The Old Manor House Traditional Victorian Christmas Pudding

“I discovered this recipe in an old Victorian scrapbook that I bought in a second hand book shop; the original recipe dates back to 1880, and was the prized Christmas Pudding recipe of the Cook at a Manor House in the North of England. I have made it many times and given smaller versions away as gifts to friends - the lovely thing about this pudding is that it IS fruity and boozy, but it is NOT heavy and stodgy, it is very light for a steamed pudding; this is due to the fact that the recipe does not use flour, but uses bread or cake crumbs instead. The traditional day to make your puddings for Christmas is "Stir-Up Sunday" which is the 5th Sunday before Christmas Day and the Sunday before Advent. You would even be reminded of the fact at the Sunday morning church service, as it was believed that puddings made on this day carried God's blessings to all who partook of it! I always put a lucky silver "sixpence - sixpenny piece" in my pudding - lucky silver charms are also used, and these can still be bought in the UK. Halve the quantities for one large pudding. Merry Christmas!”
10hrs 15mins
2 Large Christmas Puddings

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Mix all the dried fruit together, and then add the citrus peel, flaked almonds, spices, ground almonds and salt - blend thoroughly.
  2. Work in the breadcrumbs, sugar and softened butter, mixing well.
  3. Stir the beaten eggs into the mixture and then gradually add the brandy or rum and the stout. Mix thoroughly until a soft dropping consistency has been achieved.
  4. Butter two large (2 pint) pudding bowls and spoon half the mixture into each bowl - smoothing down the surface slightly.
  5. Cover with greaseproof paper and muslin pudding cloths or aluminum foil, and tie them down around the rims, making a loop for a handle to lift the pudding basins out of the steamer later!
  6. Boil the puddings in an open pan or in a steamer for 6 hours - making sure that the water is topped up when necessary.
  7. You can also steam these puddings in a pressure cooker - please follow your manufacturer's instructions.
  8. Remove the greaseproof paper, cloths/ aluminum foil and cover with fresh greaseproof paper and a clean pudding cloth or foil.
  9. Store in a cool place for up to 2 months, although I have kept these puddings for nearly a year!
  10. On Christmas day, boil or steam for a further 4 hours.
  11. To flame the puddings: Turn out the puddings onto a plate. Heat up a tablespoon or two of brandy in a small saucepan until it is warm but NOT boiling, and then pour the hot brandy into a ladle - take the pudding to the table with the ladle and light the ladle with a match - BE CAREFUL! Pour the burning brandy over the pudding and remember to turn the lights out for maximum ooohs and ahhhhs!
  12. Serve with Brandy Butter, Rum Sauce, Custard or Cream. Don't forget the sprig of holly too!
  13. Each pudding serves 6 to 8 people.

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