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Taste test: the best Christmas puddings for Christmas 2017

Taste test: the best Christmas puddings for Christmas 2017

by Great British Chefs 06 December 2017

There simply isn’t any other way to end a Christmas dinner, so you want to get the figgy pudding right. Take a look at our five favourites from the shops for 2017.

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Who’d have thought a dense, brown, cannon ball of a pudding would be the way almost all of us round off a heaving feast of equally rich and decadent delights? While the Christmas pudding might not be the exotic, expensive thing it was when it first came to fruition, it’s certainly stood the test of time, making an appearance year after year on dining tables across the UK. Despite the groans and protests from people who have overindulged, they all seem to find just enough room for a bowl of figgy pudding, with a hefty dollop of brandy butter on top.

The shops know this all too well, and many of the big supermarkets offer a whole range of Christmas puds to tempt us. Some stick to tradition while others come infused with the latest trendy flavours and dusted with gold. If you’re the organised type of home cook then you might already have your homemade pudding maturing away in the cupboard; the rest of us however rely on someone else to create it for us. That’s why we tasted our way through a whopping fifteen different puddings – here were our favourites.

Runner-up: Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Cognac Laced 18 Month Matured Christmas Pudding, £9 for 900g

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Moist, boozy, spicy and with a nice crunch thanks to the almonds, this was a firm favourite purely because it tasted just like a Christmas pud should. The Cognac is certainly there but it doesn’t overpower all the different spices and fruit, so it won’t make the kids turn up their noses. You also get a lot of pudding for your money – this says it will serve eight, but you could probably stretch it to ten.

Runner-up: ASDA Extra Special Luxury Christmas Pudding, £4.50 for 454g

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With a sweeter flavour than most and a rich, melt-in-the-mouth texture, this is a pudding for those who prefer candied peel, sultanas and raisins over spice, nuts and booze. It has a treacly, almost burnt sugar flavour to it which is very pleasant, and while the brandy and rum is only just there, it’s enough to make a spoonful feel like an indulgent treat.

Runner-up: Harvey Nichols Christmas Pudding, £6.50 for 230g from Ocado

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One for the booze hounds here – the cider, brandy and port infused throughout this fruit-filled pud is definitely noticeable, and ensures everything is kept juicy, sweet and moist. It’s a smart little pudding that would feed four hungry people, and the large pieces of almond and pecan add to the rich, moreish texture.

Runner-up: LillyPuds Christmas Pudding, £16.95 for 908g from lillypuds.co.uk

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Made properly a world away from the industrial factories of the supermarkets, this is an award-winning company that specialises in Christmas puddings. It’s less sweet than the others, absolutely filled to the brim with fruit and doesn’t contained candied peel, which can put some people off. There’s brandy involved, but the biggest flavour comes from Brentwood Brewing Company’s Chockwork Orange beer, which is added for its citrus, malty taste.

Winner: Waitrose Duchy Organic Christmas Pudding, £8 for 454g

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Prince Charles knows what we want when it comes to a figgy pudding – this was our favourite overall thanks to the perfectly balanced flavours, particularly plump vine fruit and a lingering flavour of Cognac after each mouthful. It’s all organic, doesn’t contain anything you wouldn’t put in your own pudding and has some fantastic crunchy almonds and walnuts studded throughout. If you want the very best on your table this Christmas, this is the one to go for.

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