Making a traditional Christmas pudding may seem overwhelming with its long list of ingredients and steps. However, it’s really not at all hard to make. What it requires is time, two days at least to prepare and weeks to allow the pudding to mature. But having a Christmas pudding that is all at once rich, dark, dense, sweet, spiced, and fruity to serve is certainly well worth the trouble.
Packed with delicious flavours of dried fruits, spices, and brandy, Christmas pudding is best made on the Sunday before Advent, or the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day. This allows the pudding to develop all the festive flavours that represent the holiday season.
The first half of your preparation requires combining the dried fruits and soaking them overnight. Once that is done, you can proceed to making the actual pudding. Steaming alone takes seven hours. Make sure you allot enough time to complete all the steps to make this Christmas pudding.
That said, don’t forget to make a wish whilst taking turns in stirring!
- 450g mixed dried fruit (golden raisins or sultanas, raisins and currants)
- 25g mixed candied peel, finely chopped
- 1 small cooking apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
- Zest and juice of 1 medium orange and 1 ½ lemon
- 3 tbsp brandy, plus a little extra for soaking
- 55g self-raising flour, sifted
- 1 level tsp ground mixed spice
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 110g shredded suet
- 110g soft, dark brown sugar
- 110g fresh white bread crumbs
- 25g whole shelled almonds, roughly chopped
- 2 large eggs
- Add the dried fruits, candied peel, apple, and orange and lemon juices to a large mixing bowl, then pour in the brandy. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to soak overnight.
- After the dried fruits have soaked overnight, get the rest of the ingredients ready. In a very large mixing bowl, combine the flour, mixed spice, and cinnamon. Next, add the suet, sugar, lemon and orange zests, bread crumbs, and nuts. Mix them well.
- Get the pre-soaked dried fruits and mix them in.
- Beat the eggs separately. Stir the beaten eggs quickly into the dry ingredients until the mixture is soft in consistency.
- Lightly butter a pudding steamer or basin with at least a 1.4L capacity.
- Add the mixture into the greased pudding steamer or basin. Use the back of a spoon to press on the mixture.
- If using a pudding steamer, cover it with the lid. If using a pudding basin, cover it with two layers of baking parchment and one layer of aluminium foil, then secure it tightly with a string.
- Place the pudding in a steamer, then set the steamer over a pot of simmering water. (Alternatively, place the pudding in an electric steamer.) Steam the pudding mixture for seven hours. Check the water level frequently and top it up as needed.
- Once the pudding finishes cooking, remove it from the steamer and allow to cool completely.
- Use a skewer to prick the pudding all over and pour in the extra brandy.
- Remove the parchment, prick the pudding with a skewer and pour in the extra brandy.
- Cover the pudding in grease-proof paper and tie it up. Store it in a cool, dry place until Christmas day.
- Reheat the pudding by steaming it for an hour. Serve it with brandy butter or our Easy Custard Recipe.