Granny Martin's Christmas puddings

Granny Martin's Christmas puddings

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(17 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 6 hrs Plus overnight soaking

More effort

Makes 2 puddings, each serving 6

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

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal764
  • fat23g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs130g
  • sugars101g
  • fibre5g
  • protein10g
  • salt0.81g
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  • 350g sultana
  • 350g currant
  • 140g dried fig, chopped



    Although not juicy, the fig is an incredibly luscious fruit, with a delicate aroma and sweet…

  • 100g mixed peel
  • 85g glacé cherry, halved
  • 100g dried apricots, chopped
  • 150ml brandy



    Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…

  • 100g stem ginger, chopped



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • plus 3 tbsp of the syrup
  • 2 apples, grated



    Grown in temperate regions, apples are one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. There are…

  • juice and zest 2 oranges



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 6 large eggs, beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 250g shredded suet
  • 250g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 350g light muscovado sugar
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • butter, for greasing



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…


  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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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29th Apr, 2016
Absolutely amazing!!! I have 2 left in my freezer (split them into 4 puds) and look forward to eating another one next christmas! Will definitely make again and again!
12th Jan, 2016
I made this for Christmas this year. Steamed the puddings and then fed them with whisky and brandy for a few weeks. Heated it in a slow cooker from about 3pm on Christmas Day. The pudding sat there for hours and came out beautifully around 8pm that night.
26th Dec, 2014
Just an update - I halved this recipe on 4 Dec and got 2 x half a litre bowls. I wrapped them up and stored them in the pantry. Popped one in the slow cooker Christmas Day for 2 hours (supposed to be 1 hour but I forgot). Oh my, it was absolutely gorgeous. Fruity, moist and a slight orange taste. The best I've had in years. This will be used again and again.
4th Dec, 2014
Oh dear I meant to say the halved recipe made 2 x .5 (half) a litre.
4th Dec, 2014
What a fab recipe. I'm not keen on the usual black, stodgy pud so made this yesterday. I halved the recipe exactly but used 4 medium eggs as 3 was too dry. This made exactly 2 x 1.5 litre bowls. Perfect. I didn't want the cooker on for 5 hours wasting gas so I used the slow cooker. 1 hour on high then 5 hours on low. I opened them up and they were golden and studded with jewelled fruit. The smell was amazing. I tasted a bit and it was gorgeous. Roll on Christmas.
9th Dec, 2013
A very nice pudding. Lighter in colour than your average christmas pudding. Makes a very large quantity. I only had one medium pudding bowl and steamed that on the hob. I split the remainder of the mixture in two and shaped into a log shape on parchment paper, wrapped it up well in the parchment paper, secured with string and then wrapped once more in foil. Then I laid each package on a deep roasting tin, poured in water to about half way and steamed in the oven. Didn't know what temp to use for the oven steaming, started out with 100 but that seemed to be too low, increased to 150 but that also seemed too low so finished on 170. Be careful with the oven method. It boils dry quickly enough. I got caught but luckily it didn't do the finished product any harm.
5th Jan, 2013
I've never made Christmas pudding before but I definitely will again. They were delicious and everyone very impressed. Thank you James you made me look like a domestic goddess!!!
29th Dec, 2012
forgot to rate it earlier definitely 5 stars
29th Dec, 2012
Highly recommended! The first time i have made christmas puddings because i dont like them In fact I kept asking my daughter if it tasted like xmas pud as i loved the taste of this recipe as did my 81 year old Dad who usually hates it. I will probably reduce the quantities next year as made one large and two regular puds (too much for us). Thanks James I am sure this will become another traditional christmas recipe along with my Nan's sherry trifle and Nonna'ss ravioli in brodo
31st Oct, 2012
You put the greaseproof paper inside the basin on top of the mixture. Excellent recipe, this is my 3rd year, my family can't get enough of them.


8th Nov, 2013
I like to make Christmas Puddings to give as gifts, so divide the mixture between smaller basins. Surely 1.5 litre basins are only used by professional cooks? If a 1.5 litre pudding steams for 5 hours, how long should I cook a 0.3 litre pudding?
1st Nov, 2013
How long before Christmas should I make these puddings and how long will they last?
9th Dec, 2013
You can cook the pudding in a log shape, wrapped well in parchment paper, secured with string and wrapped again in foil, in a deep roasting tray with water about half way up the side of the package. I made one average sized pudding and two puddling "logs" with the recipe. I fiddled about with the oven temperature so can't give exact advise but i reckon the next time I do the recipe I will try leaving it at 150 and keep the cooking time pretty much the same as the recipe.
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