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Christmas Eve Plum Pudding

Embrace the spirit of the holiday season with a traditional Christmas Eve Plum Pudding. This classic British dessert, often simply called “Christmas pudding,” is a rich, dense, and fruity concoction, steeped in tradition and perfect for capping off your festive feast. While it’s called a “plum” pudding, the recipe actually uses raisins and other dried fruits, which were historically known as “plums” in England.


  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup sultanas (golden raisins)
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 1/4 cup chopped candied peel
  • 1 small apple, peeled and grated
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 3/4 cup brandy or rum, plus extra for flaming
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • Butter for greasing


  1. Prepare the Fruit Mixture:
    • In a large bowl, combine raisins, sultanas, figs, apricots, currants, candied peel, grated apple, and orange zest and juice.
    • Pour in the brandy or rum, mix well, cover, and leave to soak overnight.
  2. Make the Pudding Batter:
    • The next day, add the flour, breadcrumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to the fruit mixture. Stir well.
    • Mix in the beaten eggs and melted butter until well combined. Stir in the chopped almonds.
  3. Steam the Pudding:
    • Grease a 2-liter (2-quart) pudding basin with butter.
    • Spoon the pudding mixture into the basin. Cover with a layer of parchment paper and a layer of aluminum foil, and tie securely with string.
    • Place the basin in a large pot and fill with water halfway up the sides of the basin.
    • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 5 hours, topping up with water as needed.
  4. Cool and Store:
    • Once cooked, remove the pudding from the pot and let it cool.
    • Replace the parchment and foil covers and store in a cool, dry place for up to two months. The flavors will deepen and mature over time.
  5. Serve:
    • On Christmas Eve, steam the pudding again for about 2 hours.
    • Invert onto a serving plate and pour a little extra brandy over the top.
    • Light the brandy with a match for a festive flaming presentation.
    • Serve with brandy butter, custard, or cream.

This Christmas Eve Plum Pudding is a time-honored tradition, embodying the warmth and joy of the holiday season. The process of making it is as rewarding as the delicious end result, and it’s sure to become a cherished part of your festive celebrations.

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