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Christmas Pudding

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Christmas Pudding

Christmas Pudding
New Media Publishing / Photography: Flat Art / Stylist: Abigail Donnelly
Provided by:
total prep 392 calories/serving
Surprise your guests with a traditional English dessert pudding this holiday season. This version is loaded with sweet dried fruit and served with a rich brandy butter sauce.


  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup white raisins (sultanas)
  • 1/3 cup dried currants
  • 3 tablespoons chopped candied citrus peel
  • 3 tablespoons chopped candied cherries
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped peeled Granny Smith apple
  • 3 tablespoons peeled grated carrot
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
  • 2 ounces finely chopped beef or vegetarian suet (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (made from crustless slices of white bread)
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup superfine or confectioners sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • Equipment: A heatproof Pyrex container or ceramic one-quart bowl



    In a large bowl combine dried and candied fruit, almonds, apple, carrot, peel, and suet and toss to distribute the suet evenly. In another bowl, stir together flour, breadcrumbs, sugar, allspice, and salt, then add to fruit and toss to distribute evenly. In another bowl, beat eggs until frothy, then stir in the brandy, molasses, and juices, then add to fruit mixture. Knead mixture vigorously with your hands to combine well.
  • Cover bowl with a damp cloth and chill overnight to allow flavors to develop.
  • Fill a heatproof pyrex container or ceramic one-quart bowl with the mixture, packing it so there are 1 to 2 inches of space at top of bowl. Cover bowl with a large square of buttered foil, wrapping it tightly around bowl. Dampen cloth again and lay out on a work surface. Place bowl in the center, then gather cloth around top and tie closed with a string.
  • Place pudding in a heavy pot deeper than bowl and fill to three-quarters the way up sides of bowl with water. Bring water to a boil, then cover pot and reduce heat so water simmers and pudding steams slowly for 8 hours, adding more hot water as necessary.
  • When pudding is steamed, remove towel and discard foil. Cover bowl tightly with a new square of foil and keep in a cool dark place for at least 1 week and up to a year, sprinkling every now and then with a little more brandy.

    Make brandy butter: Whip softened butter with an electric beater, slowly adding sugar, then brandy, then vanilla. Transfer to a serving bowl and freshly grate a sprinkling of nutmeg on top. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

    Method 1: Steam pudding, covered with foil, in the same manner as the original steaming (without cloth) until heated through (insert a metal skewer or thin knife to bottom for 5 seconds, then carefully run across your lower lip to see if skewer is warm all the way through with no cold spots), adding more water as necessary, about 2 hours.
  • Method 2: Remove foil and microwave pudding on high for 3 minutes, or until heated through (see above).

    Once steamed, invert pudding onto a large plate with a lip and remove bowl. Heat brandy in a small pan and pour over pudding. Immediately ignite brandy and bring to the table. When flames go out, serve pudding in wedges with brandy butter.