Autumn is nearly over and with the weather wintering at times, I confess I’ve found my thoughts occasionally straying to my plans for Christmas this year.
Well, one of these little artisan producers has really caught my eye this year, and my mouth is literally watering with the promise of the best Christmas Pudding I’ve ever tasted.
I too found it a bit weird, that I should be salivating over Christmas pudding. After all, my relationship with Christmas pudding over the years can only be described as ‘rocky’ at best. My Nan used to make it when I was little and I loved it. My Mum ruined it for me one year, with the most awful Brandy Butter on a Christmas Pudding so dry, it tasted like a sponge looks. Since then, I’ve had a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude towards Christmas pudding.
This week’s vendor spotlight is Nanna’s Christmas Pudding, proudly owned and operated by Paul & Holly Clayton in Dunstable, Bedfordshire.
So what is it about this particular producer’s wares that sparked my renewed childhood enthusiasm?
Well, the recipe is indeed from Paul’s Nanna, passed to her from his Great Grandmother. More surprisingly, all of the puddings are still made by hand using a wooden spoon. Exactly like their Nanna used to make it.
As well as the strict adherence to Nanna’s traditional methods of preparation, real care is also taken over ingredient selection.
The flour is sourced and milled locally at Stotfold Water Mill. The eggs are from local free-range farms. The raisins are from California and the currants are from Greece. They use homemade bread to make their breadcrumbs and juice their own lemons. Each pudding is steamed slowly for 10 hours.
So far so good. But they say “the proof is in the pudding”. Does it taste amazing?
I admit I felt some trepidation when I learned about their lack of ‘proper’ premises.
Don’t get me wrong, I love artisan producers who start in their kitchen and grow organically because people love their food so much.
I just don’t expect them to still be working from their kitchen when they are so successful.
You shouldn’t let this lack of ‘expansion’ initially fool you, like it did me, though.
And, when I think about it, staying ‘small’ and ‘artisan’ really is the true secret of success for this business. And this despite the fact that their ‘products’ are seasonal and that their product range is just 3 products.
Their Original Recipe Christmas pudding is their original product and comes in three sizes. They added a Gluten Free version by request, which comes in the same three sizes.
This means all of their energy and focus goes into what is really a single ‘great’ product.
They have now added another product and have ensured their attention isn’t diluted from puddings.
The new product is Nanna’s Christmas Cake.
Again, it’s the same recipe that Nanna used. But instead of making the Cakes and taking focus away from their Puddings, they decided to offer this as a Christmas Cake Kit.
Talk about knocking it out of ‘TasteBud’ park!
You know you’ll be debating whether to eat Turkey, or maybe do something different this year for a few weeks yet. Don’t debate this – you know you’ll want a Christmas Cake and Christmas Pudding.
It’s only once a year so, why not get the best?
Order yours today and you pay just £1.95 shipping.
Is it to early to say ‘Merry Christmas’?