Christmas pudding with citrus & spice

Christmas pudding with citrus & spice

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(24 ratings)


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Cooking time

Cook: 6 hrs Prep 30 mins plus soaking overnight

Skill level



Serves 10

A fruity pud, served with orange custard cream, makes the perfect end to the traditional Christmas meal

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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  • 175g each raisins, currants and sultanas
  • 140g whole glacé cherries
  • 50g mixed peel
  • 50g whole blanched almonds
  • zest 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely grated
  • 150ml brandy
  • 50ml/2fl oz orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 175g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 175g butter, frozen
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • butter, for greasing
  • holly sprig, to decorate

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  1. Mix the fruit, almonds, citrus zests and the carrot with the brandy and orange liqueur in a large mixing bowl. Cover and leave to soak overnight.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together, then add to the soaked fruit mixture. Grate in the butter, then add the eggs and stir. Don’t forget to make a wish!
  3. Grease a 1.5-litre pudding basin with butter and line the base with greaseproof paper. Spoon in the mixture, press down well and make a hollow with the back of the spoon in the centre. Cover the surface with a round of greaseproof paper, then cover the bowl with double-thickness greaseproof paper and foil and tie at the rim with string. Lower the pudding into a pan with an upturned saucer in the base, then fill with water until it comes halfway up the sides of the bowl. Steam for 6 hrs, topping up with water as necessary.
  4. Alternatively, steam in the oven. Stand the pudding basin in a roasting tin filled with water, then cover with a tent of foil and cook for the same length of time at 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Check roasting tin occasionally as the water may need to be topped up.
  5. To store, allow to cool, then store in a cool, dry cupboard. The pudding will keep for up to a year.
  6. On the day, steam for 1 hr before turning out, decorating with holly and serving with extra-thick double cream or vanilla ice cream. Alternatively, try my Orange custard cream (below).

Recipe from Good Food magazine, December 2008

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suzannie's picture
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This was really delicious and easy to make (apart from the grated frozen butter mess...).

I only had 1.5 and 2 pt (not 1.5 litre) plastic basins with lids, but luckily I did, because it was enough to make two. I didn't need to do the foil/greaseproof paper lid because I used the basins' lids, but watched the steamed pudding video here on good food to learn how to tie the string handle, which was priceless information.

The puds turned out wonderfully (I did them on top of the stove and kept topping up the water regularly) and I cooked them for about an hour less due to the smaller size.

I then let them cool completely and put the lids back on and stored them in the larder.

I couldn't be bothered to steam the pud again on Christmas Day (I was too frazzled after cooking for 11), so I just bunged one of them in the microwave and it was absolutely delicious. We tipped warmed brandy over it, set it alight, switched off the lights and sang We Wish You A Merry Christmas. We ate it with brandy butter and whipped cream.

We will definitely be having the other one next year (if it keeps...I took off the lid and put cling film over the top and replaced the lid in the hope to make it more airtight). I must remember to look in advance of Christmas to see, just in case I have to make another one. If I remember, I'll write a comment here to say if it does or doesn't keep.

Esme Puente's picture
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We made this with a Gluten Free Flour mix and it was delicious, really nice in every way.

charlyhutson's picture

I made christmas pudding vodka and have a big bath of booze soaked raisins ( including lemon and orange peel, mixed spice, nutmeg, etc). Do you think I could use the mixture to make this christmas pud recipe?

bakergirl91's picture

Has anyone tried making this in a loaf tin/rectangular basin?

francisca's picture

As the comments are so positive I want to try this Christmas pudding but I have a few questions: I can't steam it in a pan because of the handles which stick out (stupid design....) so I will steam it in the oven. As my basin is covered do I still need to make the tent? And how does one feed it? If it is not eaten all in one go how does one warm it up? Thanks!

