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Fruit and Banana Christmas Puddings

ingredients

makes 8
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped raisins
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup sultanas (golden raisins)
1/2 cup (100 g) chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup dried mixed peel
1/4 cup (20g) blanched almonds, chopped
1/4 cup glace cherries, halved
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup mashed banana
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
250 ml milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup (100 g) All purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground Mixed Spice (All Spice / Pumpkin pie spice)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
extra glace cherries for decoration
600 ml carton ready-made vanilla custard, chilled

accompaniments (you may need these)

method

1. Place dried fruits, mixed peel, almonds, glace cherries, breadcrumbs and the banana into a large bowl and mix. Combine bicarbonate of soda, milk and lemon juice, then stir into mixture. Fold in sifted flour, mixed spice, cinnamon and baking powder. Mix thoroughly.

2. Grease and line eight, half-cup ramekins or heatproof cups, then spoon in the pudding mix. Cover each of the pudding cups with a sheet of greased baking wrap, then with two sheets of greased foil. Tie with wet string. Place the cups in two saucepans of boiling water filled to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pans and boil steadily for 1 1/4 hours, checking the water level every 10 minutes and topping-up as necessary with boiling water.

3. Remove ramekins from saucepans and allow to stand five minutes. Remove string, foil and paper. Decorate puddings with glace cherries and serve warm with custard.

tip

Puddings can be cooked one week ahead of time, cooled, then sealed in plastic wrap and stored in refrigerator. Reheat (microwave or steam) before serving.

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