LAWRENCE MURPHY: Figgy pudding

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A Christmas pudding takes several hours to put together and about eight hours of steaming. You have to keep an eye on the pot, topping up the water almost every two hours.

A Christmas pudding takes several hours to put together and about eight hours of steaming. You have to keep an eye on the pot, topping up the water almost every two hours.

It’s cooled and in my house fed brandy a little at a time in the four weeks until the big day where it takes another two hours of steaming.

A lot of effort considering it generally doesn’t all get eaten as we have stuffed our faces beforehand.

Left-over Christmas pudding is lovely fried with scallops – trust me.

You could buy your pudding from the supermarket but it wouldn’t be the same. So, you might want an alternative to the traditional pudding that doesn’t take up so much of your time.

Here is a recipe for a fig and date pudding with toffee sauce which I think would work a treat.

It’s lighter than a Christmas pudding as I use gluten-free flour, so you might just have room for it after the turkey. You don’t have to save this recipe for the festive season as it’s a wonderful winter pudding which both grown-ups and children adore.

Figgy pudding

Ingredients

60g dried figs chopped

50g stoned dried dates chopped

150ml water

Half teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

35g butter

100g brown sugar

Dessert spoon golden syrup

2 eggs

130g gluten-free self-raising flour

130g gluten-free flour


Method

1. Put figs, dates and water into saucepan. Bring to boil.

2. Add bicarb. Remove from heat.

3. Cool slightly. Transfer to blender.

4. Add sugar, butter and golden syrup. Blend until smooth.

5. Gradually add eggs and flour until incorporated.

6. Divide into six greased dariole moulds. Cook in pre-heated oven gas 3/150C for 30 minutes (check they’re cooked by inserting skewer which should emerge clean – if not, cook for a little longer and check again).

7. Remove from moulds. Pour on toffee sauce (recipe below).


Ingredients

200g caster sugar

75 ml water

Dessert spoon glucose

100g butter

150ml double cream

Method

1. Put sugar, water and glucose in saucepan. Put on low heat.

2. When liquid has cleared turn heat up slightly.

3. The liquid will gradually change to light brown getting darker the longer you cook it. Do not over-cook. Once you have caramel colour remove from heat and put pan in empty sink.

4. Carefully add cream to pan. It will bubble like crazy.

5. Once bubbling stops put back on heat. Whisk in butter.

6. You can let toffee sauce go cold. Reheat when needed. Store in fridge for up to seven days.

Lawrence’s restaurant is Fat Olives at Emsworth – fatolives.co.uk on 01243 377914.