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
For the custard:
- 568 ml milk
- 125 g caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod
- 6 egg yolks
For the pudding:
- 100 g Matthew Walker Recipe 12 Christmas pudding
- 2 tsp brandy
Chop the Christmas pudding into approximately 1cm cubes.
Place in a 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 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 the custard and pudding pieces into the ice-cream machine.
Allow to churn until ready.
Some types of machine may require the ice-cream to be transferred to the freezer to firm up further.