December is finally upon us, and Christmas will be here before you know it! Christmas pudding is a must-have over the festive period, and many will be trying their hand at making their own.
Christmas pudding is surprisingly easy to make, and there are plenty of recipes that are perfect for beginners. To help, Destiny Foods has put together some top tips to help you with your preparation, storage and other aspects.
If you have time, try soaking your fruits in the liquor overnight before making your pudding. This will ensure the fruit absorbs the flavour fully, accentuating its taste. Whisky, rum and cold tea are great for a moist Christmas pudding, and if your recipe includes other ingredients for absorption at this point, ensure they are covered in a cool, dry place.
Not everybody wants alcohol in their Christmas pudding, and for those who don’t, substituting cognac for a mixture of orange, lime and grape juice will work just as well. Additionally, if you don’t like a particular fruit in the recipe you’ve found, don’t be afraid to experiment by switching to other fruits – just ensure the ratio of fruit to other ingredients remains the same. Traditional Christmas puddings use suet, which can pose a problem for vegetarians. However, this can be easily rectified by replacing with vegetarian suet, or vegetable shortening such as Crisco.
Most people like to make their Christmas puddings well in advance to save any further hassle across the busy festive period. If you do decide to do this, ensure you store the pudding in a cool, dry place away from any light. An ideal place would be below a bed in an unheated room. To keep the pudding moist, ensure you top it up with a splash of liquor each week. If you decide to freeze the pudding, wrap it in cling film and then foil to ensure it doesn’t spoil.
Christmas pudding is usually served with a sprig of holly for decoration. Many people also like to serve it with flaming brandy, however, holly is incredibly flammable so ensure the brandy is at the bottom of the pudding, away from the holly. In terms of side dish, there are choices of custard, sweet white sauce, brandy butter or whipped cream. If you’re serving for guests, it’s a good idea to ensure you have all of the above, as everybody will have their own personal preference.
Destiny Foods now has a Christmas range on offer, which you can view here.