Steamed Christmas Pudding
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- 2 cups chopped dates, divided
- 2 cups golden raisins, divided
- 2 cups dried currants, divided
- 11⁄4 cups apricot brandy or cognac, divided 3 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1⁄3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 cup blood orange marmalade*
- Brown Butter–Brandy Carmel (see below)
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine 1 cup dates, 1 cup raisins, 1 cup currants, and 3⁄4 cup brandy. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes; remove and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside.
- Lightly spray 8 (1-cup) microwave-safe ramekins with nonstick spray; place a parchment round in the bottom of each ramekin; spray again and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs, remaining 1 cup dates, remaining 1 cup raisins, remaining 1 cup currants, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Pour in the melted butter, and stir to combine. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, marmalade, and remaining 1⁄2 cup brandy. Stir until mixture is well combined.
- Evenly divide mixture among the prepared ramekins. Cover the top of each ramekin tightly with plastic wrap; with a paring knife, pierce plastic wrap in several places to allow steam to escape. Cook on DEFROST for 30 minutes, then cook on HIGH for 5 minutes. Let puddings sit for 5 minutes before removing. Pudding is ready when firm to the touch. Drain dried fruit mixture, and discard brandy.
- Gently invert puddings onto serving plates. Garnish with a small amount of prepared dried fruit mixture. Serve with Brown Butter–Brandy Caramel.
- *For testing purposes, our test kitchen used Merlano Blood Orange Marmalade, which can be purchased at amazon.com. Regular orange marmalade may be substituted.
Brown Butter-Brandy Caramel
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- 1⁄2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 1⁄3 cup apricot brandy
- 1⁄4 cup brown butter
- 1⁄4 cup heavy whipping cream
- In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, whisk together the brown sugar and brandy. Add butter, and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in cream, and simmer, whisking constantly, until sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes.