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Christmas Pudding

The last Sunday before Advent is traditionally the day for making your Christmas pudding, and known as “Stir-up Sunday”. Why not try our Christmas pudding and get the family together in the kitchen, get everyone to take their turn with mixing and making a wish?


These quantities are enough to make 2 small (1.2 litre) puddings, or one very large (2.2 litre) one.

Combine the ingredients for the booze soaked fruit 12-24 hours before making the pudding. Cover with a wax wrap or plate and leave to soak., stirring the mixture occasionally.

Sift the flour and baking powder into bowl and add the grated butter/suet. Rub the fat into the flour mix with your fingertips until the mixture is a uniform colour. Then add the breadcrumbs, salt, spices and sugar to the mixture and stir to combine.

At this stage, you can add all of the other ingredients to the mixing bowl and stir until combined.

Butter the inside of your pudding bowl thoroughly.

Place the mixture into the pudding basin, covered with a layer of greaseproof paper and a layer of foil. Tie securely with string, making a handle over the top for easy manoeuvring.

To steam, fill a base pan with simmering water and place the steamer on top. Add your pudding basin to the steamer and place a lid on top. Check the water level occasionally topping up if needed.

Steam for 1 ½ hours for the small pudding and 3 hours for the large.

On Christmas Day, steam the pudding for about 45mins for a small pudding & 1.5 hour for the large to reheat.

Once done, remove from the steamer and carefully turn the pudding onto your serving plate. Dowse with a double shot (or ladleful!) of brandy or rum and flame at the table.

If you want to keep your Christmas pudding for up to 1 year:

When the pudding is cooled slightly but still warm, spike the surface with a skewer or cocktail stick, and pour over another 150 ml or so of your chosen booze e.g. Rum or brandy. Then thoroughly wrap your pud in greaseproof paper, pop into a cake tin or some Tupperware and store in a cool, dry, dark place until next Christmas!

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For the booze-soaked fruit and nuts

100g pitted prunes or unsulphured dried apricots, roughly chopped

100 g dried apples or pears, roughly chopped

50g currants

100g raisins

50g dried cherries

75g preserved stem ginger, chopped, plus a little of the syrup from the jar

30g candied orange peel

15g candied lemon peel

50g roughly chopped whole almonds

50g toasted pumpkin seeds

150 ml apple cider brandy (or rum or brandy)

100 ml dry cider

For the pudding batter

Butter for greasing

2 large eggs

75g dark muscovado sugar

2 pinches of sea salt

Grated zest of 1 unwaxed orange

100g light wholemeal cake flour

2 level teaspoons baking powder (or use self-raising wholemeal cake flour)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground mixed spice

1 tsp ground ginger

½ tsp allspice

75g wholemeal breadcrumbs

1 eating apple grated

100g grated parsnip

150g beef suet or grated butter

50g black treacle

Butter for greasing

This recipe is taken from...

River Cottage HQ