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    Christmas Pudding

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    Christmas Pudding

    The longer you leave the fruit to absorb the alcohol, the better.

    • Christmas
    • Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus marinating
    • Cooking time: at least 7 hours
    • Total time: 7.5 hours plus marinating 35 minutes

    Serves: 8


    • 100g Sundora candied peel
    • 100g California pitted prunes
    • 100g organic currants
    • 85g organic raisins
    • 1 orange, zest finely grated
    • 1 lemon, zest finely grated
    • 100ml Grand Marnier (plus 2 tbsp)
    • 50ml brandy (plus 2 tbsp)
    • 85g plain flour
    • 85g white breadcrumbs
    • 170g vegetable suet
    • 115g grated cooking apple
    • 140g caster sugar
    • ½ tsp mixed spice
    • Pinch of salt
    • 3 large eggs
    • To serve
    • 3 tbsp brandy


    1. Finely chop the peel and prunes and place in a plastic container with a snap-on lid. Add the currants, raisins, orange and lemon zest along with 100ml Grand Marnier and 50ml brandy. Mix thoroughly, put on the lid and leave for at least 24 hours. If leaving for longer, top up with alcohol as it's absorbed by the fruit, giving it a shake morning and night.
    2. When you are ready to cook, lightly oil a 1 litre pudding basin. Beat all the ingredients, including the extra 4 tbsp liqueur, together and spoon into the basin. Cover with a circle of greaseproof paper.
    3. Tear a sheet of foil and make a pleat in it. Lay it, pleat across the middle, on top of the basin. Tuck in around the rim of the basin, fasten with string or an elastic band, and place in a saucepan. Pour in enough boiling water to reach three quarters of the way up the pudding, cover and bring to the boil. Cook steadily for 3-4 hours, topping up with water regularly. Repeat the process the following day for a further 3-4 hours. The pudding can be served at this stage. If you like a really rich, dark pudding, boil it every day for as long as is convenient.
    4. While Christmas dinner is cooking put the pudding on for its final boil - an hour will make it piping hot. Remove from the pan of hot water and allow to rest for a few minutes before peeling off the foil and greaseproof. Gently loosen it around the edges, before inverting it on to a warm plate and giving a good shake to release it from the basin. Place a sprig of holly or ivy on top. Warm 3 tbsp brandy and gently pour over the top before setting alight. Serve with lashings of orange brandy butter or orange-flavoured crème fraîche.

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