Traditional Christmas plum pudding

Katie Bishop gives us a taste of tradition with this time-tested pudding recipe, served with a brandy sauce and frosted berries
By Katie Bishop
Traditional Christmas plum pudding
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 7-8
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes plus standing time
  • Effort: medium


  • 120 g brown sugar
  • 120 g suet, chopped or grated
  • 120 g sultanas
  • 120 g raisins, halved but not chopped
  • 60 g currants
  • 60 g shredded mixed mixed candied peel
  • 60 g plain flour
  • 60 g breadcrumbs
  • 30 g almonds
  • 1 lemon, grated zest only
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 ml milk
  • 150 ml brandy

To decorate

  • handful bay leaves
  • handful redcurrants or cranberries
  • 25 g sugar
  • egg whites, beaten

For the brandy sauce

  • 100 g flour
  • 100 g butter
  • 500 ml milk
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • brandy, to taste


1. Make the pudding a few days before serving. Butter a large pudding basin and coat a cloth with flour ready to cover the pudding. Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, suet, sultanas, raisins, currants, candied peel, flour, breadcrumbs, almonds, lemon zest, nutmeg and salt. Stir in the eggs, milk and brandy and mix well.

3. Place the mixture in the buttered pudding basing, cover with the floured cloth and secure tightly with string. Prepare a steamer with boiling water, add the pudding basin and cook at a gentle simmer for 5-6 hours, topping up the water level regularly.

4. On the day of serving, reheat the pudding by steaming it again for at least 2 hours.

5. To make the decorations, dust the bay leaves and fruit in sugar. Dip them individually into the beaten egg whites then set aside to harden.

6. Meanwhile, make the brandy sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and allow the mixture to simmer slowly for 2-3 minutes. Gradually add the milk and caster sugar, plus generous tablespoons of brandy depending on how strong you like the sauce. Gently bring to the boil, stirring all the time and cook for 4-5 minutes.

7. Turn the hot pudding out of the basin, decorate the top with the sugared bay and fruit and serve with the brandy sauce.

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