Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Christmas Pudding

It's hard to ignore that Christmas is on it's way now with shops having had Christmassy things in stock since September, and while I do think it's crazy to be thinking about Christmas THAT soon, it is important to get a move on with preparing some Christmas goodies ahead of time.

Last Christmas I watched Delia's Christmas Special in which she made a lot of the traditional Christmas food, one being Christmas Pudding. I've never really liked Christmas Pudding (despite absolutely loving Christmas cake. In the show Delia said most people say they don't like it because they've only ever tried store bought, but that this recipe is the "proper" way to do it and much nicer. How could I resist? The Queen has spoken! And apparently she's been using this recipe every year for over 30 years herself, how could it be bad? So I gave it a go last year and was so glad I did, I'm excited to give this a go again this year, I may just be a pudding fan after all!

The reason I'm posting this so early? Because it's good for this pudding to mature for about a month before eating. So ignore that it's still November cos it ain't too early to get cooking and baking for Christmas.

Christmas Pudding

Serves 8-10


4 oz (110 g) shredded suet (beef or vegetarian)
2 oz (50 g) self-raising flour, sifted
4 oz (110 g) white breadcrumbs (made from a loaf left out overnight - the best way to make breadcrumbs is in a blender, if you have one)
1 level teaspoon ground mixed spice
¼ level teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
good pinch ground cinnamon
8 oz (225 g) soft dark brown sugar
4 oz (110 g) sultanas
4 oz (110 g) raisins
10 oz (275 g) currants
1 oz (25 g) mixed candied peel, finely chopped (buy whole peel if possible, then chop it yourself)
1 oz (25 g) almonds, skinned and chopped (I left these out, not a bit fan of almonds)
1 small Bramley cooking apple (7 oz/200 g), peeled, cored and finely chopped
grated zest ½ large orange
grated zest ½ large lemon
2 tablespoons rum
2½ fl oz (75 ml) stout, plus a bit extra if needed
2½ fl oz (75 ml) barley wine I added in 2½ fl oz more of Stout instead
2 large eggs

You will also need a 2 pint (1.2 litre) pudding basin, lightly greased.

1. Get our your largest bowl, and I mean your most massivest bowl, and pour in the suet, flour, breadcrumbs, spices and sugar and mix well.
2. Gradually add in the dried fruit, mixed peel, almonds, apple, orange zest and lemon zest

3. In a separate smaller bowl measure out all the alcohol, add the eggs and beat together well
4. Pour the eggy alcohol over the other ingredients and mix thoroughly. It should be quite sloppy and fall off the spoon when tapped at the side of the bowl. (If you think it's too dry mix in a little more stout.
5. cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave for a couple of hours or overnight
6. Fill a saucepan with boiling water, place a steamer on top and bring the water to a simmer on the stove.
7. Pack the pudding mix into a greased basin, cover with 2 layers of baking paper then a sheet of tin foil, then tie with string to secure.
8. Steam your pudding for 8 hours, making sure to keep an eye on the water level, topping up with boiling water when needed.
9. When done, remove from the steamer and leave until it gets cold. Remove the baking paper and foil and wrap it all up with fresh paper, foil and string.
10. Store your pudding in a cool dry place, away from light for about a month
11. Come Christmas, start up the steamer again and get the pudding steaming for 2 hours.... delish!

Something else to consider getting ready now is Christmas Cake because it's better after a month maturing. I have two recipes for Christmas Cake here and here.

A few other Christmas recipes include:
Jamie's Mince Pies
Traditional Mince Pies
Ginger Glazed Gammon/Ham
Maple Glazed Gammon/Ham
Sage, Sausage and Apricot Stuffing
Christmas Roast veggies


  1. I'm looking forward to trying this Christmas pudding. I work with Better Recipes and am always reviewing recipes and experimenting with different dishes. This is a busy time of year and since it has to be made a month in advance, I probably won't get around to it for Christmas this year. I invite you to check our these Christmas cake recipes, Pumpkin pecan bundt cake, and jubilee chocolate log. Christmas Cake Recipes

  2. Christmas pudding is on my 'to do' list. But if I don't get round to it, you could always chuck a piece off that lovely looking one over to me :-)


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