Great Grandfather James' Christmas Pudding
Preparation time
Cooking time
Total time
Plan ahead. It makes all the difference if you soak the fruit in advance. This recipe makes 2 large puddings. You'll need to reheat when you use it. Steam for ½ hour in a pressure cooker or 1 hour in a saucepan.
Recipe type: Christmas
Cuisine: British
Serves: 8
  • 225 grams raisins
  • 225 grams currants
  • 225 grams sultanas
  • 225 grams mixed peel
  • 100 grams glacĂ© cherries (try and find those without artificial colour, or use dried cherries)
  • 125 grams suet (vegetarian or beef)
  • 100 grams flour (plain wheat or gluten free)
  • 125 gr breadcrumbs (wheat or gluten free bread) OR 5 oz ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • ½ grated nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 110gr of dark brown or demerara sugar
  • 150 ml beer/porter/barley wine
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ standard wine glass of brandy.
  1. In a large bowl, add all the dried fruits, the spices and the beer and brandy. Leave overnight to plump up.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients except the eggs into the bowl and mix carefully to the fruit is well mixed with the dry ingredients.
  3. Add the eggs and mix well again.
  4. Pack the mixture into your bowls to within 1 centimetre of the rim.
  5. Adding the greaseproof paper and foil to the bowls
  6. Adding the greaseproof paper and foil to the bowls
  7. Cut a strip of greaseproof paper or baking parchment about twice as wide and twice as long as your bowl.
  8. Fold the paper to make a pleat about two centimetres wide. Place on the bowl and scrunch round under the rim of the bowl. (You can tie it with string if you prefer).
  9. Cut the aluminium foil to a similar size to the greaseproof paper. Fold it and place it on top of the bowl. Again scrunch round under the rim.
  10. Check the instructions for your particular pressure cooker. This is how I cook mine. Put a trivet in the bottom of your pressure cooker. That's the plate with the holes that it came with. Place the pudding on top and fill with hot water to just under the brim. Add a slice of lemon to the water to avoid discolouring the pan.
  11. Bring to the boil slowly over about 15 minute without the weight. Add the weight and bring to pressure.
  12. Turn the gas down so that some steam escapes, but it's not on full blast.
  13. Cook for 2½ hours. You might want to check that there's enough water half way through. Repeat with the second pudding
  14. The pudding will be very dark, moist and delicious.
  15. Cover with fresh parchment and foil and store until Christmas.
  16. Follow the instructions in your pressure cooker manual for reheating puddings. I do mine for ½ hour. Otherwise, you can place in a simmering saucepan of water to reheat that way.
Recipe by Edinburgh Foody at