Christmas Pudding

The Christmas pudding started life as a simple pottage; which over Yuletide people enhanced with expensive spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg.


2lb 4oz mixed dried fruit

9oz (250g) ready to eat prunes, chopped

3.5oz (100g) glace cherries, halved

5fl oz (150ml) stout

2 tbsp brandy

9oz (250g) fresh white breadcrumbs

2.75oz blanched almonds, chopped

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

8oz (225g) soft brown sugar

1 large carrot, peeling and finely grated

3.5oz (100g) ground almonds

5oz (140g) plain flour

1tsp ground mixed spice

1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

9oz (250g) beef or vegetable suet, shredded

3 medium eggs, lightly beaten

2 large cooking apples, peeled and coarsely grated


1. Mix all the ingredients together in your largest mixing bowl or saucepan and stir well (make sure all the family make a wish during the stirring). Cover tightly with cling-film and leave to stand in a cool place overnight.

2. Turn into well-buttered pudding basins and cover with a pleated circle of both baking parchment and aluminium foil, securing with string. Place in a saucepan on an improvised trivet and pour boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the pudding.

3. Cover and bring to the boil on the boiling plate and then transfer to the simmering plate for 30 minutes slow boiling.

4. Transfer the pudding, water and pan to the floor of the simmering oven. Cook for 12 hours or overnight.

5. Remove from the pans and allow to cool. Brush the surface of the puddings with brandy and then cover with fresh parchment and foil coverings and string. Store in a cool, dark and dry place or in the refrigerator until Christmas.


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