Saturday, 23 September 2017
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How to light a Christmas pudding


Don't do your research, and you're playing with fire, gentleman - literally

How to light a Christmas pudding
Jonathan Wells

The turkey’s eaten, the wine decanted and the cheese board expertly laid out. Christmas dinner is drawing to a close, but before you descend into the overfed afternoon lull, it’s pudding time.

But to ensure that your dramatic dessert doesn’t fizzle out and bring the king of roast dinners to an unseasonal anticlimax, listen up. For this is how you successfully flame a Christmas pudding.

Choose your plate well

Your plate is an important piece of equipment in this fiery and festive endeavour. You want to turn your steamed pudding out onto a serving plate that has a slight depth to it, and is wide enough to still show a good sized rim around the pudding once is it on the plate – to catch any spirit.

Prepare your brandy

After choosing the right brandy, you must ensure that the spirit is piping hot. To achieve this, pour three or four tablespoons of your chosen tipple into a long-handled metal ladle, and heat it over a gas flame until hot.

Light before pouring

One of the main mistakes people make is to pour the brandy on the pudding before lighting – which will make it nigh on impossible to catch. Instead, light the piping hot spirit whilst it’s in the ladle and immediately pour over the pudding. Carry carefully for the table, and enjoy the awe of your guests.

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