Christmas Pudding With Spiced Creme Fraiche

“If you’ve never tried real Christmas pudding, treat yourself this year with my traditional spiced masterpiece” – Colin Fassnidge

  • 750g mixed dried fruit
  • 375g raisins
  • 400ml brandy or rum
  • 600g (4 cups) plain flour
  • 320g (2 cups) brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 tablespoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 vanilla beans, seeds scraped
  • 250g fresh beef suet, grated (see Notes)
  • 375ml (1 1/2 cups) water, boiling
  • 20g butter
  • 1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda
  • Plain flour, extra, to sprinkle
  • Icing sugar, to dust
  • 500g creme fraiche
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Large pinch ground ginger

Combine fruit, raisins and brandy or rum in a bowl. Cover. Set aside for 1 hour or overnight, to soak.

Combine flour, sugar, allspice, ginger, cinnamon and vanilla seeds in a bowl. Add suet. Pour boiling water into a jug. add butter. Stir until butter melts. Add bicarb. Pour into flour mixture. add fruit mixture. Mix well.

Soak a large piece of calico in cold water. Wring to remove excess water. Place on a work surface. sprinkle well with plain flour. Place mixture in a ball in centre of calico. gather corners together. Tie tightly with kitchen string. Form a loop of string to lift and hang pudding.

Bring a large stockpot of water to boil over medium heat. gently add pudding. Cover. Simmer for 5 1/2 hours, refilling with boiling water when needed. Remove pudding. Hang in a cool, dark place overnight, until calico is dry. Store in the fridge for up to 1 month.

To serve, simmer pudding for 2 hours, following the method in step 4. Hang for 10 minutes. Unwrap. Place on a plate.

Meanwhile, for spiced creme fraiche, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover. Place in the fridge.

Dust pudding with icing sugar. Top with creme fraiche.