Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Pudding

Last Saturday at the market, I bought the ingredients for making Christmas pudding, an event I look very much forward to every year, as it signals the start of all Christmas preparations. Having been away so much, I am a bit later this year than normal (in cooler climates one could start as early as October, or even September, as the puddings keep for long as stored in a dry and cool place)
The list of ingredients is long, but it is very easy to make, and it feels good to have already ticked one item off the long Christmas lunch list..

It's done in two steps, here are the ingredients for the first:
• 90 gr (3.17 oz) sultanas (normal raisins)
• 65 gr (2.29 oz) raisins (large blond ones, if very large, cut into two)
• 65 gr (2.29 oz) currants (black)
• 50 gr (1.76 oz) dried apricots, chopped
• 50 gr (1.76 oz) glacé cherries, cut into quarters
• 40 gr (1.41 oz) mixed candied peel (orange & lemon), chopped
• 40 gr (1.41 oz) dried figs, chopped
400 gr (14.10 oz) DRIED FRUIT IN TOTAL (the above measurements are just indications, you can mix and match to your preferences as long as the total comes to 400 gr/14.10 oz. Last year, I substituted some of the raisins for dried cranberries, which was delicious too)
Mix all of the above and pour 100 ml (3.3 fl oz) brandy (cognac) over, stir every now and then with a wooden spoon and leave soaking overnight.

The next day, mix the remaining ingredients with a wooden spoon in a big mixing bowl
the photo below shows them alongside the mixed dried fruit, already soaked
• zest of 1/2 large orange, finely chopped
• juice of 1/2 large orange
• 140 gr (4.93 oz) mix of grated apple and quince (2/3 apple, 1/3 quince. If you can't find quince, use just apple)
• 35 gr (1.23 oz) ginger in syrup, chopped
• tbsp ginger syrup
combine the above well, then add
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 90 gr (3.17 oz) soft butter (I prefer using butter to suet)
• 125 gr (4.40 oz) soft blond sugar
• 100 gr (3.52 oz) fresh bread crumbs
• 65 gr (2.29 oz) self-raising flour (if not at hand, take regular flower and add a bit of baking powder)
add following spices and mix well
• 1 tsp all spice
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp ground ginger
left: the above ingredients mixed, right: mixed dried fruit, soaked in brandy:

Stir both together with a wooden spoon, mix well

Fill the mixture into a buttered pudding basin (1.2 liters, 40.50 fl oz).

Cover with parchment (make a double pleat into the middle first),

and then cover with tin foil, also with a double pleat.

Tie some string tightly under the basin lip, and you could also attach some extra string to make a handle.

Steam for 7 hours, making sure to refill the evaporated water in your steamer if necessary. If you don't have a steamer, fill a saucepan with a couple of inches of water (so that the water comes about a third up the pudding basin), and put an upturned plate at the bottom of the saucepan, to act as a little pedestal. Place a lid on the saucepan, and let simmer for 7 hrs.

Remove tin foil and parchment.

Then cover with fresh parchment and foil in the same way as before. Store in a cool and dark place (i.e. an unused bedroom).

On Christmas day, steam for another 2.5 hours and turn out. You could also heat some brandy over an open flame, and pour over in addition.

Serve with cream, ice cream or brandy butter

..with whipped cream and chilled desert wine


  1. Lovely photos and step-by-step directions! I look forward to trying this recipe. A beautiful addition to a holiday table. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. I wish we had lovely markets like you do- Maitai is there no end to your talents? Pudding looks wonderful. Is 31 degrees here today. So hot. Love FF x

  3. Thank you, dear NiniKnows, wishing you the best of luck with the pudding!

    As usual, I am several weeks behind you in my Christmas preparations, my dear FF ;) Have a most wonderful and festive holiday season, so special this year, with Baby FF in the world! xx

  4. I am coming to your house for Christmas!

  5. Can I come to your house for Christmas?

  6. Bring some champagne and join the party!

  7. Our family had a Christmas pudding every year made by my grandmother and later my mother. Both have passed on and there was no written recipe. Thank you, dear MaiTai for bringing back a family tradition!

  8. Nothing beats family traditions, and the special memories they hold, my dear andiamo. Hope this pudding will taste like home <3

  9. Nothing beats family traditions, and the special memories they hold, my dear andiamo. Hope this pudding tastes like home <3

  10. Nothing beats family traditions, and the special memories they hold, my dear andiamo. Hope this pudding will taste like home <3

  11. ITA with end to your talents! Lovely posts and a feast for the eyes. From the beautiful colors at the market,your detailed instructions along with a most delicious finished product, the proof really is in the pudding!
    Yummy! Happy,busy,festive week ahead <3 Txx

  12. I hope to collect ingredients this weekend! May I ask, after the first steaming and unwrapping, do you re-wrap immediately, or do you let it cool completely before doing so? And I assume the second steaming is just to re-heat? Is this traditionally eaten warm?

  13. Oops! I just realized that the bountiful ingredients are probably in your kitchen and not the market! Wherever...Love the the color mix on tha table and can think of of a few good H silks to match;) T xx

  14. That looks wonderful! But I am nervous about the steamer part. . .I will pass this recipe onto my mother to see if she wants to try!

  15. It looks delicious, my dear MaiTai.

    I like Christmas pudding very much.
    Wishing you a lovely weekend and sending you warm hugs, M.

  16. So sorry to be joining the party this late, my dearest MaiTai, I'm afraid I'm so very behind with everything these days….many apologies. The last three posts are just spectacular! Your scrumptious Christmas Pudding is a most incredible treat - truly an amazing assortment of nature's bounty. The aroma and the flavors come right through the screen - you're so right, there is nothing like cherished family traditions passed down.
    Your beautiful Ex-Libris en Kimonos over the chic and elegant black ensemble is one of my favorites. I also adore black on black - how it brings out the beautiful lines and the wonderful silhouettes. But what I love most is your golden, beautiful and radiant smile <3
    Finally, joining in with everyone in their admiration for the stunning VB, the wonderful JG, with many thanks to dear A-M for the lovely Paris pics. Most of all, thank you so much dear MaiTai, for all the sunshine and happiness you bring. Thinking of you very much and sending you all my love and lots of big hugs xxx

  17. Awh, dearest Trudye, please hop over for a little tasting...

    NiniKnows, good point re when to re-wrap, and yes, I let the pudding cool off over night. The second steaming is for re-heating indeed, as it is eaten warm (left overs can be fried in butter, which is absolutely delicious too)

    ...and, dear Trudye, for a little play of color matching our silks to the ingredients. We’ll need something to match the bubbly too! Miss our chats, and hoping to get back on track soon <3

    Jolie In The City, there is nothing to worry about the steaming part, just make sure to check the water level every now and then, and top up if neccessary :)

    Many thanks, my dear Manuela. We have so many favorite things in common! Have a lovely week, my dear, filled with sunshine, happiness and relaxation x

    I am the one who is late to the party, my dearest Scarf Enthusiast, by now being behind on a scale where I am beginning to wonder if I’ll ever catch up! So lovely to see you here, blowing christmas pudding infused bisous to you, so glad you enjoyed the posts. Have a most wonderful week ahead <3