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Can I Cook Ultimate Christmas Pudding In A Pressure Cooker?

Asked by ChristineCT. Answered on 18th November 2022

Full question

Hi! Is it possible to steam the Ultimate Christmas Pudding in a pressure cooker, such as an Instant Pot? If so, how would you go about it? Thanks!

Ultimate Christmas Pudding
Photo by Lis Parsons
Ultimate Christmas Pudding
By Nigella
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Our answer

Nigella's Ultimate Christmas Pudding (from NIGELLA CHRISTMAS) is usually cooked by steaming for 5 hours before Christmas Day and then for a further 3 hours on Christmas Day itself. It is possible to cook the pudding in a pressure cooker and we have cooked the pudding in an Instant Pot. If you do want to use this method then you should put the pudding batter into the prepared pudding basin, put a circle of baking parchment (parchment paper) on top and then wrap the basin tightly in a double layer of clingfilm (plastic wrap) and a layer of foil, sealing each layer tightly. Don't use a clip-on lid as this will pop off when cooking under pressure.

It is best to steam the pudding in the conventional way for 20 minutes first, as this activates the baking powder and gives a slightly lighter pudding. You can do this in a regular saucepan or steamer or sit the pudding on a trivet in the pressure cooker, add water to come about 2cm/1 inch up the sides of the basin and leave the valve open. If you have an Instant Pot then you can use the "saute" function with the heat set to high and the valve set to vent. But bear in mind that the pressure cooker valve will let out a constant jet of hot steam as you are doing this, so be careful. Once the pudding has had its initial steaming, put it on a trivet in the pressure cooker and add water to come 2cm/1 inch up the sides of the basin (or check and top up the water level if you have done the steaming stage in the pressure cooker). Close the valve and cook under high pressure for 2 hours. Use natural release to reduce the pressure to a safe level before opening the cooker and removing the pudding. Let the pudding cool and once cold, remove the wrapping and baking parchment, replace with fresh baking parchment and wrap again with a double layer of fresh clingfilm and a layer of foil, sealing each layer tightly. Store in a cool, dry place. To reheat the pudding, put it back on a trivet in the pressure cooker, add enough water to come 2cm/1 inch up the sides of the basin and cook under full pressure for 40 minutes. If you have an Instant Pot then you can use the "keep warm" function afterwards to keep the pudding warm until you are ready to serve it. Christmas puddings are traditionally made on Stir-Up Sunday, which this year is on Sunday 20th November, 2022.

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