It’s the 1st of December! I’ve opened the first door on my Advent calendar and the outside lights are up, although they haven’t been turned on yet. We couldn’t get Jessie J to do our switch-on, she’s too busy apparently (!), so the honour will fall to Mr Simply Veg.
Cranberry and Apricot Sponge Puds for our dessert… then I saw this recipe on one of the regular email alerts I get from GoodFood which threw my decision out of the window. It seems such a good idea to cook a Christmas pudding in a loaf tin that I wonder why I’ve never seen it done before.
I didn’t want to be disappointed so I had a dry run yesterday. I roughly halved the recipe and cooked it in a 1lb loaf tin; I also changed some of the ingredients. I’m not keen on glacé cherries but I love preserved ginger and nuts; I also dropped the amount of mixed spice but added ground ginger and a touch of ground cloves to warm it up a little bit.
It cut into eight decent slices, six of which were put in the freezer, and we had a slice each with custard after dinner last night. Well, we had to try it out, didn’t we?! I’m pleased to say it was just right, not stodgy and much lighter than the traditional pudding, fresher tasting and really fruity. I have a feeling it will form part of many of our Christmases to come. I didn’t make the accompanying sauce from the original recipe – it would have been a sweetness overload for us but I leave that up to you.
200g dried mixed fruit
2 balls of preserved ginger in syrup, chopped
½ a small Bramley apple (about 75g) grated
grated zest of an orange
75ml apple juice
2 tbsp brandy
50g dark muscovado sugar
1 large egg, beaten
45g self-raising flour
50g white breadcrumbs
1 tbsp syrup from the ginger jar
½ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
pinch of ground cloves
20g toasted mixed nuts, roughly chopped
Put the dried fruit, chopped ginger, grated apple, orange zest, apple juice and brandy into a largish bowl; give it a good stir, cover with clingfilm and leave overnight.
Next day, cream the butter and sugar then stir in the rest of the ingredients including the soaked fruit and any remaining juice. Put the mixture into a 1lb loaf tin lined with bakewell paper then put the loaf tin into a roasting tin.
Having halved the recipe this is where I had to use a bit of guesswork. I cooked mine for 25 minutes at 160C fan then I turned the oven down to 140C and cooked it for another 55 minutes. No two ovens are the same, so test with a skewer to make sure it's cooked through.
Serve with cream, custard, brandy butter or whatever takes your fancy.
Makes 8 slices