3 plum pudding recipes to try this Christmas
You can’t beat a good plum pud. Of all the treats that land on the table on December 25, the humble plum pudding is always a highlight. You might have memories of your grandparents baking in a silver coin as a sign of good luck for the person who found it or remember it hanging in cloth from the garage of your family home months before Christmas. It’s really a dessert that epitomises the holiday season – and we’re paying homage to it here with three tasty recipes. Naturally, we’re fans of any recipe that can incorporate our favourite bottle of Starward – and each of these does. So, get baking! And don’t hold back on the custard and cream.
Steamed Fig, Starward Whisky and Earl Grey Pudding
20g (1/4 cup) Earl Grey tea leaves
500ml (2 cups) boiling water
375g dried figs, trimmed, chopped
250g pitted dried dates, chopped
125g raisins, chopped
255g (1 ¼ cups firmly packed) dark brown sugar
165g butter, chopped
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
150g (1 cup) plain flour
150g (1 cup) self-raising flour
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp ground cinnamon
160ml (2/3 cup) Starward HER Honeycomb
5 fresh figs, halved
Double cream, to serve
Use melted butter to grease a 2L (8 cup) pudding basin with a lid. Combine tea and water in a jug. Stand for 10 minutes. Strain. Discard leaves. Combine strained tea and figs in a bowl. Set aside for 30 minutes to macerate.
Drain figs, reserving the tea. Set aside 125ml (1/2 cup) of tea. Add enough water to the remaining tea to make 250ml (1 cup). Combine tea mixture, soaked figs, dates, raisins, 1 cup sugar and 125g butter in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 8 minutes. Stir in the bicarb. Transfer to a large bowl to cool.
Sift the flours and spices into a bowl. Add eggs and 80ml (1/3 cup) Starward HER Honeycomb to the fruit mixture. Stir well. Gently fold in flour mixture until just combined. Spoon into the prepared basin. Place a disc of baking paper over the surface. Secure with lid.
Place basin in a saucepan on an upturned heatproof saucer. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up the side of basin. Cover. Cook over low heat, adding more water when necessary, for 2 hours 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a platter. Drizzle with half the remaining Starward HER Honeycomb.
Preheat oven grill to high. Place fresh figs in a greased ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with remaining butter, sugar and Starward HER Honeycomb. Grill for 10 minutes or until golden and glazed. Serve pudding with figs and cream.
Whisky Christmas Pudding
500g mixed fruit
100g dates, chopped
250ml Starward Nova
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange
1 medium apple, peeled and grated
100g cold butter, grated, plus extra for the basin
100g dark muscovado sugar, plus 2 tbsp
100g fresh white breadcrumbs
50g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp ground mace
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp mixed spice
2 eggs, beaten
In a large bowl soak the mixed fruit, dates, orange and lemon zest and apple in the whisky for 24-48 hours.
Butter a roughly 900 gram pudding bowl then lightly coat the butter in 2tbsp of muscovado sugar by slowly tipping and turning the bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients to the fruit that has been soaking. Stir until well combined. Spoon into the basin and level.
Take a sheet of foil and make a pleat in the middle (this allows for the expanding pudding). Place over the top of the pudding bowl, greaseproof paper side down, and fix in place with string.
Sit the pudding bowl on top of an upturned heatproof saucer inside a saucepan. Pour boiling water half the way up the pudding. Cover and steam for 6 hours. Top water up as required.
Once the pudding is cooked cover with fresh greasproof paper and foil. Store in a cool dry place. To reheat either cook in the microwave (minus the foil), on medium, for 10 or steam for a further hour.
Steamed Christmas Pudding with Whisky Cream
210g butter, softened, plus extra to grease
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
3 tbsp maple syrup, plus optional extra to drizzle
3 bay leaves
210 g liht brown soft sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
100 g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cloves
pinch of fine sea salt
150 ml double cream
dash of Starward Fortis to taste, plus extra to flambé
Grease a roughly 900 gram pudding basin with butter, scatter the orange zest in the bottom and pour the maple syrup on top. Put the bay leaves in the middle and press down.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and light. With the motor running on low speed, slowly add the beaten eggs, making sure each addition is incorporated before the next is added.
Sift in the flour, baking powder, ground cloves and salt and fold through with a large metal spoon.
Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin. Lay a buttered and pleated sheet of greaseproof paper on top of the bowl, buttered side down, and cover with a sheet of pleated foil of the same size. Secure tightly with string under the rim of the bowl.
Stand the basin on a trivet or an upturned ramekin in a large saucepan. Pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the side of the basin and bring to a simmer. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer over a low heat for one and a half hours, checking the water level every 30 minutes or so and topping up with boiling water as needed.
Meanwhile, for the whisky cream, whisk the cream with a dash each of Starward Fortis and cream liqueur in a large bowl to soft peaks. Transfer to a serving bowl.
To check that the pudding is ready, unwrap and insert a skewer into the middle; it should come out clean. To unmould, loosen the sides of the sponge, then invert a warmed serving plate over the hot pudding and turn both over to unmould the pudding onto the plate. Glaze with some more maple syrup.
To flambé the pudding, warm a little Starward Fortis in a small pan, ignite it at the table with a match, and then pour on top of the pudding. Serve with the whisky cream.