Friday, 27 December 2013

Mini Pecan and Cherry Christmas Puddings

Did everyone have a good Christmas? I hope so. It was very quiet and relaxed in our house. One brother was working on Boxing Day and didn't want to have to travel back on Christmas Day so didn't come and the other and my sister-in-law and nephews stayed in Wales. So yes, verrrrrry quiet. We still had a lovely time though.

I know I should have given you this recipe before the big day but I didn't have enough hours to get everything done. Plus, who says I shouldn't write about Christmas puddings after December 25th?! I did warn you I would be stretching out the Christmas recipes. Today feels like a writing day though, at the very least for one short post so I'm telling you about these puddings. Sort of.

These aren't made from your traditional pudding recipe. It was last year that I cam eup with the recipe but I cannot for the life of me remember which one I adapted it from. I loaded it with cherries and pecans for my mum and rum for my dad. Spiced rum, because why not. It's quite difficult to know what to say when you don't actually like Christmas pudding yourself. You will have to take my parents' word for it. Both of them really enjoyed the one they shared between them - Dad wanted a whole one but Mum made him share so she could have a taste but still have room for roulade later. What I do know from my own experience is that they are really fun to make and so incredibly simple that it is a wonder that the shops manage to sell any. All the making involves is stirring everything into well-soaked fruit. Heavily soaked in spiced rum. Let's not forget the rum.

If there was ever a Christmas pudding for Jack Sparrow this would be it. 

I use a pressure cooker to cook these then reheat in the microwave. Pressure cookers are amazing. I think everyone should have one. There may have even been one lecture where the teacher mentioned them and I embarrassed myself by getting slightly excited over them. It speeds up cooking times so much but if you don't have one then regular steaming will work fine.
Mum has just come in to ask what I'm doing, sat on my bedroom floor with the laptop. I told her I was writing about puddings and that I wanted to try a teaspoonful just so I know what my own cooking tastes like and she repeated that it was nice. Very, very nice. And that she has been fancying it again so if I wanted to get a picture when it was aflame.....

I will hold her to that. Though maybe I'l pour more rum on for lighting this time so it will burn longer and give me chanceto get a good photo. Hey, I'm an undergrad chemist. We like doing things we shouldn't.

print recipe

Mini Pecan and Cherry Christmas Puddings
Mini versions of a not so classic Christmas pudding. Packed with pecans and juicy cherries and heavily laced with spiced rum.
  • 25g raisins
  • 100g glace cherries, halved
  • 75g pecans, roughly broken
  • At least 4 tbsp spiced rum
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 1 generous tsp mixed spice
  • 25g plain flour
  • 55g breadcrumbs
  • 55g dark soft brown sugar
  • Zest of half an orange or one clementine
  • 1 generous tbsp black treacle
  • 1 large egg
  • 30g suet, veg or traditional
1. At least a few days before you want to cook the puddings, stir together the cherries, raisins and rum in a bowl. Cover with clingfilm and leave until ready to make the puddings, giving it a mix/more rum as desired.2. When ready to cook, butter 4 small ramekins well, add a cricle of greaseproof to the bottom of each and prepare the greaseproof paper coverings i.e. a triple layer, big enough to cover the ramekins tops with a pleat in the centre (see the picture). Cut 4 pieces of string too. Place the trivet in the bottom of the pressure cooker. 3. Place the rest of the ingredients in a largish bowl and add the soaked fruit. Mix together well and divide between the ramekins. There should be roughly 150g in each one. If you make them bigger/smaller, the cooking times will need to be altered. Tie the greaseproof over the ramekins and place in the pressure cooker. If they don't all fit in one layer it is fine to stack them. Pour in 0.75-1 litre of water and fix the pressure cooker lid in place.4. Bring the pressure cooker to steaming, reduce the hob temp to half and steam for 10 mins. Increase the temp to full again, bring to high pressure, reduce the temp to half again and cook for 50 mins. Release the pressure by removing the pan fro the heat and allowing to calm before removing the lid. Take the pudding out of the pan with care and allow to cool before covering with a layer of fresh greaseproof and a layer of foil. Store in a cool place but not the fridge.5. When ready to serve, remove the wrappings, run a knife around the edge of the ramekin, turn out on to a plate and heat for 1-2 mins in the microwave. Add rum, cream, sauce, ice-cream as desired.

There are a number of baking challenges I could enter this into this month but for once I'm keeping it simple. Now is the time for chilling so go enjoy yourselves and have fun. Speak soon!

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