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    Classic Christmas pudding

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    Classic Christmas pudding

    This light and fruity pud can be made a few weeks in advance so that it matures, or is just as good cooked a couple of days before serving. You’ll need a 1.2 litre pudding basin. 

    • Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus overnight soaking
    • Cooking time: 8 hours
    • Total time: 8 hours 30 minutes, plus overnight soaking

    Serves: 12


    150g dried berry mix
    150g dried cherries
    100g currants
    50g mixed peel
    175ml brandy
    100g plain flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    125g fresh white breadcrumbs
    175g dark brown muscovado sugar
    ½ tsp ground cinnamon
    ½ tsp ground nutmeg
    1 lemon, zest
    1 orange, zest
    150g shredded vegetable suet
    1 bramley apple, peeled and coarsely grated
    50g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
    3 eggs, beaten
    unsalted butter, for greasing


    1. Put all the dried fruit and mixed peel in a large non-metallic bowl. Pour in the brandy and mix well; cover and put in the fridge to soak overnight.

    2. The next day, in a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, breadcrumbs, sugar, spices, citrus zest, suet, apple and almonds together. Stir in the soaked fruit and any remaining juices. Add the beaten eggs and stir until well mixed. Lightly butter a 1.2-litre pudding basin and place a disc of baking parchment in the base. Spoon in the mixture, cover the basin with 2 sheets of baking parchment, then top with a double layer of foil and tie in place with string, making a handle for lifting.

    3. Put a small heatproof dish at the bottom of a large saucepan to act as a trivet and sit the pudding on top. Pour hot water halfway up the sides. Cover and steam for 6 hours, checking on the water level at 30 minute intervals. Top up with hot water from the kettle as needed, to keep it always half full.

    4. Lift the basin out of the pan; leave to cool completely. Remove the foil and parchment; cover with fresh parchment and foil. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 6 weeks. To reheat, steam for 2 hours as before until piping hot, then invert onto a plate to serve. Put a disc of parchment between the pudding and any decorations. 

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose & Partners Food, December 2019 issue. Download the Waitrose & Partners Food app for the full issue


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