Michael Olivier, author of Michael Olivier a restaurateur remembers, and his excellent food and wine website www.michaelolivier.co.za, offers us his recipe for his Christmas in July Pudding.
This is a classical old family recipe which was known as Aunt Marge’s last minute Christmas Pudding, perfect ending for your Christmas in July meal.
125g soft eating dried figs – cut into quarters
125g glace pineapple rings cut horizontally in half and then into 5c size pieces
250g chopped candied peel, [Aunt Marge used to use large pieces of preserved citron, lemon and orange peel which she made herself]
250g seedless raisins
125g Orange River Sultanas
50g green glace cherries
75g red glacé cherries, both cut into halves
125g ginger preserved in syrup and cut into rings
50g shredded almonds
75g chopped walnuts
1 grated carrot
finely grated zest of 2 oranges and 1 lemon
100ml Guinness, 50ml Cape Brandy
250g room temperature unsalted butter
250g light brown sugar
4 eggs, 50g flour
½tsp ground ginger
½tsps ground cinnamon
¼tsp ground cloves
good grating of fresh nutmeg
generous pinch of salt
generous pinch of freshly ground black pepper
300g fine soft fresh white breadcrumbs.
In a large mixing bowl add to the figs, the pineapple, candied peel, raisins, currants, sultanas, glace cherries, ginger, almonds, walnuts, carrot, and orange and lemon zest, the Guinness and the brandy.
Take another bowl and in it beat the butter until soft. Add the sugar slowly beating all the while until all the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is light and fluffy.
Double sift the flour, spices, salt and pepper into another bow. Add the eggs one at a time to the butter mixture with a large spoon of the flour mixture in order to prevent it from curdling, beat well between each addition. Stir this mixture into the fruit with the breadcrumbs. Mix really well. If you want to, now is the time to stir in some one rand coins. Aunt Marge used to use silver charms which she always boiled first to sterilize them.
Spread with soft butter two one litre pudding bowls. Dust them well with flour, turn upside down and tap out the excess flour and using a scale divide the mixture evenly between them. Cover with two layers of greaseproof paper and two layers of foil and tie back with string.
Place the bowls into large saucepans and slowly bring them to the boil. Once boiling turn down the heat and simmer for 6 hours. Please be sure the water does not boil away – have a kettle on the go to top it up.
Once cooked, the puddings can be stored in the fridge for a couple of weeks or frozen and kept till your Christmas in July Party!
When you are ready for them, bring them back to room temperature, overnight if possible and then repeat the boiling process for two hours.
Unmould them and bring them to the table and flame them with 125ml Cape Brandy.
Serve with large amounts of brandy butter and hot runny custard.
They serve 8 people each.