Macadamia and fig Christmas pudding

The addition of sweet and juicy figs and crunchy Australian macadamia nuts puts a delightful twist on the classic steamed Christmas pudding. Cut yourself a big slice and serve warm with a drizzle of cream.


Fig and nut topping


1.Combine the currants, sultanas, figs and rum in a large bowl; cover, stand at room temperature overnight or for several days, stirring occasionally, until rum is absorbed.
2.Grease a 2-litre (8-cup) metal pudding steamer with a little melted butter. Line the base with a round of baking paper.
3.Beat butter, sugar and maple syrup in a small bowl with an electric mixer until just combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined between additions. (Mixture may appear curdled at this stage, but don’t worry). Stir the butter mixture into the fruit, then stir in the combined sifted flour and spice, breadcrumbs and nuts; mix well.
4.Place a 30cm sheet of foil on bench; spray with cooking oil. Top with a 30cm sheet of baking paper. Fold a 5cm pleat crossways through both layers. Place the sheets, baking paper-side down, over steamer; secure around the steamer with string or lid. Make a handle using excess string tied across the top. Trim away the excess foil and paper, leaving about 4cm. Crush excess foil around string or lid to help form a good seal.
5.Place the pudding steamer in a large saucepan with enough boiling water to come halfway up side of steamer. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid; steam for 3 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the pudding comes out clean. Replenish with boiling water as needed to maintain boil and water level during cooking.
6.Meanwhile, make fig and nut topping: Combine the butter, sugar and syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat; stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the figs; simmer, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes or until thickened slightly; stir in nuts and rum. Cool to warm.
7.Stand pudding 5 minutes before turning out onto a serving plate. Pour half the fig and nut topping over the pudding; serve with the remaining topping. Decorate with leaves and flowers, if desired. Remove before serving.

Test Kitchen tip: Pudding can be made 1 month ahead; store covered, in refrigerator, or freeze for up to 6 months. Serve with custard, cream or ice cream. Suitable to freeze. Not suitable to microwave. TO REHEAT: If pudding is frozen, thaw for 2 days in the fridge. Stand pudding at room temperature for 12 hours before reheating. Return pudding to steamer; cover and cook as per recipe for 1½ hours. TO MICROWAVE: Reheat whole room temperature pudding on microwave-safe plate on MEDIUM (55 per cent) for about 10 minutes or until hot. Reheat four single serves at once on microwave-safe plate. Microwave on HIGH (100 per cent) for about 1½ minutes or until hot. Heating time will depend on the thickness of the slices and the wattage of the microwave.


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