Last-minute christmas pudding with candied oranges

Serves 16 people
Prep 8 hours
Cook hours

Even if you've left your Christmas cooking to the last minute, there's still time for a perfect pudding. Rich with sour cream this recipe stays moist and delicious,and needs only overnight to marinate.

  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 2 oranges, sliced 3mm thick
  • 200g raisins, chopped
  • 150g dried apricots, diced
  • 150g dates, chopped
  • 150g dried apples, diced
  • 150g dried peaches, diced
  • 75g glace cherries, chopped
  • 75g candied ginger, chopped finely
  • 700ml dark rum
  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 300g brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1½ cup plain flour, sifted
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 300g sour cream

1 Combine the caster sugar and cardamom pods with 2 cups water and set over a high heat. Simmer for 30 minutes, until reduced by ¼, then add the orange slices and cook gently for 30 minutes, until the oranges are translucent. Set aside to cool then refrigerate overnight.

2 Place all the dried fruit in a medium saucepan with half the rum and ½ cup water. Set over a low heat, bring slowly to a simmer, then cook with the lid on for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool, then refrigerate overnight.

3 Put the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 5 minutes until very light. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well. Mix in the breadcrumbs, flour and cocoa, until just combined then fold in the sour cream, fruit and marinating liquid. Set aside for 5 minutes.

4 Line a 2½ L pudding bowl with non-stick paper. Drain the orange slices (reserving the syrup) and arrange decoratively in the bowl. Carefully spoon the batter into the middle and flatten. Cover with a double-layer of aluminium foil and seal the edges tightly.

5 Place a trivet in the bottom of a pot large enough to fit the bowl comfortably and half fill with water. Set over a high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Arrange the bowl on the trivet and top up with hot water to 1cm from the lip of the bowl. Cook gently for 4 hours, until a skewer can be inserted and removed cleanly. Pour the remaining rum over, then cover and set aside to cool. Refrigerate up to 1 week, or serve same day. Warm again to serve. Invert onto a platter, then serve drizzled with the reserved orange syrup.