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Halloween Pudding with Bloody Custard

Who says traditional steamed pudding is only for Christmas? This mildly spiced, pumpkiny pud is easy to stir together using all-fruit mincemeat (jarred is fine) – there’s no need to chop dried fruit as many recipes require. You don’t need special equipment to steam it – simply set the pot on a buffer of tin foil balls inside a pot, cover and steam until done. If you like, bake it in the oven instead, like a cake. The bloody sauce is simply a custard to which red food colouring has been added. (To skip the artificial color – simmer the milk with a sliced whole beet, then remove the beets and whisk the pink milk into the custard powder and sugar.)

This is a great basic recipe – to make it for the holidays, simply ditch the red food colouring and you’ll have a lovely custard sauce to pour overtop (add some grated orange zest if you like) that’s lower in fat than traditional butter-and-sugar hard sauce.

Steamed Halloween Pudding with Bloody Custard

The pudding part was adapted from Leeza at AllRecipes.

Halloween pudding:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup all-fruit mincemeat
1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
1/2 cup pumpkin puree

Bloody custard:
3 Tbsp. Bird’s custard powder
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 1/2 cups milk
lots of red food colouring

Stir together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the eggs, butter, mincemeat, cranberry sauce and pumpkin. Add the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Pour into a metal baking pan or pudding mold (even a bundt pan will do) that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

Put a few inches of water into a large pot (or one that will accommodate the mold) and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and crunch up a few balls of tin foil – put them on the bottom of the pot and the mold on top of it. Cover with a tight lid or more tin foil. Steam for 2 1/2 hours.

When firm, cool the pudding for about 10 minutes and then unmould. To make the sauce, bring all ingredients to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking until bubbly and thick. Serve alongside the pudding. Serves 10 or more.

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