( SERVES 8 )
Photo by Babiche Martens
Simplicity is the key to this traditional Christmas dinner with a twist. Some of us thrive at the thought of cooking for a crowd, others cringe and immediately go into panic mode. For those people this is a great menu. Christmas shouldn't be stressful for anyone. It is a time to enjoy being with your nearest and dearest.
For dessert, it's a tradition in our family to dim the lights and sing We Wish You A Merry Christmas as the pudding is brought, flaming, to the table. Lashings of brandy applied to the pudI love Christmas and everything that surrounds it: the fun, yet slightly mad lead-up, rushing about, ordering the turkey in advance to ensure it's ready to be picked up, phoning the South Island supplier for cherries to be delivered, and sorting out who will bring what on the big day to ease the pressure on everyone concerned. The food is the easy part for me.
|100 g||Apricots, chopped|
|100 g||Figs, chopped|
|¼ cup||Glace ginger|
|150 g||Dark brown sugar|
|50 g||Dark chocolate, melted|
|½ cup||Self raising flour|
|¼ cup||Ground almonds|
- Put the sultanas, currants, apricots, fig, ginger and brandy in a bowl. Stir well, cover and soak overnight to allow flavours to fully develop.
- Cream the butter, sugar and golden syrup together until pale. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well. Fold the apple and chocolate through.
- Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, flour and almonds. Stir well then add the macerated fruit.
- Line the base of a 2-litre pudding basin with baking paper and grease the sides. Pour the mixture into the basin and smooth the top. Cover with a double thickness of baking paper and tie tightly. Do the same with tinfoil and tie again.
- Place the pudding in a large pot. Fill halfway up the sides with warm water. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer for 4 hours. Add more hot water as required.
- The pudding is cooked when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- If not eating immediately, store the pudding then reheat by steaming for 2 hours before serving.
- To make the brandy butter, whip the butter and icing sugar until pale and light. Add the brandy and beat well. Add extra brandy if desired.