English Christmas pudding

English Christmas pudding

Traditionally, this British Christmas pudding is prepared about a month before Christmas and fed with alcohol to keep it from spoilage. I prefer to steam the pudding a day before Christmas but some prefer to bake it in a water-bath.

If you wish to make a non-alcoholic version, soak the fruit in orange juice a day before making the pudding. I soak dried fruit and nuts in rum right after Thanksgiving. Every other day, I add a little more rum to the fruit to keep them from drying. You may substitute whiskey or brandy for rum. I used a 34 oz airtight jar to soak the fruit. I didn’t really weigh the fruit before soaking but tried to fill the jar with different kinds of dried fruit – raisins, sultanas, prunes, apricots, dates, and figs, and nuts – cashews, almonds, and walnuts. After soaking in alcohol for a month, the fruits were nice and plump and ready for a delicious pudding.

I find the KitchenAid mixer really useful for making cakes and cookies. A stand mixer saves so much time and effort involved in mixing all the ingredients together.

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Rum soaked fruit for Christmas pudding
Soak fruits and nuts in alcohol for about a month

The prep time is only a half hour but steaming can take hours so be patient. The delicious taste of this pudding is all worth the time and effort. After you take the pudding out of the pudding basin, it is ready to be fed more alcohol.

Steamed Christmas pudding
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British Christmas pudding
English Christmas pudding

British Christmas pudding

Delicious steamed Christmas dessert made with soaked fruits and nuts. 
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Soaking time 30 d
Total Time 4 hrs 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine British, Goan
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 3-4 cups rum soaked dried fruit and nuts I use the following
  • Raisins
  • Sultanas
  • Prunes
  • Dried apricots
  • Dried figs
  • Dates
  • Walnuts
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • 2 cups rum for soaking and flambe
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 apple peeled, cored and grated
  • 1 orange rind and juice

Instructions
 

  • Soak the dried fruit and nuts in either rum or brandy or whiskey in an airtight container a few weeks before making the dessert. For a non-alcoholic version, soak in orange juice a day before.
  • Cream together butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl.
  • Add eggs and whisk.
  • Add all purpose flour, orange juice, orange rind, spices, grated apple, baking powder and mix well.
  • Add breadcrumbs and combine. Add more alcohol if needed.
  • Finally add about 3-4 cups of soaked fruit and nut mixture. 
  • Grease a pudding basin and line the bottom with parchment paper. 
  • Fill the basin with the pudding mixture and cover with a parchment paper and foil. 
  • Steam the pudding for 4 hours. Keep topping up the water in the steamer every hour.
  • Re-steam the pudding before serving. 
  • If you are making this pudding days before Christmas, store in a cool, dry place and feed it with alcohol for a delicious taste. 
  • Right before serving, you may flambé it with brandy. But do so safely. 

Flambé (how to and safety)

  • Heat half a cup of brandy in a saucepan. Use a saucepan with a long handle.
  • Just before it boils, light it with a long match and then pour the flaming alcohol over the pudding. 
  • Serve as soon as the flames disappear. 

Video

Notes

I used a 34 oz airtight jar to soak the fruits and nuts. I didn’t measure each kind of fruit but just tried to fill the jar as much as I could. It yielded about 4 cups of rum-soaked fruit.
Some like all-spice powder instead of the individual spices. Feel free to use all spice instead of nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom powders.
I used the juice from one orange and the rind from the same orange in my recipe. You may also do a half rum, and half orange juice combination. 
If you are making the non-alcoholic version, make sure you soak the fruits in the refrigerator instead of the countertop and for not more than a day. 
If you plan to flambé, please do so at your own risk. FoodLifeAndMoney does not bear any responsibility for injuries or damages that may occur from unsafe practices. 
 
Keyword Best Christmas pudding

Here are links to some of our Christmas favorite recipes. Russian tea cakes, Irish lamb stew.

Happy Eating and Feeding!



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