With the festivities just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than by making your very own Christmas pudding recipe?
This classic British dessert is sure to bring some holiday cheer to your table.
Here, the Christmas.co.uk team looks at the traditional pudding’s history and offer a few recipes to try.
The pudding is worth the effort and is a great way to impress guests!
Why Christmas pudding is a popular festive dessert in the UK?
Christmas pudding is a type of dessert that is traditionally served as part of the Christmas dinner in the UK.
It is made from a mix of dried fruits, suet, breadcrumbs, spices and alcohol, and is usually cooked by steaming or boiling. – or just microwaving.
Once cooked, it is often served with a brandy butter or custard.
Where did Christmas pudding originate?
The first Christmas pudding was made in the 14th century and was a much different dish to the one we know today.
It was more like a soup or a porridge, and was made with meat, ale and spices – which doesn’t sound very nice!
Over time, the recipe changed and evolved, and by the 17th century it had become more like the pudding we know today.
Why do people make it?
Because it has been made for centuries, many people see it as a key part of the Christmas dinner.
There are some people see the dishing up of Xmas pud as a way of bringing good luck for the year ahead.
Indeed, in years gone by it was a tradition to add sixpence coin and the lucky recipient would enjoy good luck. Obviously, as a choking hazard this is something that is rarely done now.
What does it taste like?
Christmas pudding has a rich, sweet and fruity taste, with a hint of spice from the cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices that are used in the recipe.
When served with a brandy butter or custard, this helps to balance out the sweetness of the pudding.
If you would like an unusual recipe for Christmas pudding, then this creation from Yemmefy, an Indian digital food network, adds prunes, blackberries and dates. It sounds bizarre but does add a richness to the finished pudding. Enjoy ….
Or, you could have a crack at Jamie Oliver’s Christmas pud creation. It’s a lighter creation with lots of dried fruits.
There’s also this Australian version of a Christmas pud from Coles that is worth a watch – there are some ideas on offer! Though you will need to be let the flavours develop for at least two weeks before completing the pudding.
Christmas pudding recipe 1
If you would like to make a traditional British Christmas pudding, then we think this recipe is worth trying out.
- 250 g raisins
- 250 g sultanas
- 250 g currants
- 125 g mixed peel
- 125 g suet
- 350 ml breadcrumbs
- 250 ml self-raising flour
- ½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt
- 1 tsp (5 ml) ground mixed spice
- ½ tsp (2.5 ml) grated nutmeg
- 60 ml black treacle
- 60 ml golden syrup
- 60 ml molasses
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 60 ml milk
- 60 ml brandy, or to taste
- Combine all the dried fruit, suet, breadcrumbs, flour, salt, mixed spice and nutmeg in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix the black treacle, golden syrup, molasses, eggs and milk.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together until well combined.
- Stir in the brandy and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel or cloth, and set aside in a cool, dark place to mature for at least 24 hours.
- On the day you plan to cook the pudding, butter a 1.2 litre/2 pint pudding basin.
- Spoon the pudding mixture into the basin, and level the surface with a spoon.
- Cover the basin with a lid or piece of buttered cling film, and tie securely with string.
- Put a trivet or rack in the bottom of a large saucepan, and half-fill with boiling water.
- Carefully lower the pudding basin into the saucepan, making sure that it doesn’t touch the water.
- Cover the pan with a lid, and steam the pudding for 8 hours, topping up with boiling water as necessary.
- To serve, remove the pudding from the basin, and place on a serving plate. Serve with brandy butter or custard. Enjoy!
Let’s not forget that Christmas pudding in the UK is a tradition but the recipe has changed over the years to match changing tastes.
Here, we love this English Heritage video that shows how to make a Christmas pud – in the Victorian Way! It’s straight from a famous cookbook – and is called plum pudding. The ingredients include plums (obviously…), breadcrumbs, suet, candied peel and mixed spice. The recipe calls for a mould that is then steamed. This is a simple and tasty creation that’s worth trying (even with an unusual mould!).
And if we are going back in time, how about the legend that is Delia Smith and her creation for Christmas pud? There’s lot sof brandy for this video first broadcast in 1990.
Christmas pudding recipe 2
This Christmas pudding recipe is easy to follow and yields delicious results. All you need are some basic ingredients and a bit of time.
- 454 g raisins
- 227 g currants
- 113 g candied peel
- 113 g suet
- 250 g breadcrumbs
- 150 g flour
- 2 tsp (10 ml) baking powder
- 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
- 1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) cloves
- 120 ml milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 60 ml molasses
- 60 ml sugar
- 60 ml brandy
- In a large bowl, mix together the raisins, currants, candied peel, suet, breadcrumbs, flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
- In another bowl, mix together the milk, eggs, molasses, sugar, and brandy. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until everything is well combined.
- Grease and flour a pudding basin. Spoon the pudding mixture into the basin, making sure to pack it down well.
- Cover the basin with a lid or aluminium foil, making sure to seal it tightly.
- Place the pudding basin in a large pot of boiling water. The water should come about halfway up the sides of the basin.
- Cover the pot and boil the pudding for 4 hours, making sure to check the water level periodically and top up as necessary.
- After 4 hours, remove the pudding from the pot and allow it to cool slightly. Invert the pudding onto a plate and serve with your favourite sauce or cream. Enjoy!
Everything you wanted to know about Christmas pudding – and more!
What is Christmas pudding?
Christmas pudding is a type of pudding traditionally served as part of the Christmas dinner in the UK, Canada and Australia.
What is the history of Christmas pudding?
Christmas pudding has been a part of English Christmas traditions since the 14th century. In the early days, it was known as “frumenty” and was made with beef and prunes. It was only later that it came to be known as Christmas pudding. The word “pudding” comes from the Old English word “puduc,” which means “bag” or “stomach.”
What are some popular traditions associated with Christmas pudding?
There are many legends and traditions associated with Christmas pudding. One popular tradition was to add a silver coin to the pudding mixture. It was usually a sixpence and brought good luck to the recipient. Another tradition is to light the pudding with flaming alcohol when it is delivered to the table.
What do I need to make Christmas pudding?
To make Christmas pudding, you will need: dried fruits, suet, spices, breadcrumbs and fresh fruit.
Can I make Christmas pudding without suet?
Yes, you can make Christmas pudding without suet. There are many recipes available that use alternative ingredients.
How long does it take to make Christmas pudding?
It takes about an hour to make the pudding mixture. However, the pudding needs to be aged for at least a month before it is served.
How do I age Christmas pudding?
To age the pudding, store it in a cool, dark place. Once a week, spoon some brandy over the surface of the pudding. This helps to develop the flavours.
How do I serve Christmas pudding?
Christmas pudding can be served with custard, cream or ice cream. It can also be served with a hard sauce, made from butter, sugar and brandy. And don’t forget the opportunity mentioned above to set the pudding on fire!
How long will Christmas pudding keep?
Christmas pudding will keep for several months if it is stored properly.
What is the best way to store Christmas pudding?
To store Christmas pudding, wrap it in a cloth and place it in an airtight container. Store in a cool, dark place.