Six of the best Christmas Puddings from Yorkshire
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A look at the best Christmas puddings available in Yorkshire
I don’t know about you, but after downing my Christmas dinner — generally a button-popping plate of turkey with all the trimmings, roast spuds and Brussels sprouts — I like to look around for something else to eat, WRITES TONY GREENWAY.
It’s about this point that my eyes usually alight on a large, rich helping of Christmas pudding topped with enough cream or brandy butter to kill a small horse. Yum. Christmas just isn’t Christmas without it, is it? (Christmas pudding, I mean. Not gluttony.)
So what’s the difference between plum pudding and Christmas pudding? (Good question at the back, thank you.) Well, there’s no difference because they are, in fact, one and the same thing. The name ‘plum pudding’ only stuck because, in the pre-Victorian era, ‘plums’ was a catch-all term for any kind of dried fruit. And, seriously, don’t even get me started on figgy pudding. The fact is, it’s Christmas, and you’ll need a dessert. Handily, the following Yorkshire producers make fine Christmas/plum puds.
God bless them, every one.
Champagne Christmas pudding
Trust Bettys to take the idea of a Christmas pudding and ‘posh’ it up. Yes, you can buy one of their classic Christmas puds made with ale — and very nice they are too, based on an old Bettys family recipe (belonging to the mum of Lesley Wild, chair of the board). But how about trying this one on for size: a Champagne Christmas pudding made with cranberries, apricots, Moët Champagne and Marc de Champagne. It’s lighter than the ale versions, and — did we mention? — there’s champagne involved. You know what to do.
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Gluten-free Christmas pudding
If you’re a professional Christmas pudding-maker, you’ve got to take the whole process seriously. How seriously? Well, put it like this: apparently, Burtree start making their Christmas puds in May, largely because it’s such a complex business. Burtree produce a dark Christmas pudding with rum, barley wine and stout but there’s also a Great Taste gold award-winning gluten-free version with brandy and cider that was named Best Gluten-free Christmas Pudding by The Guardian.
Victorian Christmas pudding
Jenkins & Hustwit was set up in 1990 by Ann Hustwit and Hilary Jenkins, two farmers’ wives and cookery teachers who decided to bake and sell the Yorkshire cakes they remembered fondly as children. The business was bought by Northallerton-based Sweet Moments in 2016 and produces various fantastic fruit and Christmas puddings. It’s tricky to choose but, if pressed, I’d plump for their boozy Victorian Christmas pud which is flavoured with Christmas spices including cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg and cloves.
Christmas pudding made with Ossett Brewery Treacle Stout
Carrots. Not, maybe, the first thing you think of when it comes to Christmas pudding but grated Yorkshire carrots are part of the charm of this one (after all, they work really well in carrot cake, don’t they?), plus local free-range eggs, milled flour from Yorkshire and Ossett Brewery’s Treacle Stout. Blacker Hall Farm Shop says this is made to a traditional Garthwaite family recipe and is ‘a true Wakefield Christmas treat’. You’ll get no arguments from me.
Traditional Christmas pudding
As supplied by the Harrogate Cake Company, the traditional Christmas pud you can pick up at Weetons (serving 6-8) is rich and luxurious, with ingredients that include brandy, black treacle and Christmas spices.
Plum pudding with Hennessy cognac
This is one of Lewis & Copper’s biggest sellers — and a Guild of Fine Food’s Gold Taste award-winner, to boot. It’s a rich pud made from a recipe that’s a century old, with oak-aged Hereford cider, claret and (natch) what Lewis & Cooper call ‘a generous lacing of Hennessy Cognac’. No wonder the Independent on Sunday once voted it ‘the number one foodie treat for Christmas’.