Christmas Pudding

Happy Stir-up Sunday! It's finally time to put on some Bublé and get the whole family involved in stirring up this year's Christmas Pudding. Seeing as there's no other author so synonymous with the season, we're recommending this recipe from Christmas with Dickens.

Christmas with Dickens

Plum puddings were ideal for special occasions; even the poor who had no oven could boil one up in the washing copper, like Mrs. Cratchit. Eliza Acton had almost certainly read A Christmas Carol; two years after it was published she was the first to rename plum pudding “Christmas Pudding.” Her recipe is still recommended by modern cookery writers for being both light and rich:


1 2/3 cups/170g grated suet (ask your butcher for approx. 7oz/200g fresh beef-kidney suet)

2/3 cup/85g all-purpose/plain flour

A small pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups/85g fresh white breadcrumbs

3/4 cup/140g soft brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice/mixed spice

1 1/2 cups/170g raisins

1 1/2 cups/170g currants

3/4 cup/55g chopped candied/mixed peel

3/4 cup/115g apple, peeled, cored and roughly grated

3 extra-large (US)/large (UK) eggs, beaten

2/3 cup/140ml brandy

butter, for greasing

You will need a 2 1/2-pint/1.5-litre pudding basin



Christmas with Dickens


Prepare the beef-kidney suet by stripping out the membrane and colored spots, then grate on the coarse side of your grater, ending up with 1 2/3 cups/170g.

Sift the flour and salt together, then mix with the remaining dry ingredients, the dried fruit, the candied/mixed peel, the grated apple, and the suet.

Beat the eggs and brandy together, then stir the mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix it hard with a wooden spoon; make a wish as you do so.

Grease your pudding basin and line the bottom with a circle of baking parchment paper. Pack the mixture into the basin. Cover with a square of parchment paper or greased grease-proof paper and a pudding cloth or piece of kitchen foil on top; make a pleat in both layers to allow room for expansion during cooking. Tie very tightly with string.

Place the basin in a large pan and pour in enough boiling water to come about halfway up the basin; cover with a lid and steam or boil for 3 1/2 hours, adding more boiling water to the pan as necessary so it doesn’t boil dry.

When cooked, remove the paper and cloth or foil from the top of the basin and replace with fresh paper. Keep in a cool, dry place until required.

When ready to eat, steam or boil again for 1 1/2–2 hours.


This recipe is from Christmas with Dickens by Pen Vogler.