Not content with one Christmas Pudding over the festive period I thought I’d try a second one – this time from Jamie Oliver. I was under no illusion that Jamie would be able compete with Heston whose pudding was a triumph but I thought I’d give him a go. Even if you know nothing of Heston and Jamie and the kind of food they produce, the knowledge that Heston’s pudding comes from Waitrose and Jamie’s comes from Boots should be a clear indicator.
To be fair to Jamie he doesn’t claim to be competing with Heston. Heston is all ‘tradition with a twist’, Jamie is all ‘my pudding is Italian style’. Now I don’t know about you but when it comes to Christmas Pudding I prefer traditional. I don’t need an Italian twist, Christmas Pudding is just fine as it is. However if the Italian twist is an improvement then I’ll keep an open mind, and as my mother said as I opened the box “the proof is in the pudding”. We both agreed it was an hilarious joke.
The packaging was not good. It had that special pound shop feel to it and the photography of the pudding made it look dry and gross. The description of the pudding was “Panettone pudding with Limoncello, candied orange and almonds”. I couldn’t help thinking “Why?”. If I wanted panettone (which I don’t) I’d buy one. I don’t want the stuff infiltrating my Christmas pudding. But there I go again pre-judging.
I pierced the film lid and stuck it in the microwave for about 3 minutes. It came out glistening and looked quite moist, not like the dry stodge on the box. We divided it up poured over some brandy sauce and dug in. The brandy sauce pouring was an error, no matter how hard I tried to taste the pudding all I got was a big kick of brandy. A warning for Christmas 2013 – Tesco Courvoisier Brandy Sauce is a lethal concoction.
Eventually I managed to taste the pudding and it was OK. It just wasn’t a Christmas pudding and shouldn’t be masquerading as one. It was more spotted dick; light brown and spongey and lacking in the deep, dark, rich flavours of the genuine article. The fruit was delicious and plump, and the pudding moist and citrussy. It could have gone a lot worse.
If this had been the centrepiece of my Christmas dinner I would have been weeping into Boxing Day, but as a 30th December experiment it was fine. If you want a celebrity chef on your table at Christmas go for Heston, he’ll see you right.
Jamie Oliver Italian Style Christmas Pudding £6 for a 454g pudding.