forum: Food & Drink

#1 Sat 07 Nov 09 1:26pm


From Melbourne, Australia
Member since Sat 07 Nov 09

Traditional Christmas Plum Puddings

In the lead-up to Christmas, our family is trying to find an alternative (fantastic) recipe for the traditional Christmas plum pudding. 

Each year my Mum makes her Mother's recipe, and while it's what we've been used to our whole lives - it just aint the best Christmas pudding out there!

Would love to get any great recipes from others - this year I WILL be organised on time!!  thumbsup

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#2 Sun 08 Nov 09 6:19pm


Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Traditional Christmas Plum Puddings

my father made the best ever Christmas pudding , the recipe is here on the forum..I will try to find it and then post the link....
found it ...that was quick !!

I have copied this recipe over for you for another thread. I wrote it down a year or two ago  after I had made a load of Christmas puddings as presents. My fathers recipe is realy nice, not too heavy and quite fruity. You do not taste the guinness that is in it and the alcohol from the guinness will have well cooked out.
My sisters version of the recipe is included and she has people almost queing up to get hold of one of her christmas puddings, They are very much in demand from all her friends and their families.......

first my sisters version......

My sister has sent me her version of my fathers christmas pudding, unfortunatly mine is still inacessable as we have boxed a lot of things up for decorating and as usuall are still not organised a month after the decorating has finished!!!!
My father was a wonderfull man and he had a passion for food, he originally got the recipe from a magazine and I beleive that it had originated a recipe by Micheal Berry, but I might be wrong there.
My sister has changed this recipe a little .
In my sisters version she boils the orange and lemon and then she 'blitz's' them in a food processor , I do not do this I simply use the grated zest and juices from the fruit .

She also chops the dried fruits in a food processor, I do not do this I chop them roughly by hand as I like the texture of slightly chunkier pieces .

I also notice that she only simmers the puddings for 3 hours as she feels that is long enough.. I simmer my pudding for longer(5 hours aprox, depending on the size of the pudding) so that it is fine kept on the shelf in a cool dry enviroment.

It is an interesting recipe, not as sweet as some and it does not have much flour in it, instead it has a large quantity of bread crumbs.

I do not like currants and so I make up the quantity with things like dried cranberries, dried cherries and sultanas. (very tasty!)

I have never tried making a gluten free version so I have no idea what it would turn out like, my sister seems to have worked something out and added so gluten free options to the recipe. This is not part of the original recipe that my father had.
......... now this is my fathers christmas pudding recipe, he treasured this recipe  thumbsup

                        Osc's christmas pudding
               (The best christmas pud recipe ever!!)

To make 1 x 2 1/2pt Pudding Bowl


14oz soft breadcrumbs .....( gluten free substitute ground almonds)
2 oz plain flour ................(gluten free substitute polenta)
1/2tsp ground cinnamon
1/2tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground allspice
4oz melted butter
3-4oz grated cooking apple
2oz grated carrot
6oz currants
6oz sultanas
11ozseeded raisins
3oz dried apricots (chopped)
2 oz dried prunes (chopped)
4 oz finely chopped mixed peel
3 oz glace cherries quartered
4oz blanched almonds finely chopped
1 lemon
1 oranges
1 tablespoon black treacle
2 large eggs
Generous glug of  brandy
½ pt Guinness
Optional: add 2oz chopped figs and/or pecan nuts

1. Boil the whole lemon and oranges in a pan until soft and squidgy. Drain and blitz the whole fruits in a processor until pulped.

2. When preparing things like the cherries/mixed peel, prunes/apricots and figs, if you are using them. I  save time and put them in the processor and give them a short blitz. I find that this gives the pudding quite a nice texture and saves time fiddling around cutting all the stuff up finely.

2. Mix all the other ingredients together, add the lemon and orange mix, pour in the brandy and Guinness, cover and allow to stand overnight in the fridge.

3. Fill your pudding bowls.

4. Cover with greaseproof paper  circles on the top of the pudding mix and then cover the bowl with foil or greaseproof. Tie with sting if you wish.

5. Steam for approx 3 hours. The original recipe states it should be steamed for 5-6 hours  but I don’t do this. I believe 3 hours is ample time for the pudding to be cooked through and I steam for less time for smaller puddings.

6. After the pudding has cooled, change the greaseproof top. Reseal with foil and store in fridge until needed.

7. You may like to add a little more brandy to it before you use it as this helps keep it moist and of course adds to the flavour.

8. Cook on XmasDay for 2 hrs. If you have a slow cooker you can put it on the night before and it will be ready for when you need it. This also saves on cooking ring space.

9. You are able to microwave it but beware, my Dad did so and because he had put so much brandy in, it caught fire!!

10 Enjoy with brandy butter, fresh whipped cream or brandy sauce.
( I am sure that you could leave the brandy out if you wanted, but its not as boozy as many other puddings)

also there are other recipes on this thread.... 18&p=1

and have a look at this one also...

