Christmas Recipes / 15 November, 2023 / Christina Walter
Are you planning on making your own Christmas pudding this year? Choose from eight mouth-watering Christmas pudding recipes to make now!
When should I make my Christmas pudding?
Christmas pudding is the original make-ahead dessert, and traditionally, it’s meant to be made on the last Sunday before Advent, or five weeks before Christmas. Once made, store your Christmas pudding in a cool, dry place until Christmas day. When the big day arrives, all you need to do is reheat it before serving! Enjoy!
- 125g dried mixed fruit
- 150g currants
- 150g raisins
- 150g sultanas
- 20g stem ginger in syrup, drained and finely chopped
- 1 orange, zest and juice
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- 5 tbsp calvados or brandy
- 115g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 115g dark muscavado sugar
- 2 tsp ground mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 115g self-raising flour
- 100g fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 British Blacktail Medium Free Range Eggs, beaten
- 2 tbsp milk
- Mix together all the dried fruit, stem ginger, citrus zests and juice, and the Calvados or brandy in a large bowl. Cover and leave overnight.
- Grease a 1.2 litre pudding basin with butter and place a small circle of baking parchment in the base. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then mix in the spices, flour and breadcrumbs. Add the eggs and milk, then the fruit mixture and any soaking liquid.
- Spoon the mixture into the basin to 1cm below the rim. Cover with a double layer of greased baking parchment followed by a large piece of foil. Tie loosely around the rim with string so that there is room for the pudding to expand. Put the basin in a steamer, or a saucepan with an up-turned heatproof saucer on the base. Add boiling water to come two-thirds of the way up the sides of the basin. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for 4 hours. Keep the water bubbling throughout and top up with extra boiling water as necessary.
- Remove from the pan, cool, then wrap in fresh baking parchment and foil. Store for up to 3 months in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator. When needed, reheat by steaming the pudding in the same way as above, for about 2 hours, until piping hot.
Make it gluten free
Use FREEE Self Raising Flour and breadcrumbs from a gluten-free loaf and add 2 tbsp extra milk or water at the end of step 2 to loosen the mixture.
- 150 grams currants
- 150 grams sultanas
- 150 grams roughly chopped prunes
- 175 millilitres pedro ximenez sherry
- 100 grams plain flour
- 125 grams fresh breadcrumbs
- 150 grams suet
- 150 grams dark brown muscovado sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 3 large eggs
- 1 medium cooking apple (peeled and grated)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 125 millilitres vodka (to flame the pudding)
- You will need a 1.7 litre/3 pint/1½ quart heatproof plastic pudding basin with a lid, and also a sprig of holly to decorate.
- Put the currants, sultanas and scissored prunes into a bowl with the Pedro Ximénez, swill the bowl a bit, then cover with clingfilm and leave to steep overnight or for up to 1 week.
- When the fruits have had their steeping time, put a large pan of water on to boil, or heat some water in a conventional steamer, and butter your heatproof plastic pudding basin (or basins), remembering to grease the lid, too.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the remaining pudding ingredients (except the vodka), either in the traditional manner or just any old how; your chosen method of stirring, and who does it, probably won’t affect the outcome of your wishes or your Christmas.
- Add the steeped fruits, scraping in every last drop of liquor with a rubber spatula, and mix to combine thoroughly, then fold in cola-cleaned coins or heirloom charms. If you are at all frightened about choking-induced fatalities at the table, do leave out the hardware.
- Scrape and press the mixture into the prepared pudding basin, squish it down and put on the lid. Then wrap with a layer of foil (probably not necessary, but I do it as I once had a lid-popping and water-entering experience when steaming a pudding) so that the basin is watertight, then either put the basin in the pan of boiling water (to come halfway up the basin) or in the top of a lidded steamer (this size of basin happens to fit perfectly in the top of my all-purpose pot) and steam for 5 hours, checking every now and again that the water hasn’t bubbled away.
- When it’s had its 5 hours, remove gingerly (you don’t want to burn yourself) and, when manageable, unwrap the foil, and put the pudding in its basin somewhere out of the way in the kitchen or, if you’re lucky enough, a larder, until Christmas Day.
- On the big day, rewrap the pudding (still in its basin) in foil and steam again, this time for 3 hours. Eight hours combined cooking time might seem a faff, but it’s not as if you need to do anything to it in that time.
