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Kitchen Queries

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!

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  • Sherry For Ultimate Christmas Pudding

    I am in Cape Town South Africa and I can't get the Pedro Ximemez sherry. We don't have a big selection here so can I just use a local sherry? It's a rich, dark, sweet, full-bodied sherry - if that makes sense. Also we have vegetarions in our family so I want to use a vegetable suet instead of the normal beef/pork suet. Does it matter?

    From the nigella team:

    The Pedro Ximenez sherry used by Nigella in the Ultimate Christmas Pudding (from Christmas and on the Nigella website) is a very sweet, rich, dark sherry. However if you cannot find this particular blend of sherry then other dark sweet sherries can be used and a similar locat alternative can be used. Another alternative is to use sweet (dolce) Marsala wine which has very similar characteristics. 

    The pre-packaged vegetable suet which is available in many supermarkets should be fine for the Christmas puddings if you are making them for vegetarians. Another option is to use vegetable shortening. If you do use this then freeze the shortening until firm, coarsely grate it and then chill again for a few minutes in the freezer before mixing in to the pudding.

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