Americans call it fruitcake. But the British have a special name for the mound of Christmas cake wrapped around dried and fresh fruits, nuts and laced with rum or brandy—Christmas Pudding.
Traditionally served with the Christmas meal, British cooks may be found preparing the treat anytime between September and November, the earlier the better.
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The pudding is steamed for at least seven hours before it's tucked away in a cool spot to await its unveiling months later. Reheating this quick Christmas pudding recipe involves another round of steam heat for the best results, although you can reheat Christmas pudding in a microwave.
Reheating Christmas pudding is the second necessary step before serving the traditional holiday dessert. The first heating takes place when it’s originally made months before serving, and the second heating or reheating with steam or in the microwave prepares it for the holiday table.
Christmas pudding is a holiday centerpiece
Let's get something straight here. Christmas pudding is not just a glob of fruited goo destined for Christmas day dessert. It is meant to be the centerpiece of the Christmas day dessert table. It's sure to be a Christmas pudding recipe that everyone will be asking for.
Reheating the beautifully constructed and well-shaped fruit cake mound takes care and attention. Whether it's the treacle, or golden syrup oozing from the pudding basin or the brown sugar crusted dried fruit surrounding this Christmas cake, all are tasty and tantalizing. Check out these popular ways to reheat Christmas pudding.
Reheat on the stovetop
Keep the pudding in its original Christmas pudding pot when you want to reheat it. Cover the cranberry and mincemeat filled pudding bowl tightly with foil. Place the mixed fruit pot, which may also include currants and white breadcrumbs, onto a trivet and fit it into a large saucepan.
Fill the saucepan halfway up the side of the mold with boiling water and steam for about 1 hour. Check that the water level remains consistent and refill with boiling water if it evaporates. Remove and let the pudding pot cool before unmolding. While cooling, cover the pudding until serving.
Reheat in a steam oven
The goal of reheating a Christmas pudding is to reduce prep time and bring ingredients to room temperature. With the help of the steam oven, reheating a Christmas pudding is a snap. Prepare the pudding as you would for reheating on a stovetop, but instead slip it into a steam oven set at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. It will take about an hour of total time for the steamed pudding to be reheated enough to serve.
Heat in a microwave
If last minute guests have arrived and you need to microwave Christmas pudding, get ahead of the game. Prepare it in a non-ceramic microwavable bowl. If foil is covering your Christmas pudding pot, remove it and replace it with plastic wrap that loosely covers the pot. Punch a few holes in the plastic wrap, then microwave on high for about 3 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and let it rest for 2 minutes. Place a plate over the pudding pot, invert the pudding onto the plate, then release.
British chef, Nigella Lawson, warns to not reheat the pudding in a microwave more than twice.
Serving Christmas pudding
Every home has its traditional serving suggestions that make Christmas pudding the delight of the meal. While not all cookbooks have the exact same Christmas pudding recipe, it's always important to include a large bowl for serving and a little brandy butter on the side for taste and allure if you decide to light the pudding.
When the pudding has cooled, sift some confectioner's sugar over the top and place fruit, holly or any other holiday decoration at the crown. Slice the pudding and plate it with brandy sauce, custard or ice cream on the side.
British homes treasure the leftovers and toast slices for breakfast until the pudding is gone for yet another year.