Mini Christmas Puddings for 6, with Hot Buttery Rum Sauce
These are made in moments and are cooked in less than an hour, are light-textured but have all the flavours of Christmas.
You don't have to make them at the last minute - they freeze beautifully and re-heat like a dream. Serve with Hot Buttery Rum Sauce or cream with a little rum.
This recipe is adapted to be included in our Christmas Lunch for under £5.50. It is taken from the original in Delia's Happy Christmas book Serves 6
First sift the flour, baking powder and mixed spice into a medium bowl, then add the egg and softened butter.
After that, measure the treacle into a glass measuring jug, add the stout and rum and mix these together. Next, pour this mixture into the bowl and, using an electric hand whisk, whisk everything very thoroughly together. Now add the apple, nuts, currants, mincemeat and, finally, the grated orange and lemon zests. Then mix everything together very thoroughly, and divide the mixture among the 6 well-buttered pudding basins.
Top each with a small circle of buttered baking parchment, followed by a 18-cm square of foil large enough to fold under the edges of the basins, making a pleat all the way round to seal. Now place the basins in the tin and place the tin in the oven. Next pour in 2.5 cm of boiling water from the kettle and leave to cook for 45-50 minutes, or until the puddings are springy and firm to the touch in the centre.
Then remove them from the oven and let them stand for 10 minutes before carefully running a small knife around each one to turn them out on to warm serving plates.
If you want to flame the puddings as they go on the table, warm a ladleful of brandy over direct heat and as soon as the brandy is hot, ask someone to set light to it using a long match. Place the ladle, now gently flaming, on top of the pudding – but don't pour the brandy over until you reach the table. When you do, pour it slowly over the pudding, sides and all, and watch it flame to the cheers of the assembled company!
You can make these puddings a couple of days ahead, remove them from the moulds and keep them covered on a buttered ovenproof dish, covered in the refrigerator. Then to reheat, sprinkle them with a couple of teaspoons of rum or brandy and cover the dish with buttered foil and heat in a oven pre-heated to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C) for 20 minutes from room temperature and 30 minutes from cold. They can be frozen, defrosted overnight and reheated in the same way.
Garnish each pudding with 3 cranberries on top and serve with hot buttery rum sauce.
Hot Buttery Rum Sauce
This is what we invariably serve with Christmas pudding in our house. The quantity of rum is a guideline only (I would have to confess that we add a bit more!). Brandy can be substituted for the rum if that's what you prefer.
Place the butter in a medium saucepan with the flour. Pour in the milk, then, using a balloon whisk, whisk everything vigorously together over a medium heat.
As soon as it comes to simmering point and has thickened, turn the heat right down to its lowest setting, stir in the sugar and let the sauce cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir now and then to prevent it from sticking to the bottom. After that, add the rum and cream and transfer to a freezer container. Cover the surface of the sauce with clingfilm to stop a skin forming.
This can be made ahead and reheated gently in a saucepan whilst you heat the puddings. Add a splash more rum to taste.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4,
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You will also need six 6-fl oz (175-ml) mini non-stick pudding basins, well buttered, a small, shallow roasting tin, some baking parchment and foil. (If you don’t have non-stick basins, you can use very well buttered metal or heatproof plastic basins)