Crafting the perfect Christmas pudding
The last Sunday before advent begins is traditionally known as Stir Up Sunday, when families get together and make the mixture for their Christmas pudding.
With Stir Up Sunday just around the corner, Rob Rudman, head chef at St Cross College shares his six top tips to making the perfect pud this festive season.
Plan ahead. The further in advance you make the pudding, the longer the flavours will have to develop. They become richer and deeper with age.
You want blissful boozy bites. Use stout or rum, both of which will give the pudding a rich, dark colour. If you want to go alcohol-free, apple juice is a good alternative as it complements the flavours of the fruit.
Cram it with fruit! My chosen fruit combo is always sultanas, raisins, currants and mixed peel. By adding orange and lemon zest you get that extra zing! I love to put cranberry into mine as they add a little sour taste. But you can mix up the fruits as you please – just keep that total weight right.
It’s all in the steam. Always store in the fridge, but let it thaw overnight before reheating. That way it has a chance to come to room temperature and there’s no chance of having a cold centre.
Buttered is best. Always add the mixture to buttered lidded pudding basins. It makes it easier and less fiddly than having to line and foil a traditional basin. Then steam for three hours – the longer the steam, the richer the puddings become.
Serve in style. Thick brandy sauce or double cream for the win! It is Christmas after all!