A lighter Christmas pudding
This is a lighter version of Christmas pudding, with a golden crumb, the fresh zing of zest and the brightness of ginger. You will need greaseproof paper, foil and string. And I can vouch, after using up the leftovers from several tests, that it is even better fried in a little butter (or coconut oil for vegans) the next day.
Serves: at least 8
Vegetable oil, for greasing
5 pieces stem ginger, finely chopped
100g apricots, finely chopped
100g prunes, finely chopped
100g marzipan, cut or crumbled into 1cm cubes
125g plain flour
100g vegetable suet
100g golden caster sugar
30ml sherry (I used oloroso)
1 pinch sea salt
1 tsp ground ginger
Zest of 2 oranges
Zest of 2 clementines
Zest of 2 lemons
150g ground almonds
200ml oat milk
Using a piece of kitchen paper, rub the oil evenly around the inside of a 1.5-litre heatproof pudding bowl.
Mix together the stem ginger, apricots, prunes, sultanas and marzipan in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients apart from the oat milk, and mix together with a wooden spoon.
Next, stir through the oat milk until you have a thick batter, then spoon it all into the greased bowl.
Cut two sheets of greaseproof paper into circles big enough to cover and hang over the rim of the bowl. Grease the piece that sits over the mixture with a little oil, then top with the second piece and a sheet of tin foil. Use the foil to secure the greaseproof paper, then tie some string up and over the bowl to tie the covers tightly in place.
Put a small plate (one that you don’t particularly mind about) in the bottom of a large saucepan, and put the pudding bowl on top. Pour cold water into the pan until it comes halfway up the side of the bowl.
Bring to a boil, then cover with a lid and simmer on a low heat for three hours. Check the water regularly, so it doesn’t dry out – top up to halfway again, if necessary.
Carefully lift the pudding bowl out of the pan – at this point, you can turn it out and serve it at once, or leave it to cool in its foil package. When cooled, replace the greaseproof and foil with fresh layers and tie again with string; this way, you can steam it to heat through again for 30 minutes when ready to serve. Put in the fridge or in a cool, dry place until needed.
Image: Matt Russell