I first published this recipe in 2016. It’s such a good idea, I thought I would publish it again so newer subscribers can make it.
Everyone is busy at this time of year. Despite best intentions it’s easy to run out of time to make traditional Christmas puddings, cakes, mince pies and all the other Christmas fare.
Adapted from a recipe published some years ago in Delicious magazine, these individual Christmas puds, called Cheat’s mini Christmas puddings in the magazine, are very quick to make. The original recipe makes four one cup puddings, but I think half that amount is enough. I served them at a ladies Christmas lunch and we concluded that they were so small we could pretend they didn’t have any calories at all.
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600g shop bought Christmas cake or dark fruit cake, crumbled (I used Aldi’s)
½ cup milk
⅓ cup mincemeat (fruit mince) (see note below)
¼ cup sherry
Glacé cherries to decorate
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
2 tsp vanilla essence
4 egg yolks
1 Tbs cornflour
¼ cup caster sugar
A jug of thick pouring cream (optional)
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease 8 half cup (125ml) dariole moulds or ramekins. Chinese tea cups (see photo) are ideal. Place cake, milk, eggs, sherry and fruit mince in food processor and pulse a few times just to combine – you want it to remain nice and chunky. If preferred mix by hand.
Divide among the moulds and place in a large baking dish. They should be almost full to the top. Pour boiling water to come halfway up sides of moulds. Cover baking dish with foil. Bake 45 mins or until firm and slightly risen.
Meanwhile make custard. Heat milk, cream, sugar and vanilla in a small non-stick saucepan to boiling point. Mix egg yolks and cornflour in a bowl. Tip some of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture and stir to combine, then tip back into saucepan with the rest of the hot milk. Continue to cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spatula, until thickened. Don’t let it boil. Pour custard through a sieve to remove any tiny bits of cooked egg white. Chill or serve warm.
When puddings are cooked remove moulds from dish, rest 10 mins, then tip onto individual serving dishes. Serve with custard (warm or cold) and decorate with glacé cherries. Serve with a jug of cream.
Note: If you don’t have any fruit mince, replace it with a mixture of fruit jam or marmalade and dried fruit and nuts.