Christmas Pudding (Without the Pudding) with Marsala Syllabub

This has all the traditional flavours of Christmas pudding packed into a Marsala wine and orange jelly. It is a delightfully cool dessert that slips down easily after a very rich main course. It also doubles up as a fruit compote on its own without the jelly, and can served either with the syllabub or spooned over vanilla ice cream.

Serves 6-8

This recipe is from Delia's Happy Christmas

Christmas Pudding (Without the Pudding) with Marsala Syllabub
 75g no-soak dried apricots, cut into six
 75g dried figs, cut into pieces the same size as the apricots
 75g Agen no-soak prunes, cut into pieces the same size as the apricots
 75g large Muscatel raisins
 10g whole candied peel, finely chopped
 ¼ teaspoon mixed spice
 1⁄4 nutmeg, freshly grated
 1⁄2 small Cox’s apple, chopped (no need to peel)
 grated zest and juice ½ small orange
 grated zest and juice ½ small lemon
 275ml Marsala wine
 10g toasted flaked almonds
For the jelly:
 7g leaf gelatine (4 sheets measuring about 11 x 7.5cm each)
 275ml smooth-style fresh orange juice
For the Marsala Syllabub:
 75ml Marsala wine
 1 dessertspoon molasses sugar
 150ml double cream
 whole nutmeg
 Preheat the oven to 120°C. Gas mark ½
EQUIPMENT: You will need a 850ml pudding basin or six 175ml pudding basins or moulds.


All you do to start off with is place all the compote ingredients (except the almonds) in a medium casserole.

Place it over direct heat and bring to simmering point, then put a lid on and transfer it to the oven and leave to cook slowly for 3 hours.

After that remove from the oven.

Now, place the gelatine leaves in a bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak for 5 minutes. After that squeeze the gelatine leaves and add to the hot compote, giving it a really good stir to distribute it evenly.

Next add the nuts and orange juice, give it another good stir, and pour the mixture into the pudding basin then cool, cover and chill overnight, or until set.

For the syllabub, pour the Marsala into a bowl, add the sugar and leave aside for about 10 minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve.

Then pour in the cream and whisk with an electric hand whisk until it stands in soft peaks.

Cover and chill until needed.

To serve, remove the jelly from the fridge, dip the outside of the dish very briefly into hot water to loosen the jelly from the sides, and use a palette knife to release it all the way round.

Place a large, flat plate on top and invert the dish and plate, allowing a minute or two before carefully removing the dish to leave the jelly turned out on the plate.

Serve it at the table, cut into slices, with the syllabub, which looks nice with a little nutmeg grated over it.

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