The Christmas pudding is a festive traditional English dessert served as part of Christmas dinner predominantly seen in the UK and Ireland. Despite the name "pudding," Christmas pudding is similar to an American fruit cake.

The Christmas pudding is a dense, sticky sponge cake, with a stunningly beautiful dark hue with the fruity, spicy aromas of Christmas. Our Christmas pudding recipe features both figs and raisins. We sweeten our pudding with sugar and molasses and hold it together with eggs and suet, a common ingredient seen in many traditional Christmas puddings.

A sprig of holly is a common sight atop a Christmas pudding. It is said that the holly represents the crown of thorns worn by Jesus Christ at his crucifixion. So, why do we set Christmas pudding on fire? The flame from lighting a Christmas pudding represents Jesus' love and power.

Recipe

Ingredients

Christmas Pudding

  • butter or shortening, for greasing
  • 1 pound figs
  • 12 ounces raisins
  • 1 cup beef suet (raw, hard fat of beef)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Hard Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups milk

Directions

Christmas Pudding

  1. Grease a large pudding basin or a ceramic/metal bowl with a lip using butter or shortening. Line the bottom of your bowl with a disc of parchment or waxed paper, and grease the disc as well.

  2. Roughly chop your figs and suet. Set aside. In a food processor, add the figs, raisins, and suet in smaller increments. Pulsing until finely ground. *Depending on the size and power of your food processor, adding all of the fruit/suet mixture at the same time can be difficult for some processors to cut through.

  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar until well combined. Add the egg mixture to the fruit and suet batter in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Then, pour the molasses and milk. Beat on low speed until well blended.

  4. Next, add the baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the flour to the batter in increments to keep the flour from splattering. Mix on medium-low speed until well combined.

  5. Next, add the baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the flour to the batter in increments to keep the flour from splattering. Mix on medium-low speed until well combined.

  6. Fill the prepared bowl with the Christmas pudding batter, about half full. Cut a disc of wax or parchment paper, approximately the size of the top of your bowl. Butter the disc and place the butter side down on top of the pudding mixture.

  7. Next, cover the bowl with both parchment paper (first) and tin foil (second). Secure the parchment paper, and tin foil with kitchen twine - tying the string under the lip of the bowl.

  8. Place a trivet in the bottom of a large pot. Place the pudding basin on the trivet. Pour water in the pot, making sure to fill the water so that it comes halfway up the pudding basin bowl and above the line of the pudding in the basin. Be extremely careful not to get water in the pudding basin.

  9. Bring the water to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot with a lid. Simmer for 5-6 hours. Continue to check and top off the water level throughout the cooking time, as necessary, as you don't want the pan to dry out while cooking.

  10. Remove the Christmas pudding from the pot, and remove the parchment and tin foil. When a knife inserted in the center comes out clean and the pudding is set, the pudding is done. Set the pudding aside to cool. Turn the finished Christmas pudding out onto a serving plate. Serve with hard sauce. Enjoy!

Hard Sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan, over medium to medium-high heat melt butter. Add sugar, salt, nutmeg, vanilla, cornstarch. Stir until blended. Slowly add the milk, continue to stir until sauce thickens. Serve over the Christmas pudding.

Supplies

Christmas Pudding With Hard Sauce

  • 1 pudding basin or ceramic/metal bowl with lip
  • parchment or waxed paper
  • food processor
  • medium bowl
  • whisk
  • stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment
  • trivet
  • large pot with lid
  • serving plate
  • medium saucepan

Recipe Notes

Order your pudding basin online!

How to light a Christmas Pudding: our Christmas pudding must be HOT! If you would like to light your Christmas pudding, simply warm 2-3 tablespoons of brandy or whiskey in a metal ladle over candlelight or gas flame. Tip the ladle toward the flame, and wait until the spirit becomes a bluish flame. Carefully pour the booze over the Christmas pudding. Let the flame extinguish itself before serving. Serve with hard sauce.

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