Traditional Christmas Pudding


  • 125g wholemeal flour
  • 125g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 125g shredded suet
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 1 apple – peeled, cored and grated
  • 85g dark brown soft sugar
  • 75g chopped blanched almonds
  • 50g preserved stem ginger in syrup, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ground almonds
  • 60g chopped walnuts
  • 75g halved glace cherries
  • 100g sultanas
  • 50g dried currants
  • 100g candied mixed fruit peel, chopped
  • 4 plums, stones removed and chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 125ml ale


  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, breadcrumbs, suet, eggs, carrot, apple, brown sugar, chopped almonds, stem ginger, ground almonds, cherries, sultanas, currants, mixed peel, plums, lemon juice and zest, mixed spice, baking powder and ale. Let each family member take a turn stirring and make a wish. If you have used more dried fruit than fresh, add a little extra ale to make the mixture less stiff.
  2. Grease 2 large or 4 small pudding moulds. Fill with pudding mixture about 7/8 full. Cover tightly with greased greaseproof paper, then aluminium foil; secure with string. Stand pudding on a trivet in a large pot of boiling water that reaches halfway up the sides of the pudding mould. Steam puddings over medium-low heat in boiling water 10 hours for large puddings, 5 hours for small puddings, topping off water regularly until quite firm and set.
  3. If not serving immediately, let cool completely, then replace covers with fresh greaseproof paper and foil and store in a cool, dry place, basting from time to time with rum or brandy, for up to 3 months. To serve, reheat by steaming 2 to 3 hours.