Olde english xmas pud

A traditional, rich fruit steamed Christmas Pudding which can be made well in advance of Christmas day.
Serves: 8
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 6 hrs
Skill level: Easy peasy



    • 150g (5oz) sultanas


    • 150g (5oz) raisins


    • 100g (3½oz) ready-to-eat dried figs, roughly chopped


    • 60g (2oz) dried pear, roughly diced


    • 60g (2oz) semi-dried cherries


    • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange


    • 150ml (¼ pint) ginger wine


    • 2 tablespoons brandy or Madeira


    • 1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and ground mixed spice


    • ½ teaspoon each ground ginger and freshly grated nutmeg


    • 1 medium cooking apple, peeled, cored and coarsely grated (200g/7oz grated apple in total)


    • 150g (5oz) soft dark brown sugar


    • 125g (4oz) fresh breadcrumbs


    • 125g (4oz) light vegetable suet


    • 60g (2oz) self-raising flour


    • 2 medium eggs, beaten


1-1.2 litre pudding basin, lightly buttered




    1. Mix the dried fruit, orange zest and juice, ginger wine, brandy, or Madeira, and spices in a large bowl. Cover and leave in a cool place overnight.


    1. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and mix well.


    1. Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin. Push down firmly.


    1. Cover with a piece of baking parchment, pleated, and a piece of foil, also pleated, to allow room for expansion during cooking. Tie securely with string.


    1. Put in a steamer or large pan on an upturned heatproofsaucer. Pour in boiling waterto come half-way up the basin, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and steam for 5-6 hours. Don’t forget to keep topping up the pan with boiling water.


    1. Turn off the heat and leave the pudding to cool in the steamer, then take it out and cool it completely. Take off the paper and put new paper and foil on. Store in a cool, dry place.

Use within 4 months.

To reheat: Steam for 2 hours or more or microwave on Full Power (850W) for 5 minutes.
Serve with Brandy Butter made by mixing 125g (4oz) softened butter with 90g (3oz) icing sugar and 4 tablespoons brandy. Flame with warm brandy, if you like.


Nutritional information per portion


fat 12.0g saturates 4.0g calories 462(kcal)


This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.