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Christmas puds tried and tested

If you still haven't chosen this year's pudding, get inspired by our round-up of the best 'indie' versions on the market

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To help you choose the perfect Christmas pud to suit your festive feast we've sampled some of the best independent versions available 

12 DECEMBER 2008

If amidst all the Christmas madness you haven't had time to make your own pudding, don't panic! There are some surprisingly excellent shop-bought ones out there. Here we take up a spoon and get tasting to help you choose the perfect fruity delight to suit your Christmas feast. All are available from independent retailers or can be purchased online.

 

Matthew Walker Recipe Number 13 (£5.99, 454g, www.traditional-christmas-puddings.co.uk)

This one, from the claimants of the world's oldest Christmas pudding maker title, looked lovely. It had a good sprinkling of nuts for a little textural change and more substance than the others we tested. Punchy fruit soaked in good booze gave it a nice kick and left it tasting like one that had matured for a few months

The Pudding Compartment's Christmas Pudding

Although the best looking of all the ones we tried, this pud fell down slightly on the taste front. It was lacked sufficient depth of flavour and was a tad too boozy for our tasters. The use of a better quality alcohol would probably have improved things

Adnams Christmas Pudding (£9.95 for 900g, www.adnams.co.uk)

Enriched with a long pull of ale from Suffolk's famous Adnams brewery, this pud had quite a dense texture, similar to a steamed treacle sponge or ginger cake. It had slightly more sponge than fruit

The Pudding Emporium's Traditional Christmas Pudding (£14.99, 700g, www.pudds.co.uk)

A fruit-packed version which retained its heat well, this one was marked by a more 'cakey' texture than the classic type and didn't much resemble a traditional pudding

The Village Bakery Organic Christmas Pudding (£6.45, 450g, www.village-bakery.com)

A really good looking pud, this also offered good texture, yielding just the right way under the spoon. It was also distinguished by a slightly more malty and hoppy flavour

Tiptree Christmas Pudding (£8.50, 454g, supermarkets)

A superior pudding with great texture from the famous jam makers. It crumbled while being dense at the same time. A bit light on fruit, it looked and tasted home-made though

Riverford Organics (£8.95, 450g, www.riverford.co.uk)

Quite a 'cakey' pudding with a good flavour. It had a decent level of fruit and plenty of oomph, but the suet flavour may be overly strong for some




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