Waitrose and Partners
Pressure cooker Christmas pudding

Pressure cooker Christmas pudding

Catherine Phipps says pressure cookers improve flavour and come out top in preserving nutrients – and this Christmas pudding is no exception. Using a pressure cooker could also help you save on energy costs. Make additional savings by swapping some of the ingredients for products in our Essential range, such as Essential Raisins, Essential Glacé Cherries, Essential Currants, Essential Self-Raising White Flour, Essential Oranges and Essential Butter.

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  • Serves8
  • CourseDessert
  • Prepare30 mins
  • Cook2 hrs 15 mins
  • Total time2 hrs 45 mins
  • Plusovernight soaking

Please note, we take every care to ensure the product, allergen and recipe information displayed is correct. However, should a product be unavailable, alternatives may be displayed and/or a substitution provided. If you have an allergy or intolerance, please always check the product label before use.


  • 200g raisins or sultanas
  • 100g dried pitted prunes, figs or pears, roughly chopped
  • 100g glacé cherries, roughly chopped
  • 50g currants
  • 50g dried mixed peel, finely chopped
  • 150ml sweet sherry or Marsala
  • 75g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 125g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 100g shredded suet
  • 175g dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 British Blacktail Free Range Eggs
  • 1 eating apple, a carrot or quince, peeled and finely chopped or grated
  • 1 orange, scrubbed, zest
  • A little butter, for greasing
  • 50ml vodka, to serve (optional)


  1. Put the dried fruit and peel in a large bowl and pour in the sherry or Marsala. Stir, then cover and leave overnight to soak. You can do this as far in advance as you like.

  2. Mix the remaining ingredients together (except the vodka), adding a generous pinch of salt, then stir in the soaked fruit. Follow tradition by getting each family member to stir and make a wish. Grease a 1.2L pudding basin, then line the base with a small disc of baking parchment. Spoon the mixture into the basin and press down firmly to get rid of air pockets.

  3. Take a double piece of baking parchment, large enough to cover the top of the basin with excess on all sides. Fold a 2cm pleat in the middle, then secure it over the top of the pudding basin. Tie firmly with string, or use 2-3 sturdy rubber bands

  4. Place a trivet in the bottom of the pressure cooker (or fold a large piece of foil) to stop the basin rattling around as it cooks, then put the basin on top. The pudding doesn’t need to be suspended above the water. Carefully pour freshly boiled water around the pudding to a depth of 6-7cm.

  5. Loosely place the lid on top of the cooker, then bring to the boil. Leave to steam for 15 minutes. Check on the water level – if it has dropped, top it back up to 6-7cm, then lock the lid on and bring up to high pressure. Cook for 2 hours at high pressure, then remove from the heat and leave to drop pressure naturally (about 5 minutes). Unlock the pressure cooker, remove the pudding and leave to cool completely. If you made your own lid with foil or parchment, replace with new dry foil or baking parchment, making sure it is well sealed. Leave in a cool dark place until Christmas Day

  6. When ready to reheat the pudding, place it on a trivet or folded foil again and add the same amount of water as before. Bring up to high pressure and cook for 30 minutes. Leave to drop pressure naturally. Remove the pudding from the basin and upturn onto a serving plate.

  7. For a flaming pudding, heat the vodka in a small saucepan or ladle and carefully set it alight. Pour it over the pudding and serve. It should stay alight for a good while.

Cook’s tip

To make individual puddings, this mixture will be enough for 8 x 200ml pudding or dariole moulds. Cover them with pleated pieces of baking parchment and foil, or as above. Stack the puddings in your pressure cooker (or cook in 2 batches if space is tight). Steam with the lid loose for 15 minutes as before, then lock the lid and cook at high pressure for 40 minutes. On Christmas Day, these will reheat in 10 minutes. I use beef suet in this recipe for flavour, but if you want to make it vegetarian, use vegetable suet. If you don’t have a pressure cooker and would like to steam your pudding in a regular saucepan, the technique and recipe for classic Christmas pudding is at waitrose.com 


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,088kJ/ 496kcals



Saturated Fat












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