The classic accompaniment to Christmas pudding is really as good as the name suggests: brandy butter is good for more than just one meal.
It’s almost Christmas and despite best intentions, I was yet again last minute in organizing presents, but I think I am there. Hopefully. And I think I know what we are eating, though I forgot a few things at the shops and so have had to go back, but I did anticipate that by doing my first shop at the weekend.
I would say not too many people need to know about all that and I can give the impression of being calm and on top of things on the day, but I guess I have kind of ruined that. Also this year there are only the three of us so there aren’t really people to notice plus I am hoping to maybe even relax in there a bit. Part of that is getting a few things done in advance, like this brandy butter to go with our Christmas pudding.
To me, Christmas pudding just doesn’t work without brandy butter. I don’t think it is just that I was brought up with it, it’s also that it goes so well and tastes good. I was also brought up adding cream to apple crumble and various other things that I can take or leave these days, but brandy butter with Christmas pudding has stuck. As I mentioned in the Christmas pudding post, it somehow makes it feel a bit lighter, which is odd given you are adding a mix of butter, sugar and alcohol, but try it and you will see what I mean. I know some people use cream or custard, but that would never cut it on our table.
How it’s made
Brandy butter is very easy to make anyway, as all you do is cream together the butter, orange zest and sugar then gradually add the brandy. You can make it a day or two in advance and just store it in the fridge. When you are going to use it, take it out maybe half an hour before you need to use it to allow it to soften a little, and give it a good stir as you are about to serve. It may look like and indeed actually separate a bit, but don’t worry, it will still taste good. Just mix it as best you can. I found a quick whiz with the hand blender brings it together.
Easy to make, and an essential accompaniment to Christmas pudding (plus great with many more desserts), brandy butter is something you need to try.
- 4 oz unsalted butter 110g, 1 stick, slightly softened
- 3 tbsp confectioners sugar icing sugar
- 1/2 orange zest fine ie from 1/2 orange, or from a clementine
- 2 tbsp brandy
- Roughly chop the butter and cream together the butter, icing sugar and orange zest - I usually use a hand blender.
- Gradually add the brandy and stir to combine. If it doesn't mix in then give a quick mix with the blender.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to use (will keep for a few days), bringing out a bit before you need it to allow it to soften. Stir before serving.