Christmas Pudding - A must have Christmas Dessert

I remember as a young child the delights of the Christmas Pudding being bought to the table with a jug of brandy custard.  In those days my grand mother used to hide her precious collection of threepence in the pudding and it was good luck to find one.  I now feel is was even better luck to find one without breaking a tooth or consuming the threepence.

This is a very old family recipe that has only received a couple of minor tweaks over the years.  It is not for the faint hearted cook as it does require a long looking time, but it us absolutely delicious.


Christmas Pudding



  • 250g raisins
  • 250g sultanas
  • 185g currants
  • 185g dates
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons brandy
  • 250g butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar firmly packed
  • 5 large eggs
  • 250g plain flour (sifted)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon - ground
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 200g fresh breadcrumbs (Use day old white bread)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons of extra flour 
  • 1 pudding cloth and tie


  1. Cut the raisins and dates to the same size as the sultanas.
  2. Mix the fruit together, add brandy and stir well.
  3. Cover with glad wrap and leave overnight.
  4. Next Day
  5. Cream the butter and sugar.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well.
  7. Add the fruit and mix well.
  8. Add all dried ingredients including the bread crumbs and mix well.
  9. Boil the pudding cloth for 10 minutes and allow to cool.
  10. Fill a large boiler 3/4 with water and bring to the boil.
  11. Lay the pudding cloth on the bench and sprinkle the centre with the extra flour to approximately 35 cm diameter.
  12. Place the cloth in a large colander.
  13. Spoon in the pudding mixture.  Pull the sides of the cloth together and tie with string as close to the pudding as possible.  Make a loop in the string for easy hanging
  14. Lower the pudding into the boiling water and boil for 5 hours.  Top up the pot with extra boiling water every 30 minutes.
  15. When cooked, carefully remove the pudding from the pot with the handle of a wooden spoon.  Allow the pudding to hang, swinging freely and not touching any surface.  Note:  I do this by hanging the pudding on a broom stick over the laundry sink.  Twist, or peg the loose ends of the cloth to the string so they do not touch the pudding.
  16. Allow the pudding the hang for a few days
  17. Transfer the pudding to a plate, remove string and secure with glad wrap.  Place in the fridge until Christmas eve.
  18. Christmas Eve / Day
  19. Remove the pudding from the fridge on Christmas Eve.
  20. A few hours before the pudding is required bring a large boiler 3/4 filled with water to the boil.
  21. Retie the pudding with string, and include a good loop.
  22. Lower the pudding into the water and boil for 1 1/2 hours, topping with boiling water every 30 minutes.
  23. When cooked, gently remove the pudding from the water and suspend for 15 minutes.
  24. Working quickly, transfer the pudding to a plate, cut the string, gently remove the cloth and transfer to a serving plate.
  25. Allow to stand for 20 minutes before serving.
  26. I find this pudding is best served with brandy custard.
  27. Enjoy

Note: I try and make the pudding 4 weeks before Christmas, but it can be done as late as 2 weeks with good results