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Christmas Pudding

A must-have dessert for lunch on Christmas Day in Britain. 
Once you have made the pudding and allowed it to rest for 24 hours, it must be steamed within a week of making, after which it should be stored in a cool, dark place until it is reheated on Christmas Day.
28 servings make four 700 g puddings. Each one should be steamed for 3 hours 40 minutes (plus one and half to two hours before to reheat it on the Christmas Day).
Traditionally, a silver sixpence was also added to the pudding, bringing luck to the person that found it on Christmas Day.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time3 hours 40 minutes
Steaming time before serving2 hours
Total Time6 hours 10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Servings: 28 people
Author: Martin Hadden


  • 500 g raisins
  • 250 g sultanas
  • 250 g currants
  • 250 g dark brown sugar
  • 250 g breadcrumbs
  • 70 g flour
  • 250 g suet
  • 125 g ground almonds
  • 125 g candied citrus peel
  • 125 g glace cherries
  • 125 g glace apricots
  • 2 lemons zest only
  • 1 orange zest only
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • 125 g apple
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 100 ml brandy
  • 100 ml ginger wine


To prepare the Christmas pudding

  • In a large bowl mix the raisins, sultanas, currants and dark brown sugar.
  • Add the breadcrumbs, flour, suet and ground almonds. Mix thoroughly.
  •  Add the peel, cherries and apricots. Mix thoroughly.
  • Add the zest, mixed spice and cinnamon. Keep mixing.
  • Grate the unpeeled apple into the bowl.
    Learning how to make the perfect Christmas pudding at the Spread Eagle, Midhurst
  • Add the eggs. Mix thoroughly. You’ll start to feel the mixture firming up, making it harder to stir.
  • Lastly, stir in the treacle, brandy and ginger wine, making sure that everything is thoroughly mixed in.
    Learning how to make the perfect Christmas pudding at the Spread Eagle, Midhurst
  • Cover the bowl and leave in a fridge for 24 hours to let the flavours infuse.
  • Transfer the mixture into pudding bowls and pat down with the back of a spoon. Make sure to leave a gap at the top of the bowl.
  • Cover with a disc of greaseproof paper and tightly wrap the bowl in cling film.
    Learning how to make the perfect Christmas pudding at the Spread Eagle, Midhurst

To steam the pudding

  • Leaving the greaseproof paper over the pudding, cover the top in foil but allow space for the pudding to rise. Tie the foil in place with string. 
  • Boil a large pan of water. Use a small upturned saucer at the bottom of your pan to protect your pudding bowl from the intense heat (which may cause your basin to crack).
  • Wrap the pudding in muslin cloth so that the ends of the cloth can be used to pick up the pudding (or add a string handle).
  • Stand the pudding in the water, making sure the water comes half way up the bowl but no higher.
  • Steam for the required time, topping up the water as necessary. Resist lifting the lid of the steaming pan for the first 30 minutes as the drop in temperature could cause the pudding to collapse. 
  • Leave to cool then store in a cool, dry place until Christmas Day.

To reheat the pudding for serving

  • Steam for a further 1 and a half to 2 hours.
  • Lay the table with brandy butter, cream, custard and/or vanilla ice cream.
  • Dim the lights.
  • Make a small indent in the top of the pudding.
  • Fill it with brandy, letting some run down the side of the pudding.
  • Light the brandy and carry the pudding to the table.