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The Ultimate English Christmas Pudding

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“This may seem a lot of work but BOY is it worth it! Christmas Pudding is pure tradition and worth doing from scratch if only once, for first-time pudding makers this is foolproof! Make and cook the pudding 6-8 weeks before Christmas. Also as it does take a fair time to steam, make things easier for yourself by preparing the pudding up to the end of *** stage the day before. Keep the pudding in a cool place overnight, and steam as directed the next day. Cover the cold pudding with fresh greaseproof paper and foil and store in a cool place until Christmas. It is quite useful to use a see-through bowl for the pudding as you can then check the colour as it is cooking, the longer and slower the simmering the darker and richer the pudding will be.”
9hrs 30mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Lightly butter a 1.4-litre (21/2-pint) pudding basin.
  2. Cut a small square of foil and press into the base of the basin.
  3. Measure the sultanas, raisins, apricots and apple into a bowl with the orange juice.
  4. Add the measured brandy or rum and leave to marinate for about one hour.
  5. Put the measured butter, sugar and grated orange rind into a large bowl and cream together with a wooden spoon or a hand-held electric whisk until light and fluffy, gradually beat in the eggs, adding a little flour if the mixture starts to curdle.
  6. Sift together the flour and mixed spice, then fold into the creamed mixture with the breadcrumbs and the nuts.
  7. Add the dried fruits, apple and liquid and stir well.
  8. Spoon into the prepared pudding basin, pressing the mixture down, and level the top with the back of a spoon.
  9. Cover the pudding with a layer of greaseproof paper and foil, both pleated across the middle to allow for expansion.
  10. Tie securely with string and trim off excess paper and foil with scissors***.
  11. TO STEAM, put the pudding in the top of a steamer filled with simmering water, cover with a lid and steam for about eight hours, topping up the water as necessary.
  12. TO BOIL, put a metal jam-jar lid into the base of a large pan to act as a trivet. Put the pudding on to this and pour in enough boiling water to come one-third of the way up the bowl. Cover with a lid, bring the water back to the boil, then simmer for about seven hours, until the pudding is a glorious deep brown colour, topping up the water as necessary.
  13. Remove the pudding from the steamer or pan and cool completely.
  14. Make holes in the pudding with a fine skewer and pour in a little more brandy or rum to feed.
  15. Discard the paper and foil and replace with fresh. Store in a cool, dry place.
  16. On Christmas Day, steam or boil the pudding for about an hour to reheat. Turn the pudding on to a serving plate.
  17. To flame, warm 3-4 tablespoons brandy or rum in a small pan, pour it over the hot pudding and set light to it.
  18. Serve with Rum Sauce or Brandy Butter.

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