Granny Martin's Christmas puddings

Granny Martin's Christmas puddings

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(12 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 6 hrs Plus overnight soaking

Skill level

Moderately easy


Makes 2 puddings, each serving 6

Get a head start on Christmas with James Martin's make-ahead pudding

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info


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  • 350g sultanas
  • 350g currants
  • 140g dried figs, chopped
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 85g glacé cherries, halved
  • 100g dried apricots, chopped
  • 150ml brandy
  • 100g stem ginger, chopped
  • plus 3 tbsp of the syrup
  • 2 apples, grated
  • juice and zest 2 oranges
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 250g shredded suet
  • 250g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 350g light muscovado sugar
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • butter, for greasing

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  1. Soak the sultanas, currants, figs, mixed peel, cherries and the apricots in the brandy in a bowl overnight if possible or for at least a few hrs (if you don't have time for this, place the fruit in a microwaveable bowl with the brandy and give it a quick blast in the microwave to plump up). In a larger bowl, mix the ginger and syrup, apples, orange juice and zest, eggs, suet, crumbs, sugar and flour. Using your fingers or a wooden spoon, mix in the soaked fruit and mixed spice.
  2. Butter 2 x 1.5-litre pudding basins and divide the mixture between them, filling almost to the rim. Smooth the tops and cover with 2 circles of greaseproof paper. Cover each pudding with a sheet of foil with a folded pleat down the centre, to allow the pudding to expand, and secure everything by tying it tightly with some string. Stand the puddings in a deep, large pan (or 2 if that’s easier) on trivets or upturned saucers and pour boiling water around so it comes about a third of the way up. Cover the pan and steam the puddings for 5 hrs, topping up with more boiling water when necessary.
  3. Let the puddings cool down before removing the foil and greaseproof paper, then cover with cling film over the top and store in a cool, dry place if you aren’t using them straight away. This is the time you can drizzle them with more booze in the run-up to Christmas if you have time. To reheat, steam the pudding for 1 hr more before turning out and flaming with hot brandy.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2009

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nnw13100's picture

My 2 daughters and I made 2 puddings out of this recipe at the end of November. The large pudding is being fed regularly with brandy but the small pudding only lasted until dinner when we ate it with ice cream and it was DELICIOUS!! Even my 3 1/2 year old who was a bit reluctant as she thought the figs that we chopped up into it looked like snails wanted more. Cant wait to eat the large one after xmas dinner with brandy sauce :o)

kerryh33's picture

i am definalty going to make this in the next few days. I saw Nigella make one the other day, and instead of using breadcrumbs, she used Jamacia Ginger cake, you get a nice amount of spice with it. I think i'll try it!!

kerryh33's picture

i am definalty going to make this in the next few days. I saw Nigella make one the other day, and instead of using breadcrumbs, she used Jamacia Ginger cake, you get a nice amount of spice with it. I think i'll try it!!

jubert's picture

I made these in the Aga, and they cooked overnight for 12 hours in the simmering oven. This made it extremely easy and you don't have to top up the water. They were a beautiful dark colour when I took them out (the longer you steam the darker the colour). The recipe makes x 2 2.2 pint bowls and then 1 smaller pudding. Can't wait to try them!

jinjerine's picture
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Will rate this once i have tried it. The puddings are cooking now. I also had trouble finding any pudding basin let alone a 1.5L!
I found 2 1L basins at my grans house. The recipe has made 2 puddings and a bit left over that i put in a 0.5 l pyrex bowl.
But in my opinion the 1l bowls are huge and will probably be too much for my partner and I. The other one im giving to my parents for christmas present.
Lets hope they turn out okay

brendanjay's picture

Can you suggest a substitute for suet?

maxinef1's picture

Shelleybobbins - I bought Suet at Coles supermarket last Christmas

lutravers's picture
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This is an excellent pudding, much nicer than those almost black packed with raisin ones. It is light and fruity and you don't feel stuffed afterwards or the lingering bitter aftertaste that sometimes occurs.
The recipe is nice and easy to follow and makes a couple of generous sized puds. I made a 2lb and two 1lb puds out of this but you'd easily get 2 2lb ones. We tasted one of the smaller ones after it had matured for only a couple of weeks and it tasted great, the other two are being kept for Christmas.

nlwilliamson's picture
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Just cooking mine as we speak!
Halved the recipe and had some mixture left over. Instead of throwing this away I filled a ramakin dish and baked in the oven at 170 c for 30 mins. Had a quick taste and its very fruity and still quite alcoholic. I'm sure that the 5 hour cook and the 2 month wait will make this a 5 star pud.

stargate1935807's picture

Would love to rate and cook but I can't find 1.5 litre pudding basins either in shops or on line. Nearest 1.7 litre, but should I increase mis and cooking time.

shelleybobbins's picture

i live in australia and cant find suet in the shops, what can you use instead?




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