All About The Pud
Your customers may be fit to burst after their hearty festive meals, but at this time of year they’ll always find room for dessert! And chances are the traditional Christmas pudding will be top of their list! Serving the right one to your customers is vital, but how do you decide to go for ready-made or make one yourself?
Take Stock spoke to Robert and Lea Darling of award-winning Burtree Puddings to find out more about ready-made and persuaded chef Andy Gabbitas of The Wortley Arms to share his own Christmas pudding recipe.
What’s the secret behind a great Christmas pudding?
There’s no secret. It’s just a matter of using the very best ingredients and paying attention to the smallest of details. A memorable Christmas pudding should be light, moist and full of rich flavours, so we make ours in small batches, mix the ingredients by hand and then steam the pudding for eight hours. In addition, we don’t use beef suet, preferring vegetable suet instead. This means everyone can enjoy one of our puddings, even non-meat eaters.
What’s the best way to prepare?
Without a doubt steaming is best. Our puddings have already been steamed for eight hours, so it’s just a case of reheating. They are presented in lidded plastic pudding containers and wrapped in calico, so they’re ready to go straight into a pan of boiling water. Cooking time varies according to size. Our smaller 225g and 450g puddings will be ready to serve in around 45 minutes to an hour, our 900g ones in two hours. It’s simplicity itself as you can’t overcook the puddings, so apart from checking the pan hasn’t run dry, you can leave it to itself. You can use a microwave too. Three 30-second bursts is normally enough to get a serving piping hot but not overcooked.
Tell us about the three types you offer
Deluxe: this pudding has won all sorts of prizes, including the Great Taste Awards. We use double cut mixed peel and pack in loads of alcohol including rum, barley wine and stout. We don’t have cherries in this one and there are no whole nuts either – we use ground almonds instead. Lots of people like the smoother, refined texture we can achieve by not having whole nuts and cherries in the mix.
Traditional: we include cherries, flaked almonds as well as ground, which gives a slight crunch to the bite. There’s plenty of alcohol – we use brandy and brown ale in this one.
Gluten-free: we can’t use beer or lager, so use cider and brandy instead. There are ground and flaked almonds, cherries, gluten-free breadcrumbs and because some people don’t like mixed peel, we use blitzed whole fresh oranges. It may be gluten-free, but you’d never know it from the taste!
Your perfect serving suggestion?
Don’t use a knife to serve – cut the pudding with a spoon. And don’t over face your customers – two large dessert spoonfuls per serving is enough. Offer your customers a choice of accompaniment: double cream, brandy butter, rum sauce, or, especially popular with youngsters, ice cream.
See the Wortley Arm’s recipe here.