Good puds take time

The trick to a good Christmas pudding is an old fashioned recipe and plenty of time, says Chris from Crave.

A good Christmas pud doesn’t just happen, says Chris Woodhams – it matures.

The owner-operator at Cambridge café Crave was explaining why, with four months to go, he is already in the festive season mood.

Crave is already making and taking orders for Christmas puddings, because their original family recipe, they say, can take several months to achieve the “perfect” Christmas pud.

Woodham’s traditional English puddings, which he has made for 15 years, is a slightly modernised version of his grandmother’s wartime recipe.

Chris Woodhams uses his gran’s wartime recipe for his Christmas pud.

“We follow the old-fashioned method… the longer you keep it, up to about 18 months, the better. We decided what most people would like is at least three months before hand, hence why we’re taking orders now.”

The trick to a good Christmas pudding he says, is an old school recipe and plenty of time. He starts by feeding sherry to an assortment of dried fruits – raisins, cranberries and a little lemon rind – “until they won’t drink anymore and have gone lovely and plump.”

“We mix them with vegetable suet, the old-fashioned stuff, and some breadcrumbs, made ourselves from two-day-old loaves, and add a little flour, a scoop of liquor, and then suspend the dough in a pot of boiling water for eight hours. Then the steamed pudding comes out, and it’s lovely to eat right away, but if you give it a couple of months it just matures and the flavour develops and goes lovely.

“You cover it again with liquor once it’s cooked, which essentially preserves it, and then you put it in a cool dry place for three months, once in a while opening it up and feeding it a little bit more alcohol. And come Christmas morning you steam it for three hours, that boils off the alcohol and warms it through to the core. And you can’t tell that it’s months old, except in a good way, it’s just really deep and yummy.”

He said last year the Crave team was caught with dozens of last-minute orders for Christmas puddings, so this year they’re preparing themselves early.

The puddings come in two sizes and cost $30 and $40 and, like the Christmas cakes they are taking orders for, will be available in early December.

More Recent News

Preserving history for the future

One of Cambridge’s most historic buildings has been immortalized in cyber space thanks to a scanning project which has created a virtual reality tour of the iconic St Andrews Church. Cambridge resident Clint Lawson had…

Toy display moves to library

Jim Kerr’s impressive collection of toys was installed in Cambridge Library earlier this month. The display of mainly agricultural vehicles and machinery will remain there until after the upcoming school holidays.  Plans are also afoot…

Kapa haka festival pulls record numbers

The sixth annual Cambridge Combined Schools Kapa Haka Festival held at the Don Rowlands Centre on August 30 was once again a success this year, attracting another record turnout from both students and the public,…

Student volunteers make milestone achievements

Cambridge High School students have rounded out the top six per cent of the nation’s secondary schools involved with the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) national volunteer work programme. The initiative records and recognizes student volunteer…