Fruit & nut Christmas pudding loaf

The loaf shape makes this pud easy to slice and serve, and it takes less time to cook than a steamed one

  • Prep:45 mins
    Cook:2 hrs 10 mins
    Plus overnight soaking
  • Serves 8
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 722
  • fat 35g
  • saturates 14g
  • carbs 94g
  • sugars 75g
  • fibre 4g
  • protein 9g
  • salt 1.22g

Ingredients

  • 400g dried mixed fruits
  • 85g glacé cherries
  • 1 Bramley apple, about 175g, grated, plus zest 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 150ml good apple juice
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 2 tbsp Cointreau (or use more brandy)
  • 140g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 100g dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 85g self-raising flour
  • 100g white breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 25g toasted hazelnuts, pecan nuts and blanched almonds, roughly chopped
  • 50g butter
  • 50g dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • 25g each toasted hazelnuts, pecan nuts, blanched almonds and glacé cherries, left whole
  • icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

Tip

Prepare ahead
The pudding can be frozen up to 8 weeks before Christmas, or can be made up to 4 weeks before the big day and kept in the fridge as it matures.For a traditional pudding
Butter a 2-litre pudding basin (or 2 x 1-litre basins) and line the base with a circle of baking paper. Fill with the pudding mixture, then cover with a large sheet of pleated baking paper and foil and tie with string. Place the basin in a large saucepan, fill with boiling water to half way up the sides, then cover and steam for 3 hours, checking the water level occasionally.
MPU 2

Method

  1. Put the dried fruit, cherries, apple, zests, apple juice, brandy and Cointreau in a large bowl. Microwave on High for 1 min, then leave to soak overnight.

  2. Butter and line a 2lb loaf tin with a strip of non-stick baking paper. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Put the kettle on to boil and have a roasting tin, plus a sheet of buttered foil, ready.

  3. Beat the butter and sugar together until it turns a little paler, then stir in the eggs, flour, breadcrumbs, syrup, spices, salt, soaked fruit and the nuts. Spoon into the loaf tin and smooth the top. Scrunch the foil loosely over the tin, twisting corners to tighten it around the tin’s edges. Sit it in the roasting tin, then pour in a few cms of boiling water. Carefully transfer to the oven and bake for 40 mins.

  4. After 40 mins, turn down the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3 and cook for another 1½ hrs, topping up the water level every now and again.

  5. To reheat the pudding, either return it to a medium oven for 30 mins in its tin, or turn out onto a serving plate, cover loosely with cling film and microwave for 5 mins on Medium. For the topping, gently heat the butter, sugar and syrup together until the sugar dissolves, stir in the brandy, then tip in the nuts and fruit. Spoon over the hot pudding and dust with a little icing sugar, if you like.

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