Christmas pudding

Christmas pudding

How I cook
2 puddings; each serves 6
Jason Lowe

I unashamedly adore Christmas pudding and I’m perplexed by those who say they don’t. What could possibly be more tempting than a steaming pudding – irresistibly fragrant with a mix of spices, molasses sugar, candied peel, dried fruit and brandy – arriving at the table? These puddings will happily keep for a year in the fridge, their flavour becoming ever more delicious.


Quantity Ingredient
360g suet, grated
170g plain flour
180g fresh white breadcrumbs
150g candied peel
350g seedless raisins
350g currants
200g sultanas
170g dark muscovado sugar
1 lemon, grated zest
1 orange, grated zest
1/2 nutmeg, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 lemon, juiced
4 organic free-range large eggs, lightly beaten
100ml armagnac
550ml whole milk
butter, to grease

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
small ladleful brandy


  1. Stir all the pudding ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until evenly combined; the mixture should feel quite wet. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and leave to stand in a cool place overnight.
  2. The following day pack the mixture firmly into two lightly greased 1 litre pudding basins. Cover the surface with a disc of baking parchment, then cover each basin with a double layer of parchment and secure under the rim with string. Place a trivet in each of two large saucepans (or cook the puddings one at a time). Stand the basin(s) on the trivet(s). Pour in enough boiling water to come two-thirds of the way up the side of the basin and put the lid on.
  3. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then lower the heat slightly and cook for 6 hours, topping up the pan with boiling water as necessary. Lift out the pudding basin and leave the pudding to cool to room temperature. Re-cover with clean baking parchment and a layer of foil and place in the fridge or store in a cool, dry cupboard until needed.
  4. On Christmas morning, boil the pudding (as above) for 1½–2 hours.
  5. Warm the brandy just before serving. Turn out the pudding onto a warm plate, pour on the warm brandy and set alight. Bring the flaming pudding to the table. Serve brandy butter alongside, and perhaps a jug of thick pouring cream for those who prefer it.

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