That sinking feeling… when you realise you forgot the pudding! This last-minute crowd-pleaser (with boozy custard) could just save your Christmas. It’s best eaten on the day (well, it is last minute), but it’s also a perfectly delicious pud made ahead, frozen and reheated in the microwave.
Prepare the fruit. Tip the raisins, sultanas, currants, cranberries, mixed peel, and orange juice and zest into a large, microwave-safe bowl. Pour over the brandy and molasses and stir together. Cover the bowl with cling film, then pierce a few holes in the top.
Microwave the fruit on high (100%) for 5 minutes. Carefully remove from the microwave and peel off the cling film. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda, then leave to stand for 15 minutes.
Make the pudding. Mix the grated apple, butter, sugar, breadcrumbs, flour, cinnamon and mixed spice together until well combined. Add the soaked fruit, the soaking liquid and the eggs and stir together.
Fill half the pudding bowl with the mixture, then sit the candied clementine in the centre. Cover with the remaining mixture and level the surface. Place the cut disc of baking paper over the mixture.
Loosely cover the bowl with cling film and microwave on low (30%) for 20 minutes, then microwave on medium (50%) for 15 minutes, until risen and it comes away a little from the edge of the bowl. Remove from the microwave and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
Make the crème anglaise. Heat the milk and cream in a pan over a medium heat to just below boiling point. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy. Pour the egg mixture over the warmed milk, whisking continuously. Pour the mixture into a heavy-based pan and cook over a very low heat, stirring continuously, for 3–4 minutes, until smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the orange liqueur.
Turn out the pudding onto a serving plate and serve with the crème anglaise in a jug alongside for everyone to help themselves.