Sunday, 20 October 2013

Christmas Pudding

I made mine yesterday! But cannot take it out of the basin to photo properly, of course!! It's now tucked away in the back of a cupboard until Christmas morning!

This fabulous traditional pudding recipe belonged to a man named Joe who was a Chef at the Dorchester Hotel and later Head of the Catering Dept at Cornwall College. In it’s heyday of the 80s, when you had to book 3 weeks ahead to lunch there! Many, many years ago this recipe was given to Austin, a fellow lecturer at the college and he gave it to me!
It uses old fashioned fluid measurements, 1 gill = 5 fl oz.

This quantity makes 1 huge pudding [feeding probably 10 or 12 or more, as above] or 2 medium size.

10 oz currants
10 oz sultanas
8 oz raisins
5 oz chopped mixed peel
½ gill each of brandy, rum and madeira [or sherry]

Soak the fruit in the spirits the day before. Set aside.

Prepare all the dry ingredients: Always easier if you do it the night before too, then its all systems go in the morning.

½ lb white breadcrumbs from a stale ish loaf
½ lb soft dark brown sugar
8 oz suet [vegetable light is good]
3 oz plain flour
2 oz ground almonds
½ teaspoon mixed spice
large pinch cinnamon

When you are ready to go - combine the fruits mix and dry ingredients, then add:
grated zest of a small lemon and small orange or clemantine
4 oz of chopped peeled apple
1 gill each of stout and milk

Mix well then tip into a well greased basin, making sure there is room for the pudding to rise.
Cover with a pleated piece of parchment, then ditto foil. Tie with string securely making a loop for a handle, to help you lift it out.

Prepare a large saucepan, I fold about three folded pieces of kitchen paper in the bottom centre for the basin to sit on. Sit the basin in the saucepan then carefully pour in boiling water up to ¾ of the way up the basin. Simmer gently for 6 hours, but if you make the large add another hour, checking the water levels occasionally. Don't let it boil dry!!  When cold, replace parchment and foil etc with new, then store in a cool cupboard. Re-steam for 2 hours on Christmas Day! Serve with clotted Cream!


  1. Hello, what is mixed peel? I want to make this pudding and need clarification. I'm a man who lives in the states and I'm new to baking. Please don't laugh.... thanks for your help. Also, thank you for all the recipes you have posted here, I plan on trying a lot of them.

  2. Mixed peel is dried candied citrus fruit skin, usually orange and lemon

  3. I chickened out of doing this version of Christmas pudding, as there are no eggs mentioned! Are there really supposed to be zero eggs? and if so, what makes the pudding rise?

    1. yes, this is the recipe as i make it.

    2. OK, I'll try it! I love the other recipes I have tried. The Beetroot tarte was a great success, thank you!