Monday, 5 March 2012

Making Christmas pudding

Last week, a friend invited me over to learn how to make English Christmas pudding. It might seem strange to think about Christmas pudding now, but now is the time to get the pudding made so it can cured for the next 10 months in order to have it ready in time for Christmas. I have often heard the Christmas pudding tastes better the longer it has cured. I have another friend who reported eating one Christmas pudding after 5 years of curing time.

I did a post 2 years ago on the meaning of Christmas pudding which you can find here. Since living in England we have always gone to the store to buy a small pudding to have at Christmas time. Now I will admit my family are not huge fans of Christmas pudding but I wanted to give it a try as things always tastes better when home made.

This recipe comes from my friend's Auntie Sybil and we had a fun afternoon creating together while the children played. One thing I found different about the recipe is everything is done by measuring by weight instead of volume. So you will need a food scale for this...something I need to buy:)

1 pound of fresh bread crumbs

Finely chopped up and make sure it isn't sticking all together it should be crumbly

1 pound of currants
1 pound of sultanas (golden raisins)
1 pound of raisins

Mix all ingredients gently in a large bowl.

Add 1 oz of crystallize ginger
3 oz of candied orange and lemon peel
2 medium grated carrots
1 large apple peeled and chopped
Add 10 ml of ground almonds

Gently mix it all together

Add 1 pound vegetable suet...if you can't find it you can use use butter but it must be frozen and then grated do not use soften butter

Again thoroughly mix it together

Add 2 Tablespoons of Golden syrup (can use corn syrup)

Add a 'gill' of dark ale beer (do not use lager beer)
a gill is approximately 5 oz of dark ale beer

3 tablespoons of Brandy

Mix all ingredients thoroughly

Grease inside bowls with butter or shortening. Firmly press the mixture into bowls to desire level (don't over fill)

This recipe made 2 medium size bowls and 2 smaller bowls of pudding.

Cover inside of bowl with parchment paper, cut to fit.

Then cover the entire lid of bowl with parchment paper and tie tight with a string.

Do you see the string:)

Cover with aluminum foil

Steam for 8 hours

Next store the Christmas pudding in a cool dark place until Christmas. When ready to eat steam pudding for 4 hours and then serve. There are many ways to serve Christmas pudding, with custard, cream or adding Brandy to the pudding right before serving and setting it a flame. My kids love the blue flame. I won't be able to tell you how it turned out taste wise until Christmas time but I can't wait to give it a try.

MOM I have an extra one just for you so you can pick it up when you visit in September to take home:)!!


  1. I did a double take when I saw the title of your post! How long did it take to make this? I love your steamer! I now have steamer envy, which I did not know was even possible. :-)

    1. LOL Steamer envy, that a good one:) It only took about 30 minutes to put it all together, but the hardest part was steaming them for 8 hours as my steamer only goes for 75 minutes and I had to remember to fill it with water and turn it back on every hour.

  2. What does Christmas pudding taste like? I read the other post (that you've linked here) and it looks a bit like it'd taste like Fruit Cake.
    Honestly I'm not sure if we'd eat it ;) but it definitely looks interesting and perhaps worth a try.

    1. I does taste a bit like fruit cake but with alcohol in it. Definitely a acquired taste I think...but fun to try

  3. my hands will be famous!!
    Hee hee!

  4. Anna-Marie, this looks good! Nice to meet you. I am a l crew member.

  5. That is so cool! Thank you for the directions. Maybe we will give this a try. (In Germany the recipes are also done by weight. Maybe that's a European thing?)

    1. I do think this is a European cooking thing. I had to borrow a scale for a science experiment from my neighbor the other day and she did ask how I did any cooking without a scale, LOL :)

  6. Thanks, Anna-Marie for revealing the secret of Christmas Pudding. I always wondered what it was made of. Good luck with it.

    Holly in Kentucky

  7. Wow-that sounds quite early for making Christmas pudding even for England. Traditionally, they were made around "Stir up Sunday" which I've just found was 20th November last year. You will probably need to keep "feeding" it with brandy to preserve it. We make an non-alcoholic version which should ideally be made at the beginning of December and kept in the fridge.
    Delia Smith has a useful conversion page for weight to volume measurements. Not sure if she has everything you need but it might help.

    1. Thanks for mentioning adding more brandy I will have to ask my friend as she didn't mention that in her recipe!

  8. I totally LOVE Christmas pudding! This post made me hungry! We make it without alcohol, though, and serve it with a brown caramel sauce. Yum!!!

  9. We tried it. Check it out.

  10. How exciting, I am going to show this to my friend she will be thrilled:) Let me know how it turns out

  11. I am WAY late commenting on your post here Anna-Marie and I do miss visiting you and others in blog land, but having a hard time finding time to do so! I don't believe I've ever had Christmas pudding, but this is a great post with all your photos! I hope it's yummy! Clicked a vote for you today!

  12. We made Christmas Pudding today and followed your recipe again. The kids and I had a great time.