Festive date & pecan pudding
- Preparation and cooking time
- Serves 8
Not your traditional Christmas pud, but a winner with our food team. A cross between sticky toffee and Christmas pud with a lighter feel
For the brandy syrup
- STEP 1
Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Pour 300ml boiling water over the chopped dates and set aside. Butter a 1.4-litre pudding basin and put a disc of baking parchment in the base. Put the butter, sugar, flour, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice and eggs into a large bowl, then beat with an electric hand whisk until really well blended. Add the cooled date mixture, then beat again to make a sloppy batter.
- STEP 2
Stir in the fruits, nuts and ginger, then pour into the pudding basin and place on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 1 hr, cover the top lightly with foil, then return to the oven for 25 mins more until a skewer inserted into the pudding comes out clean.
- STEP 3
Meanwhile, make the brandy syrup. Put the sugar and 50ml water in a pan and stir over the heat until syrupy. Stir in the brandy and remove from the heat. When the pudding is ready, remove from the oven and push a skewer into it in several places. Pour over the brandy syrup so it soaks into the pudding, then cover until ready to serve.
- STEP 4
Turn out onto a plate, scatter with the pecans and top with the holly sprig, dusted with icing sugar. Serve with good-quality vanilla ice cream.
The pud will keep in the fridge for 4 days or will freeze for 2 months. To reheat the pudding, cover the basin with cling film, pierce the film a few times, then reheat in the microwave for 5 mins on High. Or, cover the basin with foil and just leave it in the turned-off oven after the turkey has come out. I find the residual heat will warm it perfectly as you eat the main course – you want it warm rather than piping hot.