|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 8 to 12|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 11g||14%|
|Saturated Fat 5g||26%|
|Total Carbohydrate 49g||18%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||16%|
|Total Sugars 32g|
|Vitamin C 5mg||23%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
No British Christmas is complete without a Christmas pudding. Unlike American puddings, a Christmas pudding is a dark, sticky, and dense sponge, more like a fruitcake, made of mixed dried fruit, candied fruit peel, apple, and citrus zests. Brandy and spices provide a deep, complex flavor and signature dark color.
Although the number of ingredients may seem daunting, if you prep everything ahead of time, the recipe will come together easily. Christmas pudding is best made well in advance; eating the pudding immediately after cooking will cause it to collapse, and the flavors will not have had time to mature. Traditionally, the dessert is made on "Stir-up Sunday," the Sunday before Advent around the end of November, where families gather to stir the mixture, make a wish, and add a few coins to the batter.
“I have to be honest, I was not happy about waiting four weeks to try this Christmas Pudding. Putting in all that work (okay, most of it was passive) only to wrap it up and let it sit was tough. Was it worth it? Absolutely. The brandy mellows, the flavors mingle and develop and, after all, it is tradition.” —Carrie Parente
1 pound/450 grams (3 to 3 1/2 cups) mixed dried fruit
25 grams (scant 1/2 cup) mixed candied fruit peel, finely chopped
1 small cooking apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup brandy, more as needed
55 grams (1/2 cup) self-rising flour, sifted
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
110 grams (about 1 cup) beef or vegetarian suet, shredded
110 grams (scant 2/3 cup) dark brown sugar, packed
110 grams (1 cup) fresh breadcrumbs
25 grams (1/4 cup) whole almonds, coarsely chopped
2 large eggs
Gather the ingredients.
Place the dried fruit, candied peel, apple, and orange and lemon zests and juices into a large mixing bowl. Add the brandy and stir well. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to marinate for a couple of hours, preferably overnight.
Lightly butter a 2 1/2 pint pudding basin.
In a very large mixing bowl, stir the flour, mixed spice, and cinnamon together. Add the suet, sugar, breadcrumbs, and almonds, and stir again until all the ingredients are well mixed. Add the marinated dried fruits and stir again.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs lightly, then stir quickly into the dry ingredients. The mixture should have a fairly soft consistency.
Spoon the mixture into the greased pudding basin, gently pressing the mixture down with the back of a spoon. Cover with a double layer of greaseproof paper or baking parchment, then a layer of aluminum foil. Tie securely with string, wrapping the string around the basin, then loop over the top and then around the bowl again. This will form a handle, which will be useful when removing the pudding from the steamer.
Set a steamer over a saucepan of simmering water, place the pudding in the steamer, and steam the pudding for 7 hours. Make sure you check the water level frequently, so it never boils dry. The pudding should be a dark brown color when cooked.
Remove the pudding from the steamer and cool completely. Remove the paper, prick the pudding with a skewer in a few places, and pour in a little extra brandy.
Cover with fresh greaseproof paper and retie with string.
Store for at least 4 to 5 weeks in a cool, dry place until Christmas Day. On Christmas Day, reheat the pudding by steaming again for about an hour. Enjoy!
- Be sure to zest your oranges and lemons first before juicing them, not the other way around.
- It goes without saying that you need to plan ahead for this traditional pudding recipe, which requires at least 4 to 5 weeks to mature and mellow.
Storage and Reheating Tips
- A Christmas pudding needs to be stored in a cool, dry place and rested, then reheated on Christmas Day.
- On Christmas Day, reheat the pudding by steaming again for about an hour. Serve with brandy sauce, brandy butter, or custard.
- Leftover Christmas pudding can be refrigerated or frozen (well wrapped) and then reheated by wrapping tightly in aluminum foil and heating it through in a hot oven.