- To serve, remove from the pan or steamer, take off the lid, put a plate on top, turn it upside down and give the plastic basin a little squeeze to help unmould the pudding. Then remove the basin – and voilà, the Massively Matriarchal Mono Mammary is revealed. (Did I forget to mention the Freudian lure of the pudding beyond its pagan and Christian heritage?)
Put the sprig of holly on top of the dark, mutely gleaming pudding, then heat the vodka in a small pan (I use my diddy copper butter-melting pan) and the minute it’s hot, but before it boils – you don’t want the alcohol to burn off before you attempt to flambé it – turn off the heat, strike a match, stand back and light the pan of vodka, then pour the flaming vodka over the pudding and take it as fast as you safely can to your guests. If it feels less dangerous to you (I am a liability and you might well be wiser not to follow my devil-may-care instructions), pour the hot vodka over the pudding and then light the pudding. In either case, don’t worry if the holly catches alight; I have never known it to be anything but singed.
- Serve with the Eggnog Cream, which you can easily make – it’s the work of undemanding moments – while the pudding’s steaming.
- unsalted butter , for greasing
- 150 g Medjool dates
- 150 g dried apricots
- 150 g pecan nuts
- 75 g crystallized ginger
- 1 small sprig of fresh rosemary
- 150 g dried cranberries
- 150 g raisins
- 150 g suet
- 150 g plain flour
- 75 g fresh breadcrumbs
- 200 ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1 large free-range egg
- 1 clementine
- golden syrup
- barrel-aged Bourbon
- Grease a 1.5 litre pudding bowl with butter.
- Destone your dates, then, by hand or in a food processor, finely chop the flesh with the apricots, pecans, ginger and rosemary leaves. Place it all in a mixing bowl with the cranberries, raisins, suet, flour, breadcrumbs and milk. Crack in the egg, finely grate in the clementine zest, squeeze in the juice and mix it all together really well.
- Tip the mixture into the greased bowl and cover with a single layer of greaseproof paper and a double layer of tin foil. Tie a piece of string around the bowl to secure them in place and make it watertight, then sit it in a large, deep saucepan and pour in enough water to come halfway up the sides of the bowl.
- Bring the water to the boil, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid, and reduce to a simmer for 4 hours. Check the water regularly, and keep topping it up with boiling water, if needed.
- When the time’s up, lift out the bowl, remove the foil and paper, then carefully turn the pudding out on to a plate ready to serve, or leave to cool and reheat just before you need it.
- You can either drizzle it with golden syrup and a swig of Bourbon – gorgeous – or be a bit more flamboyant and gently heat a good few swigs of Bourbon just to warm it, then strike a match to the pan (stand back!), let it flame, and carefully pour it over your pudding.
- Present it to your guests and sing some Christmassy songs, then when the flame subsides drizzle with golden syrup. Serve with cream, custard or even ice cream.
LOVE YOUR LEFTOVERS
Cold leftovers are delicious with a slice of British cheese, such as Lancashire, or in a Christmas sundae.
After steaming, allow the pudding to cool, then remove the greaseproof paper, leaving it covered with tin foil. Store in a cool, dark place until the big day, then simply steam again to reheat – about an hour should do it, until piping hot throughout.
- 110g suet
- 110g white breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 225g dark brown sugar
- 1 clementine, zested
- 1 lemon, zested
- 25g blanched almonds
- 25g candied peel
- 100g sultanas
- 100g raisins
- 250g currants
- 50g dried cranberries
- 1 Bramley apple, cored and diced
- 150ml Guinness
- 2 tbsp brandy
- 2 eggs
- 50g self-raising flour, sifted
- Place the suet, breadcrumbs, spices, sugar, citrus zest, almonds, dried fruit and apple in a large bowl and combine well.
- Whisk together the Guinness, brandy and eggs, then pour this into the fruit mixture and mix again really thoroughly (this is where you can get the family involved, each member stirring and making a wish!) Cover and leave to stand overnight.
- Sift in the flour and mix thoroughly before spooning in to a 1.2 litre basin. Cover the top with a circle of greaseproof paper and then cover with another larger piece that has a fold in the middle, which enables the pudding to expand. Tie round the rim of the basin with string. Repeat with a piece of foil, tying with string.
- Put in a large pan. Use a trivet or, if you don’t have one, something small such as a saucer to prevent the pudding from touching the base of the pan and getting too hot. Then pour in boiling water to at least halfway up the side of the basin. Steam for 8 hrs, over a low heat, checking from time to time as you will need to top up the water.
- After 8 hrs, remove from the pan and store somewhere cool until Christmas.
