I am making the Ultimate Christmas Pudding this weekend and I wondered what extras I could add to the recipe to make it different - for example other dried fruits or nuts?
Nigella's Ultimate Christmas Pudding (from NIGELLA CHRISTMAS) contains a mixture of dried fruits: currants, sultanas and chopped prunes. It is possible to change some of the dried fruits a little, for example using some golden raisins or golden sultanas, but you need to make sure that the total weight of the dried fruits remains the same. Larger dried fruits should also be the soft "ready to eat" type and chopped. The fruits absorb most of the liquid in the pudding and increasing the dried fruits too much could cause the pudding break up too easily.
Chopped nuts however do not absorb liquid and can be added to the recipe without affecting it too much. We would avoid using ground nuts. We have tried this recipe using 150g of roughly chopped pecan nuts and you could also use walnuts, or a combination of the two. More solid nuts, such as brazil nuts, hazelnuts and almonds could be used but the texture of these nuts will stand out in the finished pudding. You do not need to soak the nuts in advance, just add them when you mix the pudding batter. Nigella's Eggnog Cream is a good accompaniment to Christmas Pudding and can be whisked together in just a minute or two.