This post is the story of how I made my own Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding.
The less successful attempts I'd read about involved people using glace oranges they had made themselves - the end product a sodden mess. The video of Rose Prince's attempt also showed that a homemade glace orange was just way too soft to ever work correctly. Watching the "Making of.." video reinforced the idea that a commercially made glace orange was needed.
With 25,000 puddings made and sold out in a flash, I'd imagined that really put a dent in supply of glace oranges so until and even if I could find one, I decided to do a test run with something a little smaller - an Italian glace mandarin.
Far more readily available, its size produces quite a good sized pudding (using a ¾ cup capcity basin) - enough for 2 to 4 people. It also only took about 1 to 1½ hours to steam.
On the outside it looks good but it's the inside that matters.
Success! The glace mandarin has remained intact and can be neatly sliced. One of more difficult aspects was finding an appropriate sized mould - though this works, it probably would be more asthetically pleasing if the basin was a little narrower.
As it happens I did eventually find a whole glace orange in what would have been the last place I'd ever think of looking - in fact I wasn't even looking for it when I found it.
When you get to handle a real glace orange it makes perfect sense why the homemade versions won't work. This orange is firm, actually it feels quite hard - slicing it certainly won't see it collapse.
The next part was deciding what pudding recipe to use - since Delia Smith and Heston both appear in ads for Waitrose, I thought it might be fun to put them together in this dish - so I've used, rather appropriately I think, Delia's "Cheat's" Christmas Pudding recipe.
[3 cup capacity pudding basin]
150 grams self-raising flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
1 heaped teaspoon ground mixed spice
50 grams melted butter, cooled
90 grams treacle
½ cup stout
2 tablespoons rum
1 pear, peeled and finely chopped
450 grams fruitmince
75 grams dried blueberries
75 grams currants
1 glace orange
Sift the flour, baking power and mixed spice together into a bowl.
Whisk together the eggs and melted butter and add to the dry ingredients. Stir to combine and then add in the treacle, stout and rum. Whisk until smooth and then add the chopped pear, fruitmince, blueberries and currants. Keep mixing until it is well combined.
Butter and line the base of your pudding mould - half fill it with pudding mixture and then add in the whole orange, centering it. Add the rest of the mixture until the orange is well covered.
Cover the basin with baking paper lined foil - secure it with string or silicon band.
Place the basin in a baking dish - pour in enough hot water so that the basin is a third submerged. Cook at 150°C for about 3 hours or until the pudding is cooked through - you may need to top up the water during the cooking time.
Let it cool in the basin before unmoulding.
To serve, you'll need to reheat the pudding - just steam it in the basin for an hour or so or until heated through.
The wonderful thing about using the whole orange is that it oozes out a delicious orange syrup sauce - further enhancing the taste of the pudding.
While I used a 3-cup basin for this pudding, when I made it again I'll move up to a 4-cup basin - there is enough pudding mixture to cope with a increase in size.
I also used the same pudding recipe for the hidden mandarin puddings - you'll get between 4 and 6 small puddings from the mixture - perfect thing for gift giving.