, preferably a mix of red and green
, such as hazelnuts, almonds or pecans
2 1/4 cups
1 1/2 cups
1 1/2 tsp
, or cloves
, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups
Butter 2 (6-cup/1.5-L) pudding molds. Combine cherries, raisins, peel and nuts in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup flour. Stir until evenly coated. In another large bowl, stir remaining 1-3/4 cups flour with bread crumbs, baking soda, cinnamon and allspice. Set both mixtures aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with sugar. Beat in molasses, then eggs. Stir in buttermilk and carrots. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture just until combined. Fold in fruit-and-nut mixture. Spoon into molds leaving at least a 1-inch (2.5-cm) space at top. Smooth tops.
Cover puddings with waxed paper, then foil or cheesecloth. Tie onto sides of molds with string. Place racks on bottoms of 2 deep saucepans. Set molds into pans so they sit on racks, not on pan bottoms. Add enough water to reach two-thirds up sides of molds. Cover saucepans and bring water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 3 hours. Add boiling water as needed to maintain level.
Puddings are done when a skewer inserted into centres comes out clean. Remove molds from saucepans and uncover. Let sit 10 minutes, then turn out of molds. Serve warm with sauce. If not serving right away, turn out of molds and seal in plastic wrap. Puddings will keep for months in a cool place or in the refrigerator.
Reheat puddings before serving. Place on a plate and loosely cover with waxed paper. Microwave each pudding on medium power for 10 minutes or until very warm. Puddings can also be returned to the mold, tied with waxed paper and foil and steamed, covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Brandied hard sauce: Place 1/3 cup unsalted room-temperature butter in mixing bowl and beat until creamy. Gradually beat in 1 cup sifted icing sugar. Add 1 tablespoon of cognac or rum, if you wish. Keep covered and refrigerated until ready to serve.
Nutrition (per serving)
This lighter version of a classic pudding has all the spicy flavor but much less fat. Pair it with brandied hard sauce for extra zip! The recipe can easily be cut in half.