Whenever I get asked to make a pudding for something I’ve usually done Nigella’s trashy lime cheesecake. It’s failsafe, and everyone seems to love it. But when we go to friends’ houses with puddings, there’s always other lime puddings or cheesecakes. The same with my back up pavlovas or gooey chocolate brownies. But a couple of years ago at Christmas I discovered this Boozy cherry bakewell custard pudding. It was made as an alternative to christmas pudding, and went down really well.
I made it again this year for a new year’s day get together, and similarly it was a success (although it did look less pretty than usual).
It’s a really unusual pudding. It’s more like a firm custard. It’s a bit magical because it’s a really liquid mix and firms up to a firm cheesecakey structure. I suppose an egg custard filling is a similar texture. Don’t panic to see how liquid and gloopy the mix appears before you cook it. It will work. You end up with a slight sponge texture around the outside, with the smoother custard in the middle.
If you’re serving the pudding to children, then leave out the extra alcohol – the kirsch on top is fine as it’s only a drizzle (well, none of the kids who’ve had mine have got sozzled from it!).
Don’t do as I did and taste the toasted almonds before checking the best before date – bleurgh. Let’s j ust say my larder had almonds from 2007, 2009 and 2012, so I gave up sprinkling those on the top!
If you’re not keen on cherries (my OH!), then you could try making it a citrus flavour and add orange slices and some Cointreau instead.
Boozy cherry bakewell custard pudding
A slightly lighter pudding, with a firm custard texture, and the slight bitterness of the cherry kirsch cutting through the sweetness. Easy to make, this pudding can be made well ahead of time.
- 4 large eggs separated
- 135 g caster sugar
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 125 g unsalted butter melted
- 110 g plain flour
- 500 ml milk warmed
- 390 g cherries in kirsch (Opies jar)
- 25 g toasted flaked almonds
- 2 tbsp brandy, cognac or whisky optional
Preheat oven to 160C/150C fan/Gas mark 3
Grease and line a 20cm square tin
Drain cherries, retaining the kirsch in a small pan. Put the cherries in the baking tin.
Whisk the egg yolks with 135g of the sugar, the almond and vanilla extracts, and the brandy if using until pale and thickened
Beat in the melted (slightly cooled) butter and flour, then the milk. It will be really liquid.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites til stiff
Fol d the egg whites into the mix (it will look a bit like floating islands but fold in as well as you can). Pour into the tine (it will fit)
Bake for 40-50 minutes until just about set. I had to check with a cocktail stick and it was clean when it’s ready. If it’s starting to brown, lightly cover with foil.
Add 2 tbsp of sugar to the cherry juice and simmer until thickened. (Mine took a long time to thicken). Cool the sauce then drizzle over the cooled cake, scatter over the almond and dust with icing sugar.
If cooling in the fridge, remove 5-10 minutes before serving to lose the chill.
Serve with pouring cream.
I tend to make this pudding the day before, and it will keep for a couple of days afterwards if covered.
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