Christmas pudding

Christmas pudding

100 Best Cakes and Desserts
2, or 1 very large pudding
Mark Roper

This recipe will make two puddings or one very large one, and will serve about twenty people. I like to prepare my pudding at least two or three weeks before Christmas.


Quantity Ingredient
250g butter, softened
250g brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
4 large eggs
125g raisins
250g sultanas
250g currants
125g shredded mixed peel
1 small apple, grated
1 carrot, grated
100g self-raising flour, sifted
100g plain, sifted, plus extra, for dusting
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
125g fresh or dried breadcrumbs
60g slivered blanched almonds
80ml brandy
cream, ice cream or custard, to serve


  1. Cream the butter and sugar with the lemon and orange zest. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one. Mix in the dried fruits, mixed peel, apple and carrot. Sift together the flours, nutmeg, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda and add this to the mixture. Add in the breadcrumbs and almonds and stir in the brandy. Set aside for about 30 minutes.
  2. Drop a 70 cm square of calico or two 60 cm squares of calico into a saucepan of boiling water and boil for 3 minutes, then rinse and boil again. Remove from the water, wring out and lay flat. Sprinkle the extra flour into the centre of the calico to form a layer about 1 mm thick, leaving a border of about 20 cm all around the edge.
  3. Spoon the pudding mixture into the centre of the cloth. Close the cloth around the pudding mixture and tie firmly with kitchen string, leaving a 5 cm gap at the top to allow for expansion during cooking. Leave enough string to hang the pudding when it is cooked.
  4. Cook, covered in simmering water for 4 hours for two smaller puddings or 7 hours for a large pudding, topping up with boiling water as required to keep the pudding covered. Remove the pudding from the water and hang it in a dry place with good air circulation for quick drying.
  5. On Christmas day, reheat the pudding by simmering in water for 2 hours. Serve with cream, ice cream or custard.
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