- When you wish to eat the pudding, steam as above in step 4, for 2 hrs. Carefully remove from the pan, then remove the foil and paper and invert onto a plate to serve.
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- 200g mixed dried fruit
- 50g candied peel
- 100g dried figs, chopped
- 100g pitted dates, chopped
- 50g glacè Morello cherries, halved
- 100ml brandy (or orange juice)
- 100g vegetable suet
- 75g soft brown sugar
- ½ orange, zested
- ½ lemon, zested
- 85g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 apple, peeled and grated
- 40g breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp black treacle
- Grease a 1ltr pudding basin. Cut out a circle of baking paper and fit it into the base of the basin.
- In a bowl, combine all the chopped dried fruit with the alcohol (or orange juice) and leave to soak for 2 hrs, stirring occasionally, to allow the fruit to soften.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the suet with the sugar and orange and lemon zest, using a wooden spoon. Then sift in the flour, baking powder, spices and salt, and stir to combine.
- Add the grated apple, breadcrumbs, black treacle and the soaked fruit along with its soaking liquid. Mix well until combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin, pushing it down with the spoon and smoothing the top. Cover with a large piece of nonstick baking paper, folded to give a double thickness, then pleated in the middle (to allow the pudding to expand). Cover this with a piece of foil, tie string around the basin to keep paper and foil in place, then make a loop of string to use as a handle to lift the pudding out of the pan after cooking.
- Put an upturned saucer or small plate in the bottom of a large saucepan. Carefully stand the pudding basin on the saucer, then pour boiling water into the pan so it comes about halfway up the basin. The water shouldn’t touch the foil or it may seep into the pudding. Bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 4 hrs. Check occasionally to see if the water has boiled away and add more if necessary.
- When the pudding is cooked, carefully lift it out of the pan and allow to cool for 15-20 mins. Turn out onto a serving plate and cut into slices to serve.
Tip: This pudding can be made up to a week in advance. Allow to cool completely, then remove the baking paper and foil. Re-cover with clean foil and store in a cool dry place until needed. Before serving, cover with paper and foil, then reheat as above in a pan of boiling water for 1 hr.
- 1 medium orange
- 800 g caster sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 150 g (5oz) raisins
- 150 g (5oz) sultanas
- 150 g (5oz) dried apricots
- 175 ml (6 fl oz) Cointreau
- Butter, to grease
- 2 tsp. mixed spice
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 150 g (5oz) dark muscovado sugar
- 100 g (3 ½oz) self-raising flour
- 75 g (3oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 100 g (3 ½oz) vegetarian suet
- Finely grated zest 2 oranges
- To make the candied orange, pierce the orange several times with a cocktail stick or skewer. Put orange in a small pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 2hr (topping up water when necessary to keep the water topped up).
- Remove orange from pan; discard cooking water. Measure 800ml (11/3 pint) water into the empty pan, add caster sugar and cinnamon stick and heat gently, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, add the orange, then cover with a lid and simmer for 1hr. Remove lid and simmer gently for a further 30min. Turn off heat, cover and let orange cool in the pan overnight.
- Meanwhile, mix dried fruit and Cointreau in a large non-metallic bowl. Cover and leave to soak overnight at room temperature.
- Lightly grease a 1.1 litre (2 pint) pudding basin and line base with a disc of baking parchment. Put a 35.5cm (14in) square of foil on top of a square of baking parchment of the same size. Fold a 4cm (11/2in) pleat across the centre and set aside.
- Add remaining ingredients to the soaked fruit as well as 2tbsp syrup from the orange pan, stirring well. Spoon one third of the mixture into the prepared basin, pushing down to pack the mixture. Sit the orange in the centre of the pudding. Pack the rest of the pudding mixture around and on top of the orange, making sure it is well covered.
- Put the pleated foil and parchment square (foil-side up) on top of the basin and smooth down to cover. Using a long piece of string, tie securely under the lip of the basin and loop over again and tie to make a handle.
- To cook, put a heatproof saucer in the base of a large, deep pan (which has a tight-fitting lid). Lower in the prepared pudding and pour in enough water (trying not to get any on top of the pudding) to come halfway up sides of basin. Cover pan with the lid, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer gently for 41/2hr, topping up the water as necessary.
- If serving immediately, carefully lift pudding out of pan by the handle and leave to stand for a few minutes. Remove lid, invert pudding on to a lipped plate, peel off baking parchment disc and serve.
