Mandarin-in-the-middle Christmas pud

Mandarin-in-the-middle Christmas pud

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(11 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 8 hrs, 15 mins plus soaking and reheating time (longer cooking time in a slow cooker)


Serves 8 - 10
Impress your guests with this traditional, steamed pudding with a difference - cut to reveal a tender fruit centre and oozing citrus syrup

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving (10)

  • kcal711
  • fat16g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs142g
  • sugars101g
  • fibre3g
  • protein8g
  • salt0.8g
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  • cream or brandy butter, to serve



    Fresh unpasteurised milk quickly separates and the fat rises to the top. This fat layer is then…

For the fruit

  • 140g raisins
  • 140g sultanas
  • 140g currants
  • 140g glacé cherries, halved
  • 50g blanched almonds, chopped
  • 1 medium Bramley apple, peeled, cored and grated to give 175g/6oz flesh
    Bramley apples

    Bramley apple

    bram-lee app-el

    A large, flattish cooking apple, green in appearance but sometimes with specks of red. The flesh…

  • 50ml orange liqueur (I used Cointreau)
  • 150ml medium or sweet sherry
  • zest and juice 1 orange



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

For the pudding

  • 140g cold butter, plus extra, softened, for greasing



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

  • 175g dark muscovado sugar, plus 2 tbsp for coating the bowl
  • 175g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 140g self-raising flou
  • 1 heaped tsp ground mixed spice
  • 2 large eggs, beaten



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

For the mandarin middle

  • 1 firm mandarin or large seedless clementine, weighing about 140g/5oz
  • 400g white granulated sugar (it must be white for colour)
  • 2 tbsp orange liqueur


  1. First, prepare the fruit. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dried fruit, cherries, almonds and apple with the alcohol and the orange juice and zest. Cover with cling film and leave for at least a few hours, or overnight if you can.

  2. Next, prepare the mandarin. Put it in a pan, cover with cold water, then cover the surface with a scrunched-up piece of baking parchment. Bring to the boil and cook for 30 mins or until completely tender when poked with a cocktail stick. Remove the mandarin from the water, keeping 300ml of the cooking liquid in the pan. Set aside the mandarin.

  3. Add the sugar to the cooking liquid in the pan and heat gently to dissolve. Poke several holes in the mandarin, then add to the syrup along with the liqueur. Cover with the parchment again and simmer for 45 mins, turning the mandarin halfway through. By the end of cooking it will be a little translucent and have a dark orange colour. Leave to cool in the syrup (overnight is fine).

  4. To make the pudding, grease a 1.5-litre pudding basin, then scatter over the 2 tbsp sugar. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and a pinch of salt. Coarsely grate the butter, and fold into the fruit with the dry ingredients, followed by the eggs.

  5. Fill the basin one-third full with the fruit mix, then nestle the mandarin into it. Pack the rest of the mix around and on top of the mandarin and smooth over. (If you’re not using the mandarin, just press it all in as you’ll have more room).

  6. Tear off a sheet of foil and a sheet of baking parchment, both about 30cm long. Butter the baking parchment and use to cover the foil. Fold a 3cm pleat in the middle of the sheets, then put over the pudding, buttered baking parchment-side down. Tie with string under the lip of the basin, making a handle as you go. Trim the parchment and foil to about 5cm, then tuck the foil around the parchment to seal.

  7. To cook the pudding, sit it on a heatproof saucer in a very large saucepan, and pour in just-boiled water to come halfway up the side of the basin. Cover and steam for 6 hrs, topping up the water occasionally. Alternatively, place in a slow cooker, pour hot water halfway up the side of the basin and cook on High for 8 1/2 hrs. Leave the pudding to cool, and leave in a cool, dark place to mature. To reheat, steam in a pan for 1 hr or remove the foil and parchment, cover with cling film and microwave on Medium for 10 mins. Cut the pudding with a sharp serrated knife, so that the mandarin stays in place and everyone gets a piece. Serve with cream or brandy butter.

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Comments, questions and tips

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24th Nov, 2019
Had this recipe about 3 years running and making today!! All the family love it!
25th Dec, 2017
Sooooooooooooooooooooo delish I made it ages ago in the slow cooker - a most satisfying experience - finally got to eat it today....and kept the syrup for months in the fridge and eventually made a christmas cocktail with it and vodka, cointreau, lemon juice, a crushed cardamom and lots of ice. That was amazing too
15th Jan, 2017
Like most this is a fantastic pudding. Never had it before but is certainly one to jeep hold of. I made two batches which gave me 2 large puds & 8 small as some were gifts. Pudding is really tasty, light and easy to make. Best comment was from an 80 year old family friend who said "best Christmas pudding I have ever had". Enough said :-)
RosieVimes's picture
15th Jan, 2016
This was the best pudding we've ever had! Relatively simple to make, and the end result was beautiful. Fantastic taste and nowhere near as dense as some of the shop bought ones. This will definitely be my go to recipe!
26th Dec, 2015
This was lovely my family loved it very filling so need less than shop bought this is now part of my Christmas.
22nd Nov, 2015
Can't really say if this is as delicious as it looks but it has come out of the slow cooker after 8+ hrs and looks and smells just like Christmas should!!
22nd Nov, 2015
I've got this in the slow cooker as I type this, smells delicious! I only had a 1Ltr pudding basin so will adjust the steaming time accordingly. I had enough mixture left over to make a sneaky 0.5ltr pudding just for me :) This was straight forward to make, even the mandarins element. I've got a nice lot of syrup left for making Christmas drinks. Looking forward to Christmas so I can cut open the pudding & give it a try.
17th Nov, 2015
Used a Clementine as I could get my hands on a mandarine I managed to get two out of mix. one with Clementine, one without. If I do this recipe again I will candy two fruits without increasing the syrup as there's plenty. They have just finished steaming and its beginning to smell a lot like Christmas. Will come back and rate when I've tasted. But if the smell is anything to go by then they should be delicious.
cheese muffin
5th Jun, 2018
how long will this recipe last once made?
goodfoodteam's picture
6th Jun, 2018
Thanks for your question. You can store this in a cool, dark place, well sealed for up to 6 months.
14th Nov, 2016
Made this a few weeks ago. I got one 1.2l and four 150ml puddings. Largest is being kept for Christmas but couldn't wait with the smaller puddings. Having had a small taste we now can't wait for Christmas. Very nice light and moist pudding mix so i have great hopes for the larger version which contains the orange.
27th Dec, 2015
I loved this pudding! it's juicy and boozy.. but we're only the three of us so it's way to big. What's the best way to keep it. we started eating it yesterday, so a quarter is gone
18th Dec, 2015
Can i just ask whether you are meant to peel the Clementine before boiling?
goodfoodteam's picture
22nd Dec, 2015
You use the whole fruit for this recipe – peel and all!
17th Dec, 2015
Can I use suet instead of butter?
goodfoodteam's picture
22nd Dec, 2015
Yes, suet is fine to swap for the butter. Vegetable suet will give a lighter flavour while beef suet is more traditional, so the choice is yours!
9th Dec, 2015
How far in advance can I make this pudding?
goodfoodteam's picture
14th Dec, 2015
This will keep for up to 6 months in a cool dark place, without the mandarin orange it will keep for 1 year.
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