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.
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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.
British Christmas pudding
- 3-4 cups rum soaked dried fruit and nuts I use the following
- Dried apricots
- Dried figs
- 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
- 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.
Happy Eating and Feeding!