Festive steamed pudding with saffron and orange

Serves: 6
Course: Dessert
Cooking Time: 1 hr 30 mins
  • 250g mincemeat (home-made or from a good-quality jar)
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 150g butter
  • 130g soft brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 150g self-raising flour

Butter a 1.5l pudding bowl. Spoon the mincemeat into the base of the bowl. Set aside.

Put the saffron threads in a teacup with 2 tbsp hot water. Leave to soak.

Beat the butter with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Gently fold in the flour and orange zest, adding the saffron water as you go. Pour this batter into the pudding bowl, covering the mincemeat base. Smooth the top of the sponge mixture with a spoon.

Cover with a pleated piece of greaseproof paper and a pleated piece of tinfoil, then tie tightly with twine. Put in a saucepan half-filled with boiling water, cover with a lid and simmer for 1½ hours over a low heat. Top up the water as necessary.

Once it is cooked, remove the pudding bowl from the pot. Be careful, as the lid is usually puffed up with steam. Remove the paper and foil and turn the pudding on to a serving plate. Serve hot with gently whipped cream, brandy butter or custard.

Lilly Higgins

Lilly Higgins

Lilly Higgins, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a food writer