the ingredients and was said to bring wealth to whoever found it! With all of the time and preparation it takes to make this, I can definitely see Kate and Pippa joining forces in the kitchen while spreading a little Christmas cheer!
*Please note that this pudding must be made a month in advance so that the flavors have time to develop*
Ingredients: (serves 8-10)
- 1 1/3 pounds of chopped mixed dried fruit
- 4 oz of candied citrus peel
- 1 large peeled and grated cooking apple
- 2 teaspoons each of pumpkin pie spice and ground cinnamon
- finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 3/4 cup of packed soft brown sugar
- 5 oz of halved glace cherries
- 1 large peeled grated carrot
- 1 1/2 cups of ground almonds
- 2 tablespoons of molasses
- 1/3 cup of all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of shortening
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2/3 cup of brandy or Calvados
- 1/4 cup of stout or dark ale
- 2 beaten eggs
- In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together
- Leave mixture for two hours or preferably overnight
3. Pour the mixture into a 1-quart high-sided deep bowl and cover securely with a lid or foil.
4. Put a metal trivet or rack in the bottom of a large saucepan, fill it half full of water and bring it to a simmer.
5. Carefully lower the pudding bowl into the pan and rest it on the trivet.
6. Cover, and adjust heat to maintain a gentle boil.
7. Steam the pudding, filling the pan as necessary with more water so the bowl is partially submerged for 7 hours.
8. Store in a cool, dry dark place until Christmas Day. To reheat, steam again for 1 to 2 hours until completely warmed through. Enjoy with brandy butter.
Brandy butter ingredients (serves 8-10)
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter
- finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 1/4 cup of packed soft light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup of brandy
- Mix butter, orange zest, and brown sugar until thoroughly combined.
- Gradually add the brandy while mixing until you have a creamy, smooth paste. (this will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days)
When I first heard that I would be tackling this recipe, I was a bit intimidated to be honest. Made a month in advance? Steaming for 7 hours? This sounded very intense! While it definitely was a labor of love, I admired all of the tradition it is steeped in and look forward to perfecting my method over the years. It didn’t come out perfectly but I was pleased for my first try. The flavors are plentiful and it has a rich, warm, earthy taste. So don’t be scared to tackle this recipe, it is what Kate would do!