Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions. We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!Submit your query
Please note, we are only able to answer questions selected for publication and aren't able to enter into personal correspondence.
What fruits can I use in Nigella's Ultimate Christmas Pudding? Can I use dates instead of currants or something else?
Posted by acer. Answered on 6th Dec 2012 at 12.00
You can vary the fruits in a Christmas pudding to an extent, to suit your own taste. You mainly need to make sure that you keep the total quantity of fruit the same and also use dried fruits that have a fairly soft texture. If you don't like currants then the easiest replacement is to use the same weight of raisins (150g/1 cup). Otherwise you could increase the quantity of chopped prunes and sultanas/golden raisins by 75g/1/2 cup each.
We suspect that dates may be a little too firm in texture for a Christmas pudding, they will not absorb that much of the sherry and they may be a little too hard in the pudding itself, though it does depend on which type of dates you use. You could try chopped dried figs or chopped apricots, but these should be the soft ready-to-eat type. Dried cranberries could also be a possibility but as they are quite tart we would suggest using a smaller amount and increasing the quanity of sultanas accordingly (you could try 75g/1/2 cup dried cranberries and 225g/1 1/2 cups sultanas).
Need some help in the kitchen?
Ask NigellaSubmit your query