June 22, 2024


Free For All Food

Recipe for Victorian Christmas pudding

Britain shares numerous holiday getaway traditions with the United States: Christmas trees, Santa Claus, and awkward family members reunions.

a piece of chocolate cake on a plate: Leo Hornak's Christmas Pudding.

© Leo Hornak

Leo Hornak’s Christmas Pudding.

But there is 1 important aspect of a British Xmas that Us residents have not adopted: the historic ritual of the Christmas pudding.


Reporter Leo Hornak, an Englishman and a veteran of The World’s newsroom, supplied to prepare dinner his very first Christmas pudding and provide it up for American radio listeners on Xmas Eve.

He describes the dish as indestructible: “So dense. And it really is a rather sterile surroundings for bacteria, like the area of the moon.”

“It’s one particular of those few dishes that surpasses Britain’s class technique. For the loaded, it would have high-priced liquor in it, like brandy. For the weak, additional of the bread and extra fat — but the identical dish basically.”

Hornak says that it is a dish that unites Britons of all stripes. “It’s one of individuals couple dishes that surpasses Britain’s class method. For the rich, it would have pricey liquor in it, like brandy. For the weak, extra of the bread and fat — but the identical dish in essence.”

“In a preceding period, it also embodied British history, for excellent and sick,” Leo provides, describing how he followed a Victorian recipe from food historian Sam Bilton — written down by her grandmother’s good-aunt Eliza Anderson in 1871.

Hornak also says you can read through the British Empire in the checklist of components: “It has spices from Sri Lanka, raisins from Australia, sugar from the plantations of Jamaica.”

Go forward. Give it a attempt. But go away oneself plenty of time. “It is not hard,” Leo says. “But it really is certainly time-consuming. The steaming procedure on your own normally takes 6 to 8 several hours on the stove.”

Apologies to People in america, as some of the steps are metric. Below is a excellent conversion web site if you want to give the recipe a go:

Aunt Eliza’s Victorian Xmas Pudding

Helps make 1 x 600g pudding

Serves 4-6


75g currants

75g raisins or sultanas

100g pitted prunes, quartered

25g chopped mixed peel

10g blanched almonds, cut into slithers

1½ tbsp brandy

1½ tbsp dim rum

55g simple flour

55g ‘fresh’ white breadcrumbs (from a stale loaf is high-quality but don’t use dried)

50g darkish brown sugar

45g vegetable or beef suet

1 tsp blended spice

Pinch of salt

1 big egg

2-4 tbsp milk

Butter for greasing

1 x 600ml pudding basin 

Foil and greaseproof paper to make the lid

1 massive saucepan if possible with a steamer basket


Set the dried fruit (like the combined peel) and the almonds in a massive bowl.

Stir in the brandy and rum. Depart to marinate for at minimum a single hour or overnight if achievable.

Grease your pudding basin effectively with butter.

Combine the flour, breadcrumbs, sugar, suet, combined spice and salt into the dried fruit. 

Beat the egg and 2 tbsp milk alongside one another.

Stir into the fruit and flour combination right up until carefully merged. It need to be dropping regularity. Add more milk if you consider the combination is too stiff.

Spoon into the ready basin.

Exchange the lid then steam for 6-8 several hours.

Let to neat, then refrigerate until expected or shop in a amazing put like a larder.

If you’d like to make this in a 450g foil pudding basin lower the prunes to 75g, the flour and breadcrumbs to 50g and the suet to 40g. You can lessen the cooking time to 4½-6 hours.

To reheat your pudding: Steam the pudding all over again for 1 hour on Xmas Day prior to serving.

Originally released as “A Good Plum Pudding,” reposted with authorization from foods historian, author and prepare dinner Sam Bilton.

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