One of my favourite things about Christmas is being able to have some Christmas plum pudding! There is nothing better on Christmas day than topping a big piece of plum pudding with some cream and ice cream. Some will add custard too, but I’m not a big custard fan! 😉
The Christmas puddings we had when I was kid were usually store bought ones but I loved them anyway. It was a taste that we only had on Christmas so cutting the plum pudding was very exciting!
Over the years I have fallen out of love with the store bought plum puddings. They don’t seem to be the delicious and rich puddings that they used to be. Plus they taste so artificial these days. Plum pudding at Christmas had been losing its appeal and I was not happy!
I considered making my own a few years ago but thought that it would be too much hassle! Then about 18 months ago I came across a recipe for a winter pudding in a supermarket catalogue (I found it here on the Taste website). It looked just like a Christmas pudding and was aimed at people wanting to celebrate Christmas in July!
Because it looked so nice I thought I would give it a try and I am so glad that I did! This plum pudding is the best that I have tasted in quite a few years. I made it for Christmas in July last year and found it so delicious that I just had to make it again for Christmas as well. Actually I love it so much I made it again for Christmas in July this year – once a year is not enough with this plum pudding!
Besides the taste, another great thing about this plum pudding recipe is that it freezes really well. I made it a couple of weeks before Christmas last year and then put it in the freezer. On Christmas Eve I placed it into the fridge and then heated it on Christmas day! I plan to make it on Christmas Eve this year and then just reheat it on Christmas day! You could make it on Christmas morning if you wanted to though. I just like to do as much as possible ahead of time. That leaves more time to relax on Christmas day!
I have modified the recipe just a bit to make it a little easier. The original recipe called for specific weights of individual dried fruits. Instead I have used a commercial dried fruit mix that consists of sultanas, raisins, currents, mixed peel, and some gláce cherries. You could use your favourite mix of dried fruits if you like! I have also halved the recipe because I didn’t want a huge pudding. If you’re feeding a crowd you could double everything again but this recipe comfortably serves 6 to 8 people.
This is a fairly easy recipe actually. Softening up the dried fruit in orange juice over heat is the most time consuming step. Then it is just a matter of mixing everything else up and cooking it in a steamer. It takes around 2 hours and 45 minutes to cook and you just have to keep an eye on the saucepan to make sure it doesn’t boil dry.
This plum pudding is packed with fruit and is nice and rich just like a Christmas pudding should be! It reminds me of the ones I had when I was a kid. So anyone who loves a traditional Christmas plum pudding is going to love this recipe!
After years of plum pudding disappointment I finally have a recipe that is easy to make and tastes amazing!
- 350g (2 cups) of mixed dried fruit *
- 1 tablespoon of finely grated orange zest
- ½ cup of orange juice
- 3 tablespoons of sherry (or brandy)
- ½ cup of plain flour
- ½ cup of self raising flour
- ½ teaspoon of bi carb soda
- ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of mixed spice
- ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- ½ cup of flaked almonds
- 125g (1/2 cup) of melted butter
- 115g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- Grease a 1 litre (4 cup) metal pudding steamer and line the base with 2 layers of baking paper.
- Place your mixed fruit, orange peel, and orange juice into a saucepan and stir over a low to medium heat for 10 minutes or until the fruit has softened. Then remove from heat and allow to cool for about 30 minutes before stirring through the sherry.
- Place flours, bi carb soda, cinnamon, mixed spice, and nutmeg in a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Add almonds, butter, caster sugar, eggs, and fruit mixture and stir until well combined.
- Spoon mixture into prepared pudding steamer then smooth the top of the mixture and secure the lid.
- Place steamer into a large saucepan and add boiling water to the saucepan so that it come about half way up the sides of the steamer.
- Boil gently over a low heat for 2 hours and 45 minutes. Make sure to keep topping up the water in the saucepan as required. Pudding is cooked when a cake tester or skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Once cooked, remove steamer from the saucepan and allow to pudding to stand for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Turn pudding out onto a plate and serve** with cream, custard, and ice cream.
** Can be made a day or two early and stored in the fridge to be reheated on Christmas day. Alternatively pudding can be made a week or two ahead of time and frozen (wrapped in greaseproof paper and in an airtight container) before reheating on Christmas day.