I love Christmas pudding, the traditional boiled one that I grew up with in England, and I can happily eat it in our hot South African Summer. Of course, I realize that many people, my children included, do not agree with me at all! This ice cream is our Christmas pudding solution and it is so easy to make. Creamy vanilla ice cream with a dried fruit mix, and you can serve it with brandy butter which makes it even more delicious.
1kg of dried fruit (you get those red tubs in most shops – use half)
5l tub of good quality vanilla ice-cream
Brandy to soak the fruit in (if you don’t want the brandy you can use grape or orange juice)
125g/4oz unsalted butter softened
125g/4oz icing sugar
2 tbsp boiling water
3 tbsp brandy
Tip the fruit into a bowl and add about 1/2 cup of brandy mixed with 1/2 cup water. Leave it for at least 3 hours and the fruit should start to plump up. Drain off any liquid that is left in the bottom of the bowl (probably nothing) and mix the fruit in with the ice cream. Pour into a glass bowl and place in the freezer. You can use a round basin for this and then, when you serve it, tip it out like a Christmas pudding if you want to be fancy.
To make the brandy butter, beat together the sugar and butter until soft and creamy. Add the hot water and brandy and mix well. Serve in a jug for your guests to help themselves.