Last edited by mummza (Sun 08 Nov 09 6:23pm)

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#3 Wed 11 Nov 09 7:12am


Forum champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Traditional Christmas Plum Puddings

Traditional plum pudding
1 x 375g pkt raisins, coarsely chopped
1 x 300g pkt currants
150g sultanas
1 x 170g pkt craisins (dried cranberries)
250ml (1 cup) rum
Melted butter, to grease
250g butter, at room temperature
200g (1 cup) firmly-packed brown sugar
4 eggs
175g (2 1/2 cups) fresh breadcrumbs
75g (1/2 cup) self-raising flour
75g (1/2 cup) plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Warmed custard, to serve
Combine raisins, currants, sultanas, craisins and rum in a bowl. Set aside for 6 hours to macerate.
Brush a 2L (8-cup) capacity pudding basin with melted butter to grease. Line the base with non-stick baking paper.
Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition (mixture may appear curdled). Stir in breadcrumbs, combined flours, mixed spice and cinnamon. Add the raisin mixture and stir until combined. Spoon into basin.
Place an upturned heatproof saucer in the base of a saucepan. Fill one-third of the saucepan with boiling water and bring to a simmer over low heat.
Cut a 30cm-square piece of non-stick baking paper and a 30cm-square piece of foil. Place paper on foil and fold to make a pleat in the centre. Place over basin, foil-side up. Tie a double piece of kitchen string around basin to secure. To make a handle, tie a double piece of string loosely over the top of the basin.
Lower the basin onto the saucer in saucepan. Add enough boiling water to reach two-thirds of the way up the basin. Simmer, covered, over low heat, adding boiling water when necessary, for 4 hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the pudding comes out clean.
Remove basin from pan. Set aside for 5 minutes. Pour over custard to serve.

You can make this recipe up to 2 months ahead. Cover the pudding in the basin with plastic wrap and foil. Store in fridge.
To reheat a pudding: Remove the plastic wrap and foil from the pudding. Repeat step 5. Place an upturned heatproof saucer in the base of a large saucepan. Fill one-third of the saucepan with water and bring to a simmer over low heat. Lower the pudding basin into the saucepan. Simmer, covered, over medium-low heat for 1 hour or until the pudding is heated through. Remove basin from the pan and serve.

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#4 Wed 11 Nov 09 10:56am


Forum champ
From uk
Member since Tue 07 Oct 08

Re: Traditional Christmas Plum Puddings

British tradition is to make your pudding on stir up Sunday, this year 22nd Nov.
All the family gets to make a silent wish whilst stirring the mixture.

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#5 Wed 11 Nov 09 11:13am


Forum champ
Occupation HR / mum / jack of all trades
From England
Member since Mon 21 Sep 09

Re: Traditional Christmas Plum Puddings

mincepie wrote:

British tradition is to make your pudding on stir up Sunday, this year 22nd Nov.
All the family gets to make a silent wish whilst stirring the mixture.

We always do this !!! following on from my Mum - my brothers and families come over and we make a "family do" of it.  I always make the mixture then they all come for dinner and a stir of the puddings.  In the evening we let off some fireworks to send our wishes up to the angels.

I have a super recipe for a pudding - its a very old family one which I will share with you as it is sooo yummy and easy to make. I cook it in the slow cooker ( no steam ), it then stores really well at least a year if you hide it!!. I then but it back in the slow cooker christmas eve where it is happy until whenever you want it christmas day - the longer its cooked the darker it gets.


10 oz raisins
10 oz chopped dried prunes
12 oz currants
6 oz peel
12oz sultanas
4oz bread crumbs
8oz suet
8oz plain flour
8oz brown sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs
milk to mix if needed plus brandy if wanted

mix together and leave over night ( family tradition - we all stir and make a wish at this point )

Put into greased basins about 3/4 full cover with grease paper and tinfoil lid and steam - the average pudding takes about 6 hours, I find if I put when in the slow cooker at about 7am ish then take it out and and replace with another to go overnight until 7am and keep going until they are all cooked ( I do make a lot for all the family and during the year !!)



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#6 Wed 11 Nov 09 11:21am


Forum champ
Occupation HR / mum / jack of all trades
From England
Member since Mon 21 Sep 09

Re: Traditional Christmas Plum Puddings

I have just re-read my cooking instructions, it should say - in slow cooker - add boiling water to half way up pudding, I start at about 7am cook on "auto" until about 7pm then replace with next pudding and fresh water 7pm until 7am.  Don't change the paper top as the fat will have melted and will make a seal, but change the tinfoil lid and store.  Christmas day we always have the pudding from last years batch.


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#7 Wed 11 Nov 09 8:46pm


Forum champ
From uk
Member since Tue 07 Oct 08

Re: Traditional Christmas Plum Puddings

Blerdy hell Mummza, Osc's pudds got everthing in yummy
I'm definately making it thumbsup

Last edited by mincepie (Wed 11 Nov 09 8:48pm)

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#8 Wed 11 Nov 09 9:42pm

mr spice

Forum champ
Occupation Working dad...
From Germany
Member since Sat 05 Sep 09

Re: Traditional Christmas Plum Puddings

I've posted this before, so here it is again "cut & paste"...

"Mrs Beetons Traditional Christmas Pudding No.3. I've been making it for the last couple of years and it's better than any shop bought pud and IT CONTAINS NO ADDED SUGAR and is suitable for vegetarians! I'd like to share it with you...

200g solid veg. fat
200g breadcrumbs
200g plain flour
200g raisins
200g sultanas
100g currants
100g citrus peel - fresh or candied
half a grated nutmeg
2tsp mixed spice
2tsp ground cinnamon
125ml milk
1 wineglass of rum or brandy (optional)
50g dessicated coconut or shredded almonds
1 lemon
4 eggs 
pinch of salt

Clean the fruit, grate the zest of the lemon. Mix well, all the dry ingredients.
Whisk the milk and eggs and blend gradually into the mix. Add the alcohol and the juice of the lemon. Mix it all really well for a few minutes.
Put the mix into a well buttered bowl, cover with a plate and tie it up with a cotton tea towel. Steam in large pot for 5 hours.

That's it! It should easily feed 10. Serve with custard or sauce of your choice...

Visually, it is lighter than a normal pud which makes it less intimidating after that big meal.

I've also added other dried fruits, figs, plums and dates, provided the final fruit mass is the same. I've also varied the spices a little, but the basic recipe is very good."

It sounds like I'll be joining the synchronous Xmas pud steam-off on Nov. 22nd thumbsup

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