Mark's Christmas Pudding
As the weather gets colder and the golden leaves have well and truly began to fall and I have just about finished picking apples up from the car park and Kitchen Garden to use in crumbles and chutneys, I am reminded just how much I love this season, from the fantastic game we can buy locally ( benefits of living rurally!) from farmers we know by name to the incredible autumn and winter vegetables and fruits we can grow and pick from our own kitchen garden moments before service (truly fresh!), I cant help but feel like the luckiest chef in the country right now, to truly be able to use the best and freshest produce really is special and of course, makes my life so much easier as I don’t have to do much to the ingredients to make them shine.
I would like to share a couple of recipes I find useful this time of year. With Christmas fast approaching, I hope you start your celebrations early and fill your kitchens with the aromas of dried fruit (we harvested our own from the garden in the summer and dried it, ready for these recipes!) and spice and wine!
The first one is my extra special Christmas Pudding recipe and is identical although scaled down for the home cook, to what we will be serving at Allium all December. Six weeks before use is the ideal time to get the mix made and allow it to marinade and ferment to give it that familiar boozy taste. The ingredient list looks a lot, but luckily, most of the dried items are right next to each other on the supermarket shelf!
Alliums Christmas Pudding
125g Chopped mixed peel
125g vegetable suet
80g fresh apple, chopped
30g fresh white bread crumbs
75g Crystallised ginger
150g Soft flour
150g Dark brown sugar
40g Pitted prunes, chopped
30g Ground Almonds
1 Lemon, juice and zest
1 Orange, juice and zest
3 Large eggs
12g Mixed spice
1ltr Dark stout
250ml Dark rum
In a clean container, mix all of the dried fruit and spices with the alcohol and leave for 4 weeks in a cool, dry place, covered with clingfilm.
After 4 weeks, add the suet, breadcrumbs, flour, sugar, almond, eggs, fresh apple, orange and lemon zest and juice and salt and mix well. Put the mix into individual pudding moulds and seal with the lid. Steam the puddings for 5 hours then chill and store until required.
Reheat when needed by steaming for 1 hour or microwaving for 2 mins
The next recipe is a Christmas classic and it best enjoyed with friends around a raging open fire!
Mark’s Egg Nog Cocktail
6 Eggs, separated
170g Caster sugar
900g Whole milk
450g Double cream
230g Honey bee Jack Daniels Bourbon
115g The Kracken spiced rum
In a large bowl, beat together the egg yolks and 100g of the sugar until they turn light in color.
Stir in the milk, heavy cream, bourbon and rum.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the remaining 70g of sugar until they form soft peaks.
Fold about a third of the egg whites into the yolk mixture.
Serve in punch or tea cups topped with freshly grated nutmeg, folding in more of the egg whites as desired.