Christmas Pudding

This is the ultimate Christmas pud that my mother has been making for me each year for as long as I can remember.

Makes 3 puddings serving 8, 6 and 4 respectively


  • 12 oz (350 g) fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 12 oz (350 g) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon powdered mace
  • ½ teaspoon powdered ginger
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 12 oz (350 g) suet
  • 1 lb (500 g) soft brown sugar
  • 8 oz (250 g) candied peel, minced
  • 12 oz (350 g) currants
  • 12 oz (350 g) sultanas
  • lb (625 g) raisins
  • 8 oz (250 g) apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • Grated rind and juice 1 lemon
  • Grated rind and juice 1 orange
  • 4 tablespoons brandy
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 5 fl oz (150 ml) milk


Mix the first 14 ingredients together in a large bowl along with the orange and lemon rinds. Add the fruit juices and brandy to the beaten eggs, then add to the dry ingredients with enough milk to give a soft dropping consistency. Cover the mixture with a damp cloth and leave overnight.

Half-fill three saucepans with water and put on to boil. Grease 1 pint (600 ml), pint (900 ml) and 2 pint (1 litres) pudding basins. Stir the mixture and fill the basins with it. Cover with greaseproof paper and then foil. Steam the 1 pint (60 ml) basin over rapidly boiling water for 5 hours, the pint (900 ml) basin for 7 hours and the 2 pint (1 litres) basin for 9 hours.

When the puddings are cooked, remove them from the basins and allow to cool. Re-cover and store in a cool place. Do not put the foil directly on to the pudding as the fruit eats into it after some weeks. No harm is done to the pudding, but the foil cover ceases to be watertight.

On the day of serving renew the covers and steam as follows: the 1 pint (60 ml) pudding for 2 hours; the 1½ (900 ml) and 2 pint (1 litres) puddings for 3 hours. Serve with thick clotted cream, brandy butter or rum sauce.