What makes a Bettys Christmas pudding so special?
If you think it’s still a little early to be concerning ourselves with Christmas puddings, the news is that we started making them weeks ago, at the height of summer. Back in July, as we do every year, we dug out the recipe for our Classic Christmas Pudding. It’s based on an old Bettys family one belonging to Lesley Wild’s mother, although these days, as with all of our Christmas puddings, we use vegetarian-friendly suet.
With more than 30 festive seasons at Bettys Craft Bakery under her apron, our baking expert Lesley Norris knows the difference between a good Christmas pudding and an unforgettable one. “First of all, the quality of the ingredients: you want nice plump, flavoursome, juicy fruits and good quality nuts,” she says. “Then the texture is important: you don’t want anything too soggy and it has to be firm enough to hold together and not crumble into pieces when served.”
To ensure they capture our traditional Christmas flavours, those fruits that Lesley mentioned – golden glacé cherries, citrus peel and vine fruits – are treated to a night soaking in brandy and Yorkshire ale, before they join the other ingredients in the mixing bowl.
After being cooked the old-fashioned way – steamed for six hours – the puddings are sealed and stored at a controlled temperature, spending the autumn maturing in readiness for Christmas Day. According to Lesley, it’s not that different to a fine wine: “Over time, the flavours all start to mingle together and create a unique character for that pudding,” she explains.
While we love Christmas traditions at Bettys, our festive experts also like to play around with recipes, adding a few unique twists of their own. Inspired by the season as a time of gathering and celebration, our Champagne Christmas Pudding combines the best features of our Classic Christmas Pudding with extra cranberries and apricots, golden brown sugar and the unmistakable taste of Moët Champagne and Marc de Champagne. Those flavours may not be traditional, but, being “still as fruity and luscious as the Classic Christmas Pudding”, rest assured it passes Lesley’s quality test.
See our range of luxury Christmas puddings online and in our shops