Over the years, I’ve shared many things on this blog, but never a recipe (as I’ve said before, because I live by myself, my main job is just to make food that I’m willing to eat).
But it’s Christmas time, and so I wanted to share the incredibly complex recipe I’ve followed every Christmas for the last decade.
Where it began
This frozen Christmas pudding started its life as a recipe in a Woolies* catalogue, way back in December 2013. My grandmother saw it and decided to try it for a family dinner. She wasn’t impressed, and I don’t think she’s ever made it again. But I enjoyed it, so I held onto the recipe.
Come 2014 I remembered it, dug out the recipe, and simplified it further. After all, it was never going to be a gastronomic tour de force. But it was a bit of fun, and it gave me something easy to do in the lead up to Christmas, so I kept doing it year after year.
Now it’s a decade later, and I guess it’s a part of my Christmas tradition. So why not take the next step and share it on my blog?
* For my international readers, Woolworths (“Woolies”) forms half of the Australian Woolworths-Coles grocery store duopoly. Growing up they were always our main grocery store (though I remember back to when they were branded “Safeway”). There are also no fewer than three Woolies closer to my house than the closest Coles is, so it’s not surprising that it’s also been my main grocery store.
- 1 litre vanilla ice cream
- 300mL thickened cream
- 1/4 cup pure icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 700g Christmas Pudding, crumbled
- Place ice cream in the refrigerator for an hour to soften.
- Place cream, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until firm peaks form.
- Place ice cream, whipped cream, and crumbled pudding into a large bowl. Stir until well combined.
- Pour into an empty 2L ice cream container. Place in freezer for 24 hours or until firm.
As I’ve said, this is the simplified version. The original recipe was supposed to be frozen in a pudding bowl for presentation purposes, and then served with Chocolate Ice Magic.
I think that’s what my grandmother did, but I’ve never had to worry about presentation - and nor have I had the freezer space. A simple square ice cream container makes much better use of space.
The original recipe also had flaked almonds. Personally, I’ll usually remove nuts from recipes - no allergies, just that I’m not convinced nuts improve most recipes. In this case, I’m not sure about the chocolate topping, either - much as I love chocolate, Christmas pudding is a very different flavour.
Given the recipe gets a lot of its flavour from the original Christmas pudding, it’s probably a bit different every year. And somehow it always seems wrong to use a high quality pudding when crumbling it up and mixing it with other things - even though it would probably taste better if I did. The crumbled pudding itself will tend to sink to the bottom while freezing, so when serving I tend to take scoops from top to bottom of the container to get a good balance.
So there we are: If you want to try it, feel free. And if not, that’s completely fine too. Like I’ve said, for me it’s not about producing wonderful food - just something I enjoy that feels Christmas-y, and is easy enough that I’ll actually get round to making it.
This Christmas, well, I made sure I got the ingredients last weekend, but haven’t made it yet. Guess I’d better make sure it happens tomorrow…
One final note: Christmas in Australia is in summer, so we’re hardly talking Dickens’ London. Not saying I’d complain about a hot Christmas pudding on a warm Christmas day, but a frozen dessert might be more appropriate here than it would be in the northern hemisphere. And because I’m just eating a scoop every now and then, unless I make it in early December it’s pretty much guaranteed to last into January. So next year will probably find me eating Christmas pudding while working from home during a heatwave.
And so, from my house to yours (as I’ve strangely never before had cause to say): Merry Christmas! May the sun shine a seasonally appropriate amount of sunshine on you, and may you enjoy good food and be able to spend time with the people you care about.