Classic Christmas pudding

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes + soaking overnight
  • Cooking time: 6 hours + 2 hours reheating
  • Total time: 6 hours 20 minutes + soaking overnight and 2 hours reheating
  • Serves:12


    2 x 150g packs Waitrose 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 fruit 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 flour, baking powder, breadcrumbs, sugar, spices, citrus zest, suet, apple and almonds. Stir in the soaked fruit and any remaining juices. 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 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 in a cool, dark place for up to 6 weeks.

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

    Cook’s tip

    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.

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