beckys85's picture

Hi Francisca. I've made this pud for the past three years and it's worked every time and been a hit which my whole family (even those that said they didn't like Christmas pudding!). Once I've covered my basin I place it in a reasonably deep tin (the same one I use for tray bakes) and make a foil tent. I presume you'd still do this with your basin. I keep a check on the water and if it needs topping up pour it in carefully using a measuring jug. You can just make a little opening in the tent and fold back once done. To reheat it's been fine just in the microwave for a min or two. Hope this helps!

patilo33's picture
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After 3 years of serving this fruity pud the positive comments still come back.
'This is the best Christmas pud I've ever eaten.' (even though they had it last year)
'Seconds please'
'Yummy, yummy'.
I have varied the type type of alcohol/liquor( miniature bottle), omitted the peel and added different nuts. All are successful.
Make it in October and feed it regularly with a little brandy.

My favourite accompaniment is clotted cream ( a little indulgence over the festive season.)

aliceharris1's picture

Unbelievably good. My husband and 5yr old made it for Christmas this year and it was a huge hit. I don't even like Christmas pudding and I had 2nds and leftovers on boxing day. The orange cream is also delicious.
It has now been requested by the extended family as the pud of choice for years to come.

lizleicester's picture

One big wopper of a Christmas pudding is in the pressure cooker. I'm going to give it 3 hrs which should be plenty, then if the cooked version tastes as good as the mixture, it will be a delicious Christmas treat....

Sbow1's picture

Just made this pudding over the weekend made 3 smaller puddings and reduced the steaming time by half to 3 hours in the oven they came out perfect and look just wonderful except for a large hole in one's underside , we'll I had to taste test and I will be making this again in fact this evening as my friends now want me to make them for them I also added cranberries and used kirsh and crem de cassis well I had two full bottle's and I thought I would give it a try it taste's wonderful in the pudding

stravers's picture

I made this pudding last year and will so again this year, fantastic pudding everyone enjoyed it

carolinerathmell's picture
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I absolutely loved this pudding. I cooked it in smaller bowls in a slow cooker and warmed it up the same way on Christmas Day

vondeegan's picture

made this twice and it is really delicious and easy to make!

choccylab's picture
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This is so easy and delicious. I too used fresh orange juice in place of orange liqueur and added extra brandy. I steamed it in the slow cooker overnight for 10 hours. I make mine in September to allow plenty of time to mature. Yummy!

jamester74's picture
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Made this pudding and divided the mixture to make 2 puds. I took one to my parents for Christmas Day and everybody said it was the best pudding they'd ever tasted. It was so moist and the whole cherries and almost gave it a "luxury" feel. I also added chopped dates to the mix as I didn't have enough currants. Fantastic! I'll be making next years pudding in a few weeks to allow it to mature even more.

paulaayres1's picture

This was a big hit with everyone! Excluded the nuts & added dates/prunes/apricots. Will make again next year.

lynnsarah's picture

Have never made a successful Christmas pudding before - this was amazing well worth all the steaming! only thing I missed out was the nuts but it was still great - will be a firm favourite every year now

sarahleetes's picture
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Just made this for Christmas dinner this year and it smells lovely! Did not add nuts as my kids don't like them, but used everything else! The truth will be in the eating on Christmas Day, but tried the licky bowl before washing up and the misture was very yummy! Nice for a change to not have suet in like a traditional pud! Great and easy to make with lots of alcohol! You can't beat a home made Christmas Pud!

suehadley's picture

hello, just read all of your blogs about cooking a Christmas pud in a slow cooker, I have just bought a Crock Pot slow cooker, there's no mentioning in the instructions about steaming! so my question to you all is ...should i stand the pudding basin(which is china) on an upturned plate so the basin does'nt crack? Also...does anybody know how long you can keep uncooked Xmas Pud mixture before cooking, not sure if I have the time this weekend to watch the water levels for 8hrs!!! lol

welsheli's picture
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I have used this recipe for 5 years now and I have orderes from family and friends each year to make theirs! It is a sinmple and easy recipe and it smells divine and so festive when the fruits are soaking all night. The easiest Xmas pud I have made.