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Recipe: Try an alternative Christmas pudding

Not a fan of traditional Christmas pud? Try this fresh and flavour-filled alternative from Adam Wood, head chef of Garden House at Graduate Cambridge

Set Buttermilk with Mulled Wine & Quince

“I know the classic Christmas puddings are all delicious, but I crave something lighter after the main event. This is perfect: you get the Christmassy spices from the mulled wine, creamy deliciousness from the buttermilk and little pops of chewy sweetness from the quince. It’s just a lovely way to finish a meal” – Adam Wood, head chef of Garden House at Graduate Cambridge

Ingredients (serves 5):

For the set buttermilk:

300g buttermilk

200g double cream

95g sugar

2 gelatine leaves

Juice of half a lemon

For the mulled wine jelly:

300g mulled wine

1 orange zest

1 cinnamon stick

1 lemon zest

4 leaves gelatine

For the semi-dried quince:

1 large quince

400g pear juice


To make the set buttermilk, first place the gelatine leaves in cold water to bloom. Then place the double cream and sugar in a small pan on a medium heat. Heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Once ready, squeeze the gelatine of excess water and add to the hot cream. Stir to make sure it is fully dissolved. Add the cream, sugar and gelatine to the buttermilk along with the lemon juice. Stir to fully incorporate, then pour into small bowls. Set the buttermilk for one hour (or until completely set) in the fridge.

For the mulled wine jelly, again begin by placing the gelatine in cold water to bloom. Bring the mulled wine to the boil and add the zests. Leave to infuse for five minutes, then add the gelatine. Mix well then pass through a fine sieve. Pour a thin layer over the top of each set buttermilk and leave to set in the fridge for one hour

(or until completely set).

For the semi-dried quince, peel and dice the quince into 1cm cubes, put into a pan and cover with pear juice. Cook until soft then remove the quince from the juice, lay it on a tray and leave it in a warm place to dry overnight. Place the reserved pear juice into a pan and reduce by half to a glaze consistency. Once the quince is semi-dry, pour over the pear glaze and leave to marinate for one hour.

Finally, once your buttermilk and jelly are set, top with the dried quince and thyme leaves and you’re ready to serve.

See gardenhousecambridge.co.uk and follow @gardenhousecambridge

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