Christmas Pudding

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By Darren Purchese

A traditional favourite, you can help to CRUSH Christmas hosting by making this well in advance and reheating on the big day. Serve with Brandy custard or salted caramel sauce and ice cream.

A quick history of the pudding? Go on then... a cherished holiday dessert with deep roots in British tradition, that has a rich history dating back centuries. Originating in medieval England, it evolved from a porridge-like dish known as "frumenty," made with beef and mutton, combined with raisins, wines, and spices. Over time, as culinary tastes shifted and ingredients became more accessible, frumenty transformed into what we now recognise as Christmas pudding.

By the 17th century, the dish had gained popularity as a festive Christmas treat, and its ingredients continued to evolve. The addition of more dried fruits, suet, flour, and breadcrumbs resulted in a denser, more flavorful pudding. The association with Christmas grew stronger during the Victorian era when Prince Albert, consort to Queen Victoria, brought the German tradition of decorating Christmas trees to England. The Christmas pudding became a centrepiece of holiday feasts, often adorned with holly and set ablaze before serving.

In the 20th century, Christmas pudding maintained its status as a beloved holiday dessert, albeit with some modern variations. Today, families across the globe, particularly in the United Kingdom and its former colonies, continue to uphold the tradition of enjoying this rich and spiced pudding as a symbolic and delicious conclusion to the Christmas feast.

Time

6

hour

0

minutes

Degree of Difficulty

Easy

Save

2

Portions

8
servings

Share Recipe

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Ingredients

Servings

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150g plain flour
½tsp ground ginger
½tsp ground cinnamon
½tsp ground allspice
½tsp freshly grated nutmeg
30g breadcrumbs
30g unsalted butter
70g soft light brown sugar
20g ground almonds
½tsp salt
100g sultanas
40g currants
100g raisins
45g cranberries
30g dried pear, chopped
50g dried apricots, chopped
100g candied mixed citrus peel
1 carrot, large peeled & grated
1 apple, peeled & grated
50g glace ginger, chopped 1/2 cm dice
50g almonds, whole blanched, rough chopped
1 orange, juice & zest
1 lemon, juice & zest
1tbsp milk
1 whole egg
25 ml Cognac
25 ml Whiskey
25 ml Rum
50 ml Pedro Ximenez
25 ml Muscat
75 ml Port or Tawny
100 ml Guinness
75 ml Brandy to flambe
1

To make the mix… sieve the flour and spices together into a large mixing/pudding bowl. Add the breadcrumbs and rub in the butter using your fingertips. Add the sugar, almonds and salt and mix well. Add the remaining ingredients in the order they appear above, except the Brandy, and mix well with a spatula.

 

2

To fill the mould… grease a 1.2 litre pudding bowl and pour in the batter. Push down to completely fill the bowl and eliminate any air bubbles. Cut a disc of baking paper the diameter of the base of the pudding and lightly grease it. Invert the paper to adhere to the bottom of the pudding. Wrap the entire pudding in aluminium foil.

 

3

To cook the pudding… cook for four hours in an oven that has a steam function or place into a cast iron pot. Fill the pot to halfway up the side of the pudding with hot water and place a lid on top. Preheat an oven to 150°C and put the pot inside. Again, cook for 4 hours but check the water level regularly and top up as needed.

 

4

To store… remove from the oven and leave to cool, keep in the mould and wrap in cling film or foil. Store in the fridge for up to 1 year!

 

5

To reheat on the day… repeat one of the cooking methods above and reheat for a good hour and a half. Heat the Brandy for 10 seconds in a microwave. Turn the pudding out onto a serving dish and pour over the Brandy, set alight and take a bow. Serve with Brandy custard or salted caramel sauce.

 

 

1
0 hours 0 minutes

To make the mix… sieve the flour and spices together into a large mixing/pudding bowl. Add the breadcrumbs and rub in the butter using your fingertips. Add the sugar, almonds and salt and mix well. Add the remaining ingredients in the order they appear above, except the Brandy, and mix well with a spatula.

2
0 hours 0 minutes

To fill the mould… grease a 1.2 litre pudding bowl and pour in the batter. Push down to completely fill the bowl and eliminate any air bubbles. Cut a disc of baking paper the diameter of the base of the pudding and lightly grease it. Invert the paper to adhere to the bottom of the pudding. Wrap the entire pudding in aluminium foil.

3
0 hours 0 minutes

To cook the pudding… cook for four hours in an oven that has a steam function or place into a cast iron pot. Fill the pot to halfway up the side of the pudding with hot water and place a lid on top. Preheat an oven to 150°C and put the pot inside. Again, cook for 4 hours but check the water level regularly and top up as needed.

4
0 hours 0 minutes

To store… remove from the oven and leave to cool, keep in the mould and wrap in cling film or foil. Store in the fridge for up to 1 year!

5
0 hours 0 minutes

To reheat on the day… repeat one of the cooking methods above and reheat for a good hour and a half. Heat the Brandy for 10 seconds in a microwave. Turn the pudding out onto a serving dish and pour over the Brandy, set alight and take a bow. Serve with Brandy custard or salted caramel sauce.