End of November means, ‘time to make Christmas Puddings!’


Now it’s getting to the end of November our thoughts start to turn towards Christmas and specifically Christmas puddings. We like to make ours a month ahead to give it time to mature. Our pudding is a Somerset local – we used butter from Longman’s Cheese; flour from Wessex Mill; Newton Farm eggs, all bought from the wonderful Newton Farm Shop in Somerset. Bread from Landrace Bakery and dried fruit and spices bought from Scoopwhole Foods in Bath, an independent store offering a large range of super zero-waste foods and household products including pasta, flour, dried fruit, nuts, spices, cleaning fluids and even chocolate!

And the star ingredient of all Christmas puddings – brandy! – made by the Somerset Cider Brandy Company. We used their 5 -year-old Cider Brandy.
  • 8oz soft butter
  • 4oz muscovado brown sugar
  • zest juice of citrus fruit (your choice, orange, lemon, lime) and 1/2 glass of juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 mug bread crumbs
  • 8oz self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp of spices (your choice – nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice – we generally have a mix)
  • 1/2 glass of cider brandy
  • 16oz dried fruit (your choice, apricots, prunes, cherries, dates, raisins, sultanas, cranberries, dates – make a mix of your favourites)
  • small cooking apple (roughly chopped)
  • 1oz of nuts (roasted hazelnuts or walnuts) – optional

Ingredients for Christmas Pudding

  • cream butter, sugar and zest of the citrus fruit together until fluffy and a light/pale colour
  • beat in eggs one at a time
  • sieve the flour, spices and bicarbonate soda into the bowl and add the bread crumbs
  • fold it together gently a couple of times (don’t fully combine yet)
  • add the fruit and apple, repeat the previous step
  • pour the juice/brandy and fold together gently until fully combined
  • once combined make a wish and let each family member have a stir and wish (it’s a family tradition of ours)!
  • divide the mix into a buttered bowl. We made three smaller puddings but the mix will make one large pudding for about 8 – 10 people.
  • cover each with a layer of baking parchment and aluminium foil (tie it tightly around the bowl to make sure it is secure). TIP: add a fold in both to give the pudding space to rise when cooking
  • steam until cooked (45 -60 minutes for smaller puddings, 3 hours for one large pudding). TIP: you will know it’s cooked if it has come away slightly from the edge of the bowl
  • let it cool, cover and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it 🙂
To serve, warm in the microwave and heat a little extra cider brandy. Pour the cider brandy over the pudding and light! Accompany with cream or brandy butter.

If you would like to see us making it, we have a reel up on the nearHome Instagram. Please do let me know if you try this recipe and what you thought (I’d love to see pictures, tag us on Instagram @shopnearhome)

The Cook