Steamed Christmas Pudding and Custard

Serves 10

  • 3 cups mixed dried fruit, coarsely chopped
    ½ cup chopped dried apricots
    ½ cup chopped pitted prunes
    ½ cup sweetened dried cranberries
    ½ cup chopped soft dried figs
    2/3 cup brandy
    1¼ cups plain flour
    ½ teaspoon baking powder
    1 tablespoon mixed spice
    250g softened butter, plus extra for greasing
    1 cup firmly packed Bundaberg Rich Brown Sugar
    ¼ cup Bundaberg Golden Syrup
    1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
    4 eggs
    1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
    2 cups fresh white breadcrumbs

    Traditional custard

    6 egg yolks
    ½ cup Bundaberg Caster Sugar
    1 tablespoon cornflour
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    ¾ cup milk
    ¾ cup cream

1. Combine dried fruit, apricots, prunes, cranberries, figs and brandy in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Cover and stand for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
2. Grease a 2 litre (8 cup) capacity pudding basin with softened butter and line the base with a circle of non-stick baking paper. Sift flour with baking powder and spice. Set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, golden syrup and lemon rind together until pale and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add creamed mixture, along with flour and spice mix, almonds and breadcrumbs to fruit mixture. Stir to combine. Spoon mixture into prepared pudding basin.
4. Place a 30cm square sheet of baking paper on a similar sized sheet of foil. Grease the paper with butter.  Fold a pleat in the centre of the paper (allows for expansion).  Place over the basin, foil side up.  Tie a double piece of string under the rim to secure cover. Tie a double piece of string to make a handle.
5. Place an upturned heatproof saucer into a large saucepan or stockpot (large enough to fit pudding basin). Place pudding on the saucer. Carefully pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the pudding basin. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat. Cover saucepan with lid; simmer for 4½ to 5 hours or until a skewer inserted into the center of the pudding removes clean. Check the water level periodically, adding more boiling water if necessary.
6. Remove pudding from saucepan and stand for 10 minutes. Remove string, foil, and paper. If necessary, use a spatula or flat bladed knife to loosen pudding from basin. Turn pudding out onto serving plate and serve hot with custard (see recipe below).



To store: wrap cooled pudding in plastic wrap, then wrap in foil.  Store in refrigerator for up to 2 months.
To reheat on stovetop: Remove from refrigerator and remove foil at least 4 hours before reheating (to allow pudding to come to room temperature). Remove plastic. Place pudding back in clean, greased pudding basin. Cover and reheat in simmering water, as in steps 4, 5 & 6  (except for the pleat), for 2 hours.
To reheat in microwave: Remove from refrigerator and remove foil at least 4 hours before reheating. Remove plastic. Place pudding onto a microwave-proof plate lined with non-stick baking paper. Cover pudding loosely with plastic wrap and place on a microwave-safe rack or upturned saucer so pudding sits about 2cm above turntable . Reheat on medium-low (30% power) for 20 minutes or until the pudding feels hot. Stand 5 minutes before serving.

Traditional custard

Place egg yolks, caster sugar, cornflour and vanilla in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 3 minutes or until thick and pale. Combine milk and cream in a microwave-proof jug and heat in a microwave at 100% power for 1 minute or until just boiling. Slowly pour the hot cream/milk mixture into the egg mixture while constantly stirring with a wooden spoon. Pour into a medium saucepan and stir constantly over a low heat for 12 minutes or until thickened. Strain into a heatproof bowl or jug. Stir, then cover surface of custard with plastic wrap until required. Served warm or cold.



Custard can be made up to a day ahead and stored in refrigerator. To reheat: place custard in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water (ensure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water). Stir custard constantly for about 7 minutes or until warm. Do not overheat or the custard will curdle