Christmas Pudding Re-Worked

by Jan



Traditional Christmas pudding in our summer heat is a big ask, even if you buy it with a carton of ready-made custard.

Over the years I have tweaked recipes and have just reinvented Christmas pudding. It is not labour-intensive, and if you play your cards right there will be some left in the freezer for the few days after Christmas.

Ice Cream with Fruit Mince

Buy some good quality vanilla ice cream and a jar of good fruit mince. Some manufacturers are a bit nervous about seasoning and spices. If you love spices I suggest you dice finely some crystallized ginger, and grate a little root ginger, and stir into the fruit mince along with a large pinch of allspice. Do it gradually to suit your taste; remember that you can put it in but you can’t take it out. Another idea is to add some grated lemon and/or orange zest. This fruit mince is excellent to use in Christmas mince pies.

Take the ice cream out of your freezer; you need to let it defrost a little so that you can get it out of the box easily.

Give your benchtop a thorough clean, then rinse it. You don’t want your lovely Xmas pud to taste like a commercial cleaning product!

Tip the ice cream on to the bench. And have the fruit mince ready. Cut the ice cream into thick slices and roughly spread some fruit mince on to it, then repack it back into the plastic box. Continue doing this until the box is full. You might need another smaller plastic box to take the excess. Put it back in the freezer until you need it.

Some desserts can be a bit sweet so you might like to make some lemon curd to cut the acidity a bit.


Very Tangy Lemon Curd

2 eggs                                      2Tb sugar

2Tb butter                               zest & juice of 4 lemons

Combine in a stainless bowl and whisk over a double boiler; or do it in the microwave. Add a little more sugar if too tart. When it’s thick, let it cool then refrigerate in a screw-top jar.

Macerated Berries

These are lovely with almost anything. Put some mixed berries in a plastic box, and if frozen, put the lid on and let them defrost which won’t take long.

When the berries are soft sprinkle a little sugar and drizzle a little alcohol over them. You can use any sweet or fortified wine. Also the grated zest and juice of one lemon, then stir and taste. You might need to add something extra to suit your taste. Put the lid on and let them macerate in the fridge until you’re ready to serve the dessert.

These berries are beautiful with: good vanilla ice cream, dark chocolate ice cream, orange ice cream, good custard, chocolate cake, orange cake, lemon cake, and apple pie/tart. You might like to try this lemon cake:

Boiled Lemon Cake

This is a more pudding-like product than the other lemon cakes.

The day before, simmer 3 – 4 whole lemons and/or oranges until quite tender, cool and keep some of the water. Refrigerate in a lidded container.

When cool enough to handle, or the next day, cut the fruit in half and pick out any pips. Process with some of the lemon water into a thick puree.

Grease and flour a cake mould – about 25cm diameter. Or line with baking paper.

Set your oven at 170oC, and put the rack in the middle.

Melt 150g butter

Mix in: 1 cup sugar and 1.5 cups lemon puree

Whisk well: 3 eggs, and add to the mixture

Sift and fold in:    1.5 cups plain flour

1.2 cups custard powder

1tsp baking powder

1tsp baking soda

Scoop into the cake mould, and bake until a skewer comes out clean. While warm, pour over some lemon syrup. When cool enough to handle invert on to a cake rack. Keeps well in a lidded plastic box in the fridge. Good with lemon curd and cream.