- If making ahead, leave pudding to cool completely (out of pan). When cool, wrap the basin, still with its foil lid, tightly in clingfilm and then another layer of foil. Store in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.
- 150 g currants
- 110 g sour cherries
- 100 g raisins
- 50 g chopped dates
- 50 g mixed peel
- 1 lime
- ½ an orange
- 75 ml Assam tea , cold (or Earl Grey if you prefer)
- ½ teaspoon mixed spice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 2½ tablespoons brandy
- ½ a large cooking apple
- 50 g toasted almonds
- 170 g soft dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup
- 25 g rice flour
- 25 g cornflour
- 110 g fresh gluten-free breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
- 110 g gluten-free suet
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 1 large free-range egg yolk
- butter , for greasing
- In a large bowl, combine the dried fruits and mixed peel. Grate in the lime and orange zest, then squeeze in the citrus juice, cold tea, spices and brandy. Stir and leave overnight for the flavours to develop.
- The following day, grate the apple and chop the almonds. Add to the bowl with the sugar and golden syrup.
- In a clean bowl, place the rice flour, cornflour, breadcrumbs, baking powder, suet and a pinch of salt. Beat the eggs and egg yolk and stir until you have a smooth mix, then stir into the fruit.
- Grease a 1.5-litre pudding basin and pour in the pudding mixture until it’s ? full. Cover the top with a circle of greaseproof paper, then with 2 pieces of foil and secure with string.
- Place an upturned saucer into the base of a deep saucepan. Sit the pudding on top of the saucer, and carefully pour in boiling water to come halfway up the pudding dish. Put the lid on and steam for 8 hours, topping up with water as needed – always keep it halfway up the basin.
- Once steamed, remove the pudding from the pan, carefully turn it upside down and lift off the basin. Decorate as you like and serve with brandy cream, custard or ice cream.
- 225g currants
- 225g sultanas
- 175g raisins
- 50g mixed peel, chopped (we used Sundora)
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- 3 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp brandy
- 150g self-raising flour
- 2 tsp ground mixed spice
- 1 tsp grated nutmeg
- 175g unsalted butter, plus a little extra for greasing
- 150g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- 100g dark muscovado sugar
- Icing sugar and holly, to decorate the large puddings
- Good-quality ice cream, to serve with the individual puddings
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Put the dried fruits, peel, zest and juice, milk and brandy in a large bowl and mix together. In a separate bowl, sieve together the flour, spices and a pinch of salt.
- Melt the butter in a small pan, then cool slightly. Pour over the dried fruit mixture, then add the breadcrumbs, eggs, muscovado sugar and the spiced flour. Mix well, so there are no pockets of flour left.
For the large puddings:
- Grease and base line 2 x 2-litre pudding basins divide the mixture between the pudding basins. Level the mixture and cover each using a circle of foil that’s larger than the basin. Make a pleat down the centre of each. Tie string around the rim of each basin, then loop over and tie at the other side to make handles. Take 2 saucers and put one each into 2 large, deep saucepans. Sit the basins on top and fill each pan with boiling water so it comes halfway up each basin. Cover the saucepans with a lid, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 4 hours.
- Turn out, dust with icing sugar and serve decorated with holly and cranberries. Alternatively, put the puddings (still in the basins) on a wire rack to cool completely. Turn out, wrap in greaseproof paper and foil and store in a cool place for up to 6 months. To serve, reheat in a saucepan of water (the same way you cooked it), until piping hot to the centre – about 1 hour – and serve as above.
For the individual puddings:
- Grease and base line 12 individual dariole moulds, divide the mixture among the dariole moulds so each one is just over three-quarters full. Cover each with a circle of foil with a pleat down the centre, then put in a roasting tin. Fill the tin with boiling water, so that it comes halfway up the moulds. Cover the whole tin with foil and transfer to the oven for 1½ hours. Insert a skewer into the centre of a pudding – if it comes out clean, they’re ready.
- Remove the moulds from the tin and cool a little. (Alternatively, cool completely, turn out, wrap in greaseproof paper, then foil, and store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To reheat, return to the moulds and heat for 1 hour, the same way you cooked them.) Turn out the puddings and top with a scoop of ice cream.
- Our previous magazine editor Matthew Drennan’s mum has cooked this wonderful light pudding for more than 40 years. Steam in 2 x 2-litre pudding basins or, even easier, bake in 12 dariole moulds. Large puddings will keep, in an airtight container, for 3 months.
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