Rich Christmas pudding

Rich Christmas pudding

Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

The Christmas pudding, stuck with a piece of holly, flaming with lighted brandy or rum, served with brandy or rum butter or with a rich custard or cream, is one of the highlights of an English Christmas dinner. Plum or Christmas puddings always improve with keeping, which allows the mixture to mature.


Quantity Ingredient
250g raisins, chopped
60g mixed glace peel, chopped
250g currants
250g sultanas
3 tablespoons overproof rum or brandy, plus extra to serve
250g butter
250g brown sugar
1 orange, zested
or 1 lemon, zested
4 eggs, lightly beaten
60g blanched almonds, chopped
150g plain flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
160g fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda


  1. The day before making, mix raisins, candied peel, currants and sultanas, sprinkle with rum or brandy and leave overnight.
  2. The next day, cream butter with sugar and fruit zests until light and fluffy. Add eggs a little at a time, then stir in fruit and almonds alternately with dry ingredients and breadcrumbs.
  3. Put into a large well-buttered 1.5 litres pudding basin bottom-lined with a round of greased baking paper. Cover with another round of greased baking paper (to fit over top of pudding basin) then with a pudding cloth which has been scalded, wrung out and floured lightly, or use a large sheet of foil. Tie firmly with string.
  4. Steam, covered, in a saucepan with boiling water to come halfway up sides of pudding basin, for 6 hours. Add more boiling water as necessary. Remove from water and when cold, cover with fresh baking paper.
  5. On Christmas Day, put pudding into a saucepan of boiling water as described above and steam for 2½ hours. Turn hot pudding onto a heated serving plate. Warm a little rum or brandy in a small saucepan, set alight and pour over pudding at the table. Serve immediately.
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