Mid winter Christmas pudding

We’re bringing the taste of Christmas to your kitchen this July for an early mid-winter Christmas celebration. With flavours of spiced pear, cinnamon, orange zest and vanilla, this bonus dessert recipe will have your bellies wishing it was that time of year already!

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Serves 6-8

Ready in 3hrs

 

Poached Spiced Pears (or see tip)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup honey

2 star anise

2 cinnamon sticks

3 cloves

1 cardamom pod

Peel of ½ lemon

Peel of ½ orange

5 cups water

4 pears

 

1. Place all ingredients except pears into a medium pot. Bring to the boil on high heat. Peel pears, remove core and cut into quarters.

2. Add pears to boiling syrup and return to a simmer. Cover, reduce to low-medium and simmer gently for 25 minutes.

3. Remove pears and set aside to cool. Return syrup to high heat and boil (without the lid) for about 30 minutes, until about 1 cup of liquid remains. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

 

Steamed Pudding

150g butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup castor sugar

2 eggs

Zest of ½ orange

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp ground ginger

2 Tbsp golden syrup

2 cups self-raising flour

1 cup milk

4 tsp poaching syrup reduction

½ of the poached pears

 

To Serve

Remaining poached pears & syrup

Roasted hazelnuts

250ml cream

 

1. Grease a 2L pudding basin or glass (heat-proof) bowl with butter and dust with a little sugar. Set aside a large pot (big enough to fit the basin/bowl). Bring a full kettle to the boil.

2. Add butter and sugar to a large bowl. Using an electric beater, beat together until pale and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time and mix until incorporated. Add orange zest, vanilla, ginger and golden syrup and mix until combined. Fold in flour and milk, half at a time, until smooth.

3. Pour golden syrup into bottom of greased bowl and arrange half of the pears on top.

4. Spoon mixture over pears in bowl. Smooth top and cover with a round of baking paper. Cover top of bowl with a double layer of foil and secure with string tied around it. Place bowl in the pot and add enough boiling water to the pot to come halfway up the bowl.

5. Cover with a lid and bring to a simmer on medium-high heat. Reduce to low and simmer for 2 hours, checking every 30 minutes and topping up with boiling water if the level drops.

6. The pudding is ready when it’s springy to touch, or a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove from heat and carefully remove from pot (using oven gloves). Uncover (be careful of steam) and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Using a small knife, run around the edge of the pudding to release it from the dish. Place a plate on top and carefully flip to release the pudding.

7. Serve with remaining pears, syrup, roasted hazelnuts and cream.

 

Tip

If you don’t have time to poach your pears, simply use canned pears and add golden syrup to the bottom of the bowl instead of the poaching syrup – easy peasy!

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