Christmas pudding recipe

Published on November 26, 2012

Earlier in the month, Great Food Club contributor and food blogger Carmela Sereno Hayes ran her first Christmas Pudding Club in Northampton to raise money for charity.

“I taught 70 wonderful ladies to make this perfect yet simple and full-of-flavour pud!” says Carmela. “It’s my own recipe and even if you don’t like Christmas pudding, I challenge you to make this. You will love it, I’m sure – it can’t be beaten! So please enjoy, from me to all Great Food readers. Merry Christmas!”

Carmela with puds at her recent Christmas Pudding Club fundraiser in Northampton

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Carmela’s Fruity Christmas Pudding

75g currants
75g sultanas
75g prunes, snipped into pieces
90ml rum
50g plain flour
65g breadcrumbs
60g suet
75g dark muscovado sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
½  teaspoon baking powder
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Grated zest of 1 orange and juice of half
2 eggs
1 small cooking apple, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon honey

1. Pop the currants, sultanas and snipped prunes into your mixing bowl with the rum. Swill the bowl a little, then leave to steep for at least five hours, or overnight if possible, covered with a tea towel.

2. Grease your pudding basin with a little butter, just so you are now prepared for the plump filling.

3. In your mixing bowl, combine all the remaining pudding ingredients, either in the traditional manner, or just any old how. Fold in your cola-cleaned coins or heirloom charms that you have bought with you (careful when it comes to eating!). Scrape and press the mixture into the prepared pudding basin, squish it down and put on the lid.

4. Wrap and cover the pudding with a layer of baking parchment and a layer of foil. Both the parchment and foil must have a pleat (see tip, below). Tie with string so the basin is watertight.

5. Steam your pudding basin in a pan of boiling water (to come halfway up the basin) or in the top of a lidded steamer (this size of basin happens to fit perfectly in the top of my all-purpose pot) and steam for three and a half hours, checking every now and again that the water hasn’t bubbled away.

6. When it’s had its steam, remove from the pan, allow the pudding to cool and then place somewhere out of the way in the kitchen until Christmas Day. I wrap mine in a tea towel.

7. On the big day, rewrap the pudding and cover again with fresh foil and parchment (still in its basin) and steam again, this time for an hour. Merry Christmas to you all.

Tip: making a pleat
Take a large sheet of foil and place a large sheet of baking parchment on top. Make a pleat by folding a crease in the centre of both the parchment and foil. Turn onto pudding, parchment side down, and press around the bowl. Tie tightly with a long piece of string, under the basin’s lip. Trim off the excess foil and parchment, leaving about 6cm. Tuck the paper up and fold the foil around to make it watertight.

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Matt Wright
The author:

Matt lives in Leicestershire with his wife, two kids and dog. He is passionate about British pubs, slow food and home brewing. He founded Great Food Club (originally as Great Food Magazine) in 2010 after being inspired by local producers near his home town of Melton Mowbray - Britain's 'Rural Capital of Food'.