Semolina Christmas Pudding With Sherry Custard

Ingredients (serves 10)

265g (1 1/2 cups) chopped seedless raisins
155g (1 cup) currants
135g (3/4 cup) sultanas
50g (1/4 cup) mixed peel
60ml (1/4 cup) pedro ximinez sherry 150g (4 slices) day-old soy-linseed bread
140g (3/4 cup) fine semolina
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1 x 220g can baby apple (Heinz brand)
100g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) dark brown sugar
1 egg
2 egg whites
250ml (1 cup) reduced-fat milk
· Sherry custard
1 1/2 tbs cornflour
55g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
500ml (2 cups) reduced-fat milk
2 1/2 tbs pedro ximinez sherry


  • Combine the raisins, currants, sultanas and mixed peel in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Add the sherry and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 8 hours to macerate.
  • Place the bread in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the semolina, cinnamon and mixed spice and mix well. Set aside.
  • Combine apple, sugar, egg and egg whites in a bowl. Add milk and mix well.
  • Add the egg mixture to the fruit mixture and mix well. Add the semolina mixture and stir until well combined.
  • Line the base and side of a round 22cm (base measurement) cake pan with 2 layers of non-stick baking paper. Spoon pudding mixture into pan. Tap pan on benchtop to settle mixture. Cut a 30cm-square piece of non-stick baking paper and a 30cm-square piece of foil. Place paper on top of foil and fold to make a wide pleat in the centre. Place the pleated cover over the pan, foil-side up. Tie a double piece of unwaxed white kitchen string under the rim of the cake pan to secure. To make a handle, tie a double piece of string loosely over the top of the cake pan (this makes it easier to get the pan in and out of the saucepan). Scrunch the paper and foil around the rim so they don’t get wet.
  • Place an upturned heatproof saucer on the base of a large saucepan. Use the handle to lower cake pan into saucepan until it is sitting on the saucer. Add enough boiling water to reach halfway up the side of the cake pan. Place over medium-high heat, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and boil, adding more boiling water when necessary, for 4 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the pudding comes out slightly sticky.
  • Meanwhile, to make custard, combine cornflour and sugar in a saucepan. Add enough milk to make a paste. Stir in remaining milk. Stir over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes or until custard boils and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in sherry. Pour into a heatproof jug and place plastic wrap directly on surface of custard to prevent a skin from forming.
  • To serve, turn pudding onto a wire rack and remove the paper. Cut into wedges and serve drizzled with custard.
  • Notes & tips
  • Allow 8 hours macerating time.
  • You can make the pudding (steps 1-6) up to 2 weeks ahead. Wrap cake pan in plastic wrap, then foil, and store in the fridge. To reheat, steam pudding in cake pan for 1 hour. You can make the custard (step 7) up to 21/2 hours ahead. Keep at room temperature. Carry out step 8 just before serving.
  • Pedro ximinez sherry is a fruity, full-flavoured sherry from Spain. It is available from most bottleshops.
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