I love the Ultimate Christmas Pudding recipe, however can I make it without the alcohol? We will have two pregnant ladies at lunch. If I can omit the alcohol, what would you recommend steeping the fruit in? And can the pudding then still be frozen as I'd like to cook it well ahead of time.
We have not made Nigella's Ultimate Christmas Pudding (from Christmas and on the Nigella website) without alcohol so we can't guarantee results but we suspect that it would be possible to make the pudding using orange juice or apple juice as an alternative. However you need to bear in mind that the alcohol in the pudding is important for the keeping qualities and you will need to store the pudding differently.
If using juice then we suggest that you leave the steeping fruits in an airtight container in the fridge and only soak the fruits for 2 to 3 days. Once you have made the pudding then it is probably best to keep it in the fridge for up to a week or freeze it for up to 3 months. If you are freezing the pudding then thaw it overnight in the fridge before the second steaming and make sure that it is piping hot all the way through before serving.
We would also suggest perhaos considering Nigella's steamed Chocolate Pudding For Christmas Pudding Haters (from Christmas) as an alternative to a traditional Christmas pudding. This has no alcohol in it and also can be a good choice if you have a group of children at the lunch.