Heston Blumenthal’s Christmas Pudding Surprise

December 29, 2010

“Sacrilege” says Heston as his priceless Christmas pud is served cold with chocolate sauce in Courmayeur. “But he loved it!”

A couple of months or so ago, before they started selling like hot cakes and ending up fetching ridiculous prices on eBay, I bought a couple of Heston Blumenthal’s “hidden orange Christmas puddings” at my local Waitrose supermarket at £13.99 each. Waitrose sold all 25,000 of its Heston Blumenthal Christmas Puddings within 10 days of them going on sale.

As a result, Heston Blumenthal got the chance of tucking in to his own creation when the TV chef and his family spent Christmas skiing in Courmayeur, an Italy ski holiday arranged by Momentum Ski. I bought them originally for a bit of a lark, long before they became much sought after. I knew Heston was on a short ski break with us over Christmas, and thought it would be fun to offer some to him as well over Christmas. So as a surprise to some Momentum Ski clients, including Heston and his family, I arranged for my friend Giacomo Calosi, who runs the iconic Maison Vieille restaurant on the mountain, to serve it at a special Christmas lunch. I think it was really unique as no other mountain restaurant in Italy was likely to be serving an English Christmas pud on Christmas day!

Said Blumenthal after his Christmas blow-out (tagliatelle with brown butter, smoked pancetta and white truffle, turkey braised with chestnuts and juniper berries, stuffed with spinach, eggs, sage, sausage meat with roasted potatoes and rosemary), “We’ve had a cracking Christmas lunch, one of the best ever!”

Said Heston, “Giacomo and I tried frying one slice of the Christmas pudding in butter and that was over the top for me, so we steamed it for two hours and then Giacomo served it cold with chocolate sauce and cream. The Englishman in me thought that was sacrilege but on the other hand I thought it was just right for the Italian palate. Whilst chocolate sauce is very unconventional,  if you think about it, it actually works really well with all the Christmas pudding ingredients – orange, dried fruits and spices. There are very few hidden orange puddings left in Britain but I know where I can get hold of a few and I want keep them for a year and see how they age. Maybe next Christmas I will try making a vintage version. Right now I need to get skiing after such a a big lunch!”

Amin Momen

Amin Momen