Easy Traditional Christmas Pudding Recipe

This is a great traditional Christmas pudding recipe, and is quite quick and easy to make (although steaming the Christmas pudding will take some time), with no fiddly steps involved.
It has been adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s grandmother’s (Emily Bell) recipe, and is absolutely delicious. I find that the fruit content is just right, and the grated apple and almonds balance the richness in the finished Christmas pudding.

Makes enough mixture to fill a 2 litre pudding basin (I use 1 x 1 litre, 1 x 500ml and 2 x 250ml pudding basins, as I give some for gifts), which should serve around 8-12 people.

Easy Traditional Christmas Pudding Recipe Ingredients

  • 135g plain flour
  • 135g brown sugar
  • 135g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 270g raisins
  • 270g currants
  • 135g sultanas
  • 100g candied peel (also marketed as mixed peel)
  • 250g butter, grated
  • Grated zest 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Large pinch salt
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 450ml milk
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled and grated
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds (or roughly chopped macadamias)

Easy Traditional Christmas Pudding Recipe Method

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and brown sugar together. Add breadcrumbs, raisins, currants, sultanas and candied peel. Stir thoroughly to coat fruit in flour mixture (this will help stop it sinking to the bottom of the pudding).

Add all remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly to distribute evenly. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and stand overnight in the fridge to allow the fruit to absorb the liquid and plump up.

Taste the pudding mixture and adjust the flavourings if necessary; if you prefer a ‘spicier’ pudding, add more cinnamon/nutmeg etc.

Trace the top rim of each pudding basin onto baking/greaseproof paper, and cut out the circles (slightly smaller than your tracing). Grease the pudding basins well with butter, then pack the Christmas pudding mixture into the pudding basins and fill almost to the top. Top the puddings with the circles of baking/greaseproof paper, ensuring the paper fits quite snuggly on top of the pudding mixture.

Cover the tops of the pudding basins with foil, then trim the excess foil using scissors (don’t use your best kitchen scissors for this, as cutting foil will blunt the scissor edge). Tie the foil securely around the rim of the pudding basins with kitchen twine/string/wool.

Place the pudding basins in a large saucepan/stockpot (with a lid) and fill with enough water to come 2/3 of the way up the sides of the pudding basins. Place on the heat and bring to the boil with the lid on. Allow to simmer for 4-6 hours, topping up the water level every hour or so. You might like to place an old small tea towel or something similar under the pudding basins while they are cooking in the saucepan/stockpot, as they can make a rattling sound.

Once cooked, remove from the saucepan/stockpot and allow to cool. Refrigerate until Christmas. These puddings keep very well, I usually make the 4-8 weeks in advance, but I have even had one after about 8 months in the fridge and it was fine!

One Christmas day (or whenever you serve it), boil again, following the steps above, for about 1 hour or so until hot. Turn out onto a serving plate and flame with brandy. To ensure that the brandy flames, warm it gently first, pour quickly onto the pudding, then light.

Serve with brandy butter, icecream or (my personal favourite) white sauce spiked with brandy.