When I came across the Matthew Walker Christmas Pudding challenge posted on the UK Food Bloggers Association forum, I couldn’t resist! They invited bloggers to conjure up a creative recipe based on their “Recipe No. 13 Christmas Pudding” which they would kindly supply for the purposes of the competition! I knew what I wanted to try before I wrote in to participate, and before long my christmas puddings arrived.
I knew from the start that I wanted to make a custard-based ice-cream with chunks of moist christmas pudding and that I wanted to soak my christmas pudding in brandy for that traditional Christmas hit.
The Matthew Walker pudding is delicious – moist, rich and perfectly balanced. I chopped up 100 grams, doused it with 2 teaspoons of brandy and left it aside for an hour or so.
Having never made custard before, this gave us another opportunity to road-test Michel Roux’s Sauces: Savoury and Sweet. Pete took the reigns here and the custard came out very well, though we both found it a touch too sweet for our tastes. However, for an ice-cream – where flavours need to be more intense before being frozen – it was perfect!
We left the custard to cool for as long as I had the patience (about an hour) before pouring the custard and dropping the brandy-soaked pieces of pudding into our bowl-in-the-freezer style ice-cream machine.
As is usually the case with this type of machine, the final results – when the machine can no longer churn through the stiffening mixture – are still a little softer than we’d prefer, so we transferred it into a freezer container to firm up further. Not without me taking a scoop to enjoy straight away, of course. And it was absolutely spot on!
I’m absolutely thrilled with this ice-cream! Even though it was an experiment – the first custard we’ve made, the first custard-based ice-cream we’ve made and the first recipe using christmas pudding we’ve made – I wouldn’t adjust it at all. I think this would make a really great Christmas day dessert!
Kavey’s Christmas Pudding, Brandy & Custard Ice-Cream Recipe
568 ml / 1 pint milk
125 grams caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
6 egg yolks
100 grams Matthew Walker Recipe 13 christmas pudding
2 teaspoons brandy
- Chop the christmas pudding into approximately 1 cm cubes.
- Place in bowl, pour over the brandy, stir a little to distribute, and leave aside, covered, to soak in.
- Split the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds.
- Put the milk, vanilla seeds and pod and two thirds of the sugar into a heavy based saucepan and bring slowly to the boil.
- Meanwhile whisk the yolks and remaining sugar in a bowl until pale yellow and creamy.
- Once the milk reaches a boil pour it onto the egg yolks, whisking continuously and then transfer the custard mixture back to the pan.
- Cook over a low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until it has thickened. Do not let it boil.
- It is ready when it lightly coats the back of the spoon, and running a finger through it leaves a clear trace.
- Allow to cool.
- Pour custard and pudding pieces into ice-cream machine.
- Allow to churn until ready.
- Some types of machines may require the ice-cream to be transferred to the freezer to firm up further.