Don’t get me wrong, I know that you can buy a Christmas pudding from the supermarket – a good one. But, if you’re shooting for more of a Mrs.-Clause-meets-Jessica-Rabbit motif this festive season, you could make your own.

While this pudding might make itself comfortable on your stove top for a few hours before it’s ready, it’s surprisingly full-proof and doesn’t require too much hands on time. As an added bonus, since it contains enough brandy to drown a bakers dozen of Santa’s little helpers, it can be made well in advance, improves with age and makes a fabulous gift.

You can do this – I believe in you.

  • 1 x 375g packet raisins
  • 1 x 300g packet currants
  • 150g sultanas
  • 1 x 170g packet craisins
  • 250mL (1 cup) brandy
  • 250g butter, at room temperature
  • 200g (1 cup) firmly-packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 175g (2 ½ cups) fresh breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup self-raising flour
  • ½ cup plain flower
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • warmed custard or ice-cream to serve

  1. Combine raisins, currants, sultanas, craisins and brandy in a bowl. Set aside for 6 hours (or overnight) to mascerate.
  2. Brush a 2L (8-cup) capacity pudding basin with butter to grease. Line the base with non-stick baking paper.
  3. Using an electric beater, beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition (mixture may appear curdled – fear not – it will come back together.)Stir in breadcrumbs, combined flours, mixed spice and cinnamon. Add the raisin mixture and stir until combined. Spoon into basin.
  4. Place an upturned heatproof saucer in the base of a saucepan. Fill one-third of the saucepan with boiling water and bring to simmer over low heat.
  5. Cut a 30cm-square piece of non-stick baking paper and a 30cm-square piece of tin foil.Place paper on foil and fold to make a pleat in the centre. Place over basin, foil-side up. Tie a double piece of kitchen string around basin to secure. To make a handle, tie a double piece of string loosely over the top of the basin.
  6. Lower the basin onto the saucer in saucepan. Add enough boiling water to reach two thirds of the way up the basin. Simmer, covered, over low heat, adding boiling water when necessary, for 4 hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the pudding comes out clean.
  7. Remove basin from pan, set aside for 5 minutes. Remove pudding and serve with custard or ice-cream.

Note:The original recipe uses rum but I favour brandy in all things Christmassy. If you experiment with anything else I’d love to know how it goes. You may need to road test one or two… Do you have a favourite pudding recipe? Or your own fancy Christmas showstopper? Please share it and make us all wild with envy.

Traditional Plum Pudding - Brandy
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Traditional Plum Pudding - Batter
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Tradtional Plum Pudding - Cooked
Traditional Plum Pudding
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