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Christmas pudding gratin

December 31, 2011

Christmas pudding gratinPart of the immense pleasure of festive celebratory meals is eating the left overs.  Rather than something to get through, personally I regard them as good as the main event.  A turkey sandwich with some shreds of lettuce, a wedge of stuffing and luscious layer of cranberry sauce; turkey and ham folded into a creamy white sauce and baked in a pie; Stilton with piquant cranberry on rye crackers; Christmas cake with Cheddar (honestly it works); Bubble and Squeak made with roast veg and sprouts topped with a poached egg – and pickles with everything.

The pinnacle of the after-feast for me is this gratin that actually surpasses the original incarnation.  Much love, care, attention (and booze) is lavished on my Christmas pudding for a couple of months prior to the 25th.  I revel in the spectacle of the blue flames as I light the brandy, but while digging a spoon into the moist, crumbly pudding with brandy butter and rum cream I’m already eyeing up the leftovers.

Christmas leftovers

The genius of this gratin combines the fruity pud with a light, cloak of creamy, bourbon-laced custard.  Simple to make, exquisite to eat.

The recipe is from Annie Bell and adapted only in the fact that I used Woodford Reserve Bourbon instead of rum or whisky with great success.  In My Kitchen is one of my most well-thumbed recipe books especially at Christmas.  I made three puddings this year –  large, medium and small – just in case.  Nigella‘s pudding recipe has been my favourite for the last few years (without the Pedro Ximenez as no-one stocks it here – importers please take note) although tempted to make this one next year as it uses ale and starts steeping in August.

Chocolate log - Buche de Noel

There were no leftovers of the Buche de Noel

Looking back during this left-over part of the year, the high points for me have been the experiences and friendships I’ve made through My Custard Pie.  Huge thanks to everyone who kept coming back, reading and commenting in 2011; it’s been a real pleasure getting to know you.  I’m so excited about the potential that 2012 will bring, new friends, old friends, new experiences and familiar ones.  I hope you’ll join me for the journey – wishing you all a spectacular New Year.

Christmas Pudding Gratin – printable version here


900 g Christmas pudding, cut into slices about 1 cm thick
350 ml  full-cream milk
300 g crème fraîche
100 g vanilla caster sugar
45 ml bourbon (or dark rum or whisky)*
3 medium eggs
icing sugar for dustingChristmas dinner before and during


Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan oven) gas mark 4.
Cut the slices of pudding in half and lay them in overlapping rows in a 30cm x 20cm gratin dish, or equivalent, which will hold them snugly.
Whisk the milk, crème fraîche, sugar, bourbon and eggs in a jug until well combined.  You can make the pudding in advance up to this point.  Just before you are going to bake the gratin, pour the egg and milk mixture into the dish, making sure you coat the whole of the surface of the pudding. There should be small crags peeking out, but not too much otherwise it will burn. *If you avoid alcohol, use a generous teaspoon of vanilla extract instead of the bourbon (and a non-alcoholic Christmas pud).
Place the pudding in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes until the custard has set and the surface is lightly golden in colour. Leave it to cool for 15 minutes if you can. Dust with the icing sugar before serving.

You could also use Christmas cake for this recipe – remove the icing and marzipan first. The gratin is best eaten light and freshly risen from the oven but also reheats quite well – the perfect leftover, leftovers!

Christmas pudding gratin

What are your favourite left-over combinations or reincarnations?

  1. December 31, 2011 6:14 am

    What a delicious treat! A great idea.

    Best wishes for 2012!



  2. December 31, 2011 6:52 am

    Oh, it sounds delightful! Happy New Year, Sally!

  3. December 31, 2011 8:58 am

    I love the photo of that loooong festive table Sally. I have always wanted a REALLY long table so that everyone can fit around it. As usual you are a genius in the kitchen. Very happy to hear that you had a fantastic Christmas celebration.

    • Ali permalink
      January 3, 2012 5:17 am

      Totally agree. Great pic Sally. Hope you’re well and have a fantastic 2012!

  4. December 31, 2011 9:46 am

    I have to hear more about the preparation of this pudding… This is something I’ve “only read about” and never see within a few thousand miles of Colorado! But it’s intriguing, AND you get to re-invent it as gratin/custard. How very perfect. Mmmm… Wishing you a very happy New Year, Sally. It’s been a treat to follow your blog this year — looking forward to more!

  5. December 31, 2011 10:14 am

    Wow was that your home in the dining table pic?

    Lovely pudding and best wishes to you and yours for this New Year

  6. December 31, 2011 11:44 pm

    Christmas pudding pudding! 🙂 Genius idea, Sally!

    Best wishes to you all for a truly glorious 2012!

  7. January 1, 2012 1:06 am

    I love the sound of the turkey sandwich with a wedge of stuffing and cranberry sauce. If only we had some turkey leftovers but it was all gobbled up on the day – very sad. Your buche de noel looks incredible as does your very pretty Christmas cake.

  8. January 1, 2012 1:20 am

    Everything looks wonderful.

    Best wishes in 2012.

  9. January 1, 2012 3:19 am

    What an original idea. Lovely.

    Happy New Year!

  10. January 1, 2012 6:25 am

    I am a big fan of Annie Bell (and leftovers) too – and although I didn’t make a Christmas pud this year I must say the thought of gratineeing the leftovers is making me seriously think about one for Christmas 2012! Hope you have a very happy new year and look forward to more of your lovely recipes and photos.

  11. January 1, 2012 3:06 pm

    MMMMMM,..that Christmas pudding sounds & looks so incrdibly tasty & pretty too! 🙂
    Looks that you had a wonderful Christmas filled with joy, good company & good food! 🙂

  12. January 1, 2012 6:11 pm

    Everything looks gorgeous Sally. You’re so gifted and so wonderfully artistic when it comes to your food, your photographs and even how you write.
    I hope you had a great festive period and all the best for the new year. Honoured to know you.

  13. January 2, 2012 11:53 am

    loving the long table toooo 🙂 wish i could have one in my house. Happy new year sally! that gratin sounds yum

  14. January 3, 2012 4:43 pm

    Oh la la – what a decadent idea.
    Have a fantastic 2012 Sally.
    🙂 Mandy

  15. January 4, 2012 8:04 am

    Love the easy way out to a great dessert! Are you interested to join #welcome2012? Just saw your link on the blog hop. Check this page for more detail and let me know;


  16. January 4, 2012 9:28 am

    Wow Sally, looks liek a wonderful Christmas table with a showstopping cake as well! Love your table 🙂 And of course I’m sticking round for 2012!!

  17. January 4, 2012 8:03 pm

    Christmas cake with cheddar…I’m very, very intrigued by that one. I’m totally with you on leftovers sometimes surpassing the original creation…though I doubt I’ll ever be as creative at reincarnating them as you are! I love this post…it has all those flavors, turkey, cranberry, cheese, custard…everything festive that I love.You made this season of treats come alive through your words – what a perfect way to end the year custardlady, I can’t wait to see what you dish out for us in 2012! Happy new year 😀


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