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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 soaking
    • Cooking time: 6 1/2 - 8 1/2 hours
    • Total time: up to 8 hours 50 minutes 25 minutes

    Serves: 8 - 10

    Ingredients

    125g pack No1 Waitrose Perfectly Soft Dried Mango

    100g soft prunes

    100g soft apricots

    100g pack dried cranberries

    100g sultanas

    3 tbsp brandy

    Zest and juice of 2 oranges

    75g fresh white breadcrumbs

    75g plain flour

    2 tsp mixed spice

    50g chopped almonds

    200g light brown muscovado sugar

    100g butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing

    2 British Blacktail Large Free Range Eggs

    Icing sugar and orange zest, to decorate

     

    For the orange sauce:

    200ml tub crème fraîche

    Grated zest of 1 orange

    1 tbsp icing sugar, sieved

    2 tbsp Cointreau or Grand Marnier, to taste

    Method

    1.    Chop the mango, 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 zest and juice, mix well and cover. Leave to soak overnight.

    2.    Generously butter a 1.2 litre pudding basin and line the bottom with buttered foil.  Tip the soaked fruit and any liquid into a large mixing bowl, then add all the remaining pudding ingredients, taking care that the butter is soft but not oily.  Beat until smooth.

    3.    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 cooks’ string, to ensure no steam can escape. Make a string handle, too, to make lifting the hot basin from its steamer easier.  Place the basin in a steamer above simmering water or stand on a rack in a saucepan. Pour water into the pan so that it comes halfway up the sides of the basin.  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.

    4.    Allow the pudding to get completely cold, then discard the foil and replace with a new piece.  Store in the fridge or freezer until needed (you can prepare this up to 2 months ahead. If freezing, thaw completely before reheating).  To reheat the pudding on Christmas Day, steam or simmer in water as above, for about 1½ hours until piping hot. Dust with icing sugar and top with pieces of orange zest.  Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together and serve alongside.

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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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