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    Exotic Christmas Pudding with Orange Sauce

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    Exotic Christmas Pudding with Orange Sauce

    If you can't get exactly the fruits suggested, just make sure that the total weight is about 500g. Make the sauce the night before and keep in the fridge.

    • Christmas
    • Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus overnight steeping
    • Cooking time: 61/2-91/2 hours
    • Total time: 24 minutes 25 minutes

    Serves: 8 - 10

    Ingredients

    • 125g pack Waitrose Soft Caraboa Mango
    • 100g Waitrose Soft Prunes
    • 100g Waitrose Soft Apricots
    • 100g pack dried cranberries
    • 100g sultanas
    • 3 tbsp brandy
    • 75g fresh white breadcrumbs
    • 75g plain flour
    • 2 tsp mixed spice
    • 50g chopped almonds
    • 200g light brown muscovado sugar
    • 100g butter, softened to room temperature
    • 2 large eggs
    • Zest and juice of 2 oranges
    • For the orange sauce
    • 200ml tub full fat crème fraîche
    • Grated zest of 1 orange
    • 1 tbsp icing sugar, sieved
    • 2 tbsp Cointreau or Grand Marnier, to taste

    Method

    1. Generously butter a 1.2 litre pudding basin and line the bottom with buttered foil. Chop the mangoes, prunes and apricots into small pieces the size of a sultana. Place these and the remaining fruits into a large plastic box or bowl, pour over the brandy and orange juice, mix well and cover. Leave overnight so that all the liquid is absorbed.
    2. Tip the fruit into a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients, taking care that the butter is soft but not oily,and beat until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pudding basin. Cover with a pleated piece of buttered foil (the fold in the foil allows a little room for expansion), with the buttered side towards the pudding. Push the foil down around the edges of the basin and tie in place with kitchen string, to ensure no steam can escape. Make a string handle, too, to make lifting the hot basin from its steamer easier.
    3. Place the basin in a steamer above water or stand on a rack in a saucepan. Pour water into the pan so that it comes half way up the basin.
    4. Bring to the boil, then lower the temperature and simmer for about 5 hours for a light pudding or about 8 hours for a darker pudding - remember to check the water level regularly, as it will need to be topped up, to prevent it from boiling dry.
    5. Allow the pudding to get completely cold, then discard the foil and replace with a new piece and store in the fridge or freezer until needed (you can prepare this up to 2 months ahead. If freezing, thaw completely before reheating).
    6. To reheat the pudding on Christmas Day, steam or simmer in water for about 1½ hours until hot. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together. As an option when serving, dust the pudding with icing sugar and top with the fine zest of 2 oranges.

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    Cook's tips

    The buttered foil in the bottom of the basin ensures that the pudding does not stick - simply remove before serving.

    If boiling the pudding rather than steaming, sit the basin on a metal rack - this prevents the pudding from becoming overcooked at the bottom. Do not sit it on a plate or saucer as these can crack.

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