Light Christmas Pudding

If there are still people who claim not to like even our splendid Traditional Christmas Pudding, then this could be for them. It's a light sponge pudding containing mincemeat, chopped apple and mace so that the Christmassy flavour is there, and a very attractive arrangement of whole candied peel will look very pretty when it's turned out.

Serves 8

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Christmas.

Light Christmas Pudding
 4 oz (110 g) butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
 1 piece candied citron peel
 2 pieces whole candied lemon peel
 2 pieces whole candied orange peel
 4 oz (110 g) soft light brown sugar
 2 large eggs
 6 oz (175 g) self-raising flour, sifted
 1/3 level teaspoon ground mace
 pinch salt
 1 teaspoon lemon juice
 grated zest 1 small lemon
 grated zest 1 small orange
 1 medium cooking apple, peeled, cored and chopped small
 3 rounded tablespoons mincemeat
You will also need a 2 pint (1.2 litre) pudding basin – the rounded-based sort is best.


Prepare the basin by buttering it lightly and arranging the candied peel in the base. First snip the citron peel into ½ inch (1 cm) strips and arrange these in an overlapping circle in the centre of the base of the basin; you need something that resembles a flower.

Then, using a sharp pair of scissors, snip the whole candied peels lengthways into strips, but leaving the end intact. Imagine five fingers attached to a hand and you've got it.

Now arrange these around the 'flower', spreading out the strips as much as possible. Now, for the pudding, simply beat the sugar and butter with an electric hand whisk until the mixture is pale and creamy and drops off a spoon easily with a sharp tap.

Then beat the eggs in a jug and add these a minute amount at a time, whisking well after each addition. When all the liquid egg is incorporated carefully fold in the sifted flour, mace and salt, followed by the lemon juice, grated lemon and orange zest, chopped apple and finally the mincemeat.

Now spoon the mixture into the basin, being careful to leave your artistic arrangement intact. Tie a double piece of pleated foil on to the basin, place it in a steamer over boiling water and steam for 2½ hours.

When the pudding is completely cold you can turn it out, wrap it well and freeze it till needed.

Take it out of the freezer late on Christmas Eve and re-steam on Christmas Day for 1½ hours. Serve cut in slices with Hot Punch Sauce (see below).

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