Christmas pudding? There are alternatives!
November 24, 2013 | By:

Enough of the burning brandy and hidden sixpences! In a post adapted from her blog, Elaine Lemm suggests other desserts including a light Champagne Jelly and a more decadent Tipsy Laird

Christmas pudding with red cross

Make dessert a stodge-free zone this year! Photo by Juliette Culver (Flickr)

After turkey and all the trimmings there is seldom much room left for pudding. And a traditional pud isn’t the lightest kid on the block.

So for those who want something a little less dense, here is a selection of alternatives. But be warned: while some may be light, they are also deliciously rich and decadent – making them perfect for Christmas!

A traditional English Sherry Trifle is easily the British number two pudding for Christmas. There is something frivolous yet decadent with all that custard, cream, fruit and sherry. Trifle also reminds me of my childhood Christmases, so is a personal favourite.

A trifle is easy to make, and here are three different recipes: a traditional British Sherry Trifle; a Quick and Easy cheat’s trifle; and a Zuppa Inglese, the Italian version of English trifle from Kyle Phillips, who is about.com’s Italian food expert.

Scottish Cranachan is a truly festive recipe, perfect for Christmas or Hogmanay, and rounds off a Burns’ Night supper beautifully. To be authentic it is good to use Scottish raspberries and Scottish heather honey, but don’t worry if you can’t find Scottish; the wonderful ingredients in the Cranachan taste good anyway.

Tipsy Laird (also called Typsy Laird)  is the Scottish trifle served on Burns’ Night but works equally well for Christmas. Tipsy Laird is essentially the same as trifle but with whisky not sherry, and Scottish raspberries. This version is quick and easy to make using ready-made custard, or make with custard powder following the packet instructions. Use Scottish raspberries if you can for complete authenticity.

Rhubarb and Champagne Jelly recipe is a quick, simple, yet sophisticated dessert. Though rhubarb is more often thought of as an ingredient of ‘nursery food’ in puddings, here it shines as a delicate jelly made with champagne.

For an elegant Christmas table, make the jelly in tall, elegant glasses and listen to the gasps of delight from your guests.

Clementine and Lemon Posset gives some zing to a traditional Christmas fruit. (What stocking is complete without an orange of some description?) This ultra-easy recipe makes the most of tangy, citrus fruits and is a perfect end to a heavy Christmas lunch.

Raspberry chocolate meringue is delicious, lightly flavoured, not too heavy but not too light, and with cream and raspberries should round off your Christmas meal splendidly.

And now… what’s on the telly?

This article is adapted from Elaine’s British and Irish food blog