Hi there, I would love to try Nigella's Ultimate Christmas Pudding (Christmas p138), but unfortunately I can't eat suet. Is it possible to substitute butter, vegetable shortening or perhaps something else for those of us of the vegetarian persuasion?
It is possible to make Nigella's Ultimate Christmas Pudding using vegetable shortening (such as Crisco, Trex, Flora White, Cookeen or Copha) instead of suet (which is made from beef fat).
You use exactly the same quantity in vegetable shortening but it needs to be coarsely grated before you use it. As vegetable shortening tends to be quite soft we have found that it is best to freeze the vegetable shortening the night before you make the pudding as it is easier to grate the shortening if it is frozen. When you make the pudding start by grating the frozen shortening on the coarse side of a box grater onto a plate and pop it back in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up while you weigh out the remaining ingredients.Then stir the grated shortening into the pudding mixture when you mix the ingredients together (step 4 of the method) until you see no big lumps of shortening in the mixture, though you should still see some small flecks. The pudding is then cooked and stored in the same way as the suet version.