Orange Butterscotch Pudding

Recipe posted by Julia

I made this pudding the other day and I have become pretty obsessed with it. I dug the recipe out of one of my old compilations and am so delighted that I came across this again, as are my family. It looks very....orange - and very decorative - rather like an old fashioned bathing cap. It tastes fabulous and we have decided that it would be a very good alternative to a Christmas pudding.

It is a steamed pudding, so you need a bit of patience and time - another reason to cook it during the festive season.

Serves 6-8

For the butterscotch sauce and topping:

250g caster sugar
2 small oranges, skin on, very finely sliced
50g butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
3 capfuls whiskey
6 tbsp double cream

For the pudding:

2 small unwaxed oranges
225g butter plus extra for greasing
125g dark muscovado sugar
100g caster sugar
265g self-raising flour
4 large free range eggs
100g walnut halves, roughly broken

Butter a 1.7 litre pudding basin and line with a circle of baking paper.


Start with the sauce. Put the sugar in a pan over a low heat and add just enough water to cover. Heat until the sugar dissolves, shaking the pan occasionally. Add the orange slices and bring to a simmer. Cook in the syrup for 6-8 minutes until soft, then remove with a slotted spoon. Reserve the syrup and slices for later.

Now make the pudding. Finely grate the zest from one unwaxed orange. Using a sharp, serrated knife, remove the peel and pith from both oranges. Next, cut between the membranes to release the segments. Cut each segment into three and put in a sieve over a bowl to drain off the juice. Put the butter, sugars, flour, eggs and orange zest in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the walnuts and orange segments.

Arrange the slices of softened orange around the inside of the pudding basin. Pour the batter on top and smooth the surface. Cover with a circle of baking paper that has a pleat in the middle to allow for expansion and has a larger circumference than the pudding basin. Then cover that with a circle of tin foil, also with a pleat. Tie both in place with string. 

Place the pudding basin on an upturned heatproof saucer in a deep saucepan and add enough just-boiled water to come halfway up the side of the basin. Cover the pan with a lid and place over a medium heat. Allow to steam in simmering water for 2 hrs, adding more just-boiled water if necessary.

Meanwhile, finish the sauce. Return the pan with the sugar syrup to the heat and bring to the boil. Simmer, without stirring, until the sugar caramelises. Remove from the heat and add the butter, piece by piece, whisking between additions, until the sauce is smooth. Gradually whisk in the whiskey and cream and return to the heat until gently bubbling.

When the pudding is ready, turn off the heat and lift out of the pan. Leave to stand for 5 minutes and reheat the sauce if necessary. Cut the string, foil and paper off the pudding and turn out onto a plate. Pour over the butterscotch sauce and serve with double cream.