Christmas Pudding

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

The New Vegetarian

The New Vegetarian

By Colin Spencer

Published 1986

  • About

Unlike the traditional heavily fruited pudding, often made several months before the holiday, my pudding is light and made at the last minute. Before it is served, turn it on to a plate, douse it in brandy and set it on fire. The flaming pudding always evokes cries of delight. Make sure you use only the best organic ingredients (untreated and sun-dried) from a good health store.


  • 50 g/2 oz/ cup glacé cherries
  • 225 g/8 oz/2 cups sultanas/golden raisins
  • 225 g/8 oz/2 cups large, seedless raisins
  • 50 g/2 oz/½ cup dried apricots, pre-soaked and chopped
  • 50 g/2 oz/ cup candied peel, chopped
  • 50 g/2 oz/½ cup whole almonds, cut into large pieces
  • 75 g/3 oz/ cup ground almonds
  • 100 g/4 oz/ cup demerara sugar
  • 75 g/3 oz/ cups fresh brown breadcrumbs
  • 200 g/7 oz/1 scant cup softened butter
  • nutmeg, cinnamon and mixed spice to make 1 teaspoonful
  • juice and zest of ½ an orange and ½ a lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • pinch of salt


    Mix the fruit, peel, whole and ground nuts, sugar and breadcrumbs together. Rub in the butter with your fingers, then stir in the spices. Beat the remaining ingredients in a bowl, then mix into the fruit. Let everyone stir the pudding and make a wish, then transfer it to a well-buttered 1-litre/-pint/1-quart pudding basin/steaming mould. Cover loosely with buttered greaseproof/waxed paper, then cover with foil and tie tightly with string. (You must leave room for the pudding to expand.) Place the pudding in a saucepan and add boiling water to about 2 cm/1 inch below the string. Boil for 4 hours, making sure it doesn’t boil dry. On Christmas Day, replace the foil cover with a fresh one and boil the pudding for a further 1-2 hours. Serve with the syllabub sorbet.