heston blumenthal’s hidden orange christmas pudding
In my rush to eat this legendary item, I took the worst picture possible. Sorry about that.
The run-up to Christmas 2010 will be remembered for one thing: the craze to eat Heston’s hidden orange pud. The ads appeared on TV, and suddenly stocks were low. Then Waitrose ran out completely, and demand reached fever-pitch. Reports came in that they were selling for over £1,000 and they were the must-have Christmas dinner dessert. How strange.
I knew I had no chance of getting one but entertained thoughts of making my own. Every newspaper seemed to jump at the chance, and Mat Follas had a really good go. But while I was formulating my recipe, I was sent by Waitrose direct.
So what did my family think of it come Christmas day, post Queen’s speech? The consensus was: light, marmaladey, with a moist texture. The candied orange itself is beautiful, sending jammy juice through the pudding. I tasted a lot of hazelnuts myself, and fairly bready. Personally I can take or leave Christmas pudding, so this made a delicious alternative.
Though this does present Waitrose with a dilemma. Do they put this back on the shelf in December 2011? If they do they won’t get the same fervour, and customers getting comfortable with it being available every year. Or do they consign it to the archives as an exclusive and do something completely different? Time will tell…