Classic Christmas pudding

17th December 2015

PREPARE 20 minutes+ soaking overnight
COOK 6 hours+ 2 hours reheating

2 x 150g packs Waitrose Love Life Berry Mix
100g currants
50g mixed peel
175ml brandy
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
125g fresh white breadcrumbs
175g dark brown muscovado sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
Grated zest 1 lemon or orange
150g shredded vegetable suet
1 Bramley apple, peeled and coarsely grated
50g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
3 medium Waitrose British Blacktail
Free Range Eggs, beaten
Butter, for greasing


1 Place the dried berries, currants and mixed peel in a large glass bowl. Pour over the brandy, mix well, cover and place in the fridge to soak overnight.

2 In a large bowl, mix together the plain flour, baking powder, breadcrumbs, sugar, spices, citrus zest, suet, apple and almonds. Stir in the soaked fruit and any remainingjuices. Add the beaten eggs and stir until well mixed.

3 Lightly butter a 1.2-litre pudding basin and place a disc of baking parchment in the base. Spoon in the mixture, cover with 2 sheets of baking parchment topped with a double layer of foil and tie securely in place with string, making a handle for lifting.

4 Place the pudding in a large saucepan and pour hot water halfway up the sides. Cover and steam for 6 hours, topping up with hot water from time to time.

5 Lift the pudding basin from the pan and leave to cool completely. Remove the foil and baking parchment and cover with fresh sheets. Store until needed.

6 To reheat, steam for 2 hours as before, until piping hot, then carefully invert the pudding onto a large plate to serve.

To flame the pudding for serving, warm 100ml brandy in a small saucepan, but make sure you don't allow it to boil. Pour it over the pudding and, keeping it at arm's length, quickly ignite.

Phillip's drink match

Harveys Signature 12 Year Old Sherry

Christmas pudding takes something quite robust to stand up to it. There's a spiciness and a fruitiness to this sherry, but with just the right level of acidity to slice through the rich fruit - and a really classy long finish.

Harveys Pedro Ximenez VORS Sherry

If you've never tried this, it's something of a shocker, so thick it's almost oily- swirl it, and it leaves your glass with an amber tint. But the reward is intense, sweet, nutty treacle, with hints of orange, burnt toffee and espresso. Fabulous over ice cream too.

Discover more recipes and matches in this week's Waitrose Weekend - available for free in store every Thursday.

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