In our childhood home, Christmas dinner used to always end with a suet pudding with hard sauce. Lovingly made a month or so ahead of time to be part of the day’s celebrations. Unfortunately, most of us children didn’t like the pudding. It was too heavy following an exhausting day and a big dinner. Even when we were told the stories of how our Grandmother used to make this very same pudding using her mother’s recipe (I know we have it somewhere, and when found, I’ll share it with you), we still weren’t enamored enough to enjoy it.
When our children were young, I started making a very simple gingerbread type pudding with cranberries and orange. We would serve it with caramel sauce, and with a Grand Marnier hard sauce for the adults. It made a great breakfast for Boxing Day, and became a bit of a tradition, until I lost my recipe. I’ve been meaning to work it out over the past decade or so, but never seemed to get around to it.
This weekend, I finally did get around to it, and came up with individual puddings, which look so nice when plated. Drizzle the plate with a bit of caramel sauce; place the pudding on top, with a small dollop of whipped cream. Fancy, but not too fancy, just what’s needed after a feast. Or just serve the puddings, and let folks pass the sauce & whip cream, and let them do it themselves.
6 – 8 oz ramekins or 8 – 6 oz ramekins
1½ c flour
1 t baking soda
¼ t ground cloves
½ t nutmeg
½ t ground ginger
¼ t allspice
½ t cinnamon
¼ t salt
3 oz butter (6 T) – room temperature
1 c golden sugar
zest & juice of 1 orange (you’ll need ½ c of orange juice)
¼ c chopped crystallized ginger (about 2 oz or 50 grams)
Butter the insides of your ramekins, either six 8 oz. or eight 6 oz.
Gently press the parchment rounds to the inside bottoms of the ramekins.
The puddings will be steamed, so you’ll need a large roaster to steam them in. Foil works fine as a lid, as long as the roaster is deep enough that the puddings are well within it when covered with the foil. No rack is necessary.
Have the roaster ready.
Preheat the oven to 350°
Fill a kettle with water and put on to boil.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Set aside.
Add in the eggs, one at a time.
Alternately, fold in the flour, and orange juice. Start with ⅓ of the flour mixture, next, ½ of the orange juice, then another ⅓ of the flour mixture, followed by the last half of the orange juice, and finally the last ⅓ of the flour mixture.
The puddings can be made to this point up to 6 hours ahead of time. Simply put them in single layer in a covered container in the fridge. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before steaming.
Arrange the ramekins in the roaster.
Carefully pour boiling water in until it’s half way up the sides of the ramekins.
Cover with the roaster lid, or with foil. Pierce the foil a few times with a sharp knife.
Carefully move the roaster into the oven.
Cook for 30 minutes, without opening the oven door.
Remove from the oven, carefully open the lid, or peel back the foil, there will be very hot steam escaping.
Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. If serving immediately, run a sharp knife around the pudding and invert each one on to the center of a dessert plate.
If you are going to reheat them to serve, let them cool completely on a rack, and then store covered in the fridge for up to one day.
Put the puddings back in the roaster, with some boiling water, you won’t need as much, but the water should cover the bottom of the roaster. Cover the puddings as you did before.
Reheat for 15 minutes at 350°, and serve.
Serve with Caramel Sauce
2 egg yolks
½ c packed brown sugar
½ c sugar
½ c water
1 t vanilla
¼ c butter, cut into 1” pieces
In a medium saucepan, beat the egg yolks until they are completely smooth.
Add in the sugars, water & vanilla. Continue stirring until the yolks are completely incorporated.
Add in the butter pieces.
Heat the mixture to boiling, over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
When it reaches the boil, continue boiling and stirring for 1 minute. You may need to lower the heat if it looks like it might boil over. However, it needs to boil for the full minute.
Take off the heat.
Pour the sauce through a strainer into a small microwaveable container.
When cooled, cover the container with its lid, or with plastic wrap.
To reheat, remove lid or plastic wrap.
Heat the sauce in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and heat for another 15 seconds, if needed. It doesn’t need to be hot, just warm enough that it thins somewhat, and is just a bit warmer than room temperature.
Either drizzle the sauce on the individually plated puddings, or serve in a pitcher to be passed at the table.