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Christmas in Australia is just too hot for a heavy, traditional Christmas pudding. If you're having Christmas in a hot climate, try this! It's been our Christmas favourite for about 20 years. It provides all the wonderful fruity, groggy taste of a traditional Christmas pudding but it's light and easy to digest. What's more, you don't have to boil it and you can make it up to a week in advance. Preparation time does not include refrigeration time.
- 225 g raisins, chopped finely
- 450 g sultanas, chopped finely
- 110 g currants
- 50 g mixed peel
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- 50 g glace apricot, chopped finely
- 50 g glace cherries, chopped finely
- 25 g glace cherries, extra,for decoration
- 1 1⁄3 cups water, extra
- 3 1⁄2 tablespoons gelatin
- 50 g slivered almonds, toasted
- 1 cup sweet sherry
- 1⁄4 cup brandy
- 1⁄4 cup lemon juice
- Combine chopped raisins, sultanas, currants and mixed peel in a colander or large sieve.
- Wash thoroughly under cold running water and drain well.
- Repeat process until the water draining off the fruits is completely clean- this ensures a crystal clear jelly.
- Place combined washed fruit, sugar and water in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
- Increase heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
- Place a sieve over a mixing bowl and empty contents of the saucepan into the sieve.
- Reserve the liquid and place the fruit into another, large, mixing bowl.
- Now, line the sieve with 2 layers of muslin or any clean, thin material which will allow liquid to drain through- we use a clean, unused'Chux' towel.
- Place the sieve over the bowl with the fruit in it and pour the reserved liquid through the sieve into the bowl.
- Add the finely chopped glace cherries and apricots to the fruit mixture.
- Pour the extra water into a small saucepan.
- Sprinkle over gelatine, stir and allow to stand for 5 minutes.
- Place the saucepan over a low heat and stir constantly until the gelatine is dissolved.
- Add gelatine mixture to fruit mixture.
- Add almonds, sherry, brandy and lemon juice to fruit mixture and mix well.
- Now, take 1/3 cup liquid from the fruit mixture and pour HALF of it over the base of a metal pudding basin, reserving the other half.
- Refrigerate until partly set.
- When partly set, cut the extra cherries into quarters and arrange decoratively in the jelly in the bottom of the pudding basin.
- Pour over the remaining reserved liquid and refrigerate until set.
- When the jelly in the basin is set, add the rest of the fruit mixture.
- Cover tightly with aluminium foil and refrigerate overnight to set.
- This pudding will keep happily for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
- To unmould, take a blunt knife and carefully work around the sides of the basin, breaking the airlock between the pudding and the mould.
- Place a serving plate on the top of the basin, then, holding the plate firmly, tip the basin upside down and remove it gently.
- If all the pudding is not eaten, I usually put it back into the pudding basin to store as the metal sides keep it nice and cold.
- Serve with cream, icecream or custard.