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    Christmas Pudding 2006

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    Christmas Pudding 2006

    This is the pudding we'll be eating this Christmas, just as we have done every year for nigh on a decade. As figgy puddings go, it's light and has a particularly good flavour. I love the slight crunch of the fig seeds, and the darkness that a shot of rich, black, full-tasting stout brings to the pudding.

    • Christmas
    • Preparation time: 30 minutes to 40 minutes
    • Cooking time: 7 hours, plus 2 hours on christmas day
    • Total time: 9 hours 30 minutes to 9 hours 40 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 40 minutes

    Makes: 2 puddings, each enough for 6–8


    • 275g soft brown or white breadcrumbs
    • 125g dried apricots, chopped
    • 125g dried figs, chopped
    • 225g currants
    • 225g seedless raisins
    • 225g sultanas
    • 75g candied peel, chopped
    • 75g almonds, chopped
    • 225g light or dark muscovado sugar
    • 225g suet
    • ½ level tsp salt
    • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • ½ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
    • 1 orange, finely grated zest and juice
    • 1 lemon, finely grated zest and juice
    • 1 Eating apple, peeled and grated
    • 3 Medium eggs, lightly beaten
    • 150ml Stout
    • 150ml Milk
    • 4 tbsp Brandy
    • Butter for greasing moulds


    1. Mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly. Add the wet ones and mix well with your hands (stirring may be more genteel, but it doesn't work half so well). Divide the mixture between two well-greased 1.2-litre pudding basins, filling almost to the rim. Smooth down. Cover each basin with a large square of greaseproof paper, and over that a large square of silver foil. Tie tightly into place with string, leaving long ends of string trailing. Loop one of these over the pudding basin and slide underneath the taut string on the other side, then bring up and knot with the other trailing end, to form a handle for lifting the pudding in and out of the water. Leave overnight before cooking.
    2. Stand the puddings in a deep, heavy-based pan (or two if that's easier). Pour enough boiling water around them to come about halfway up the basins. Cover the pan(s) with a lid or dome of foil and boil for 7 hours. Check regularly and top up with boiling water as necessary. Cool, re-cover with clean greaseproof paper and foil, and store in a cool, dry place. To reheat them at Christmas, steam again for 2 hours.

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    Drinks recommendation

    A sweet sherry or fortified dessert wine seems appropriate, but Asti is a wonderful way to finish the meal and lighten the mood at the same time.


    Average user rating

    4 stars