MUM’S Christmas pudding recipe

With Christmas just a month away, it’s a little late in the year to be making your Christmas pudding, but I believe still better to make your own than buy.  If you’re going to eat a Christmas pudding, much better to take time and make it with love in your own kitchen, to know the quality of the dried fruits and ingredients. In our family, cooking the Christmas pudding has traditionally been a job only done by mum. Since I was a small child, my job has always been to stir the mix, and to stick my thumb in and pull it out a taste the mix for luck for the year to come. I still have a collection of silver that goes into the pudding too – for the lucky few to find once it’s time for eating.

Christmas Pudding

1 3/4 lb (920g) mixed dried fruit
4oz (125g) shredded dried peel
3 tablespoons rum
8oz (250g) butter
8oz (250g) brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
4 eggs
1 medium size grated carrot
1 small grated apple
4oz (125g) breadcrumbs
2oz (60g) chopped blanched almonds
6oz (185g) plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice

(At least a day before you’d like to make the pudding, cover a tray with the dried fruits and sprinkle with the rum. – this is not in the recipe – this is something I’ve watched mum do every year … the longer you can soak the fruits – days or weeks or even months – the better the pudding will be)

Cream butter and brown sugar, then add orange and lemon rinds. Beat in eggs one at a time and mix well. Mix in dried fruits, and grated carrot and apple. Fold in the breadcrumbs, almonds and other dry ingredients. (this is where the original recipe in mum’s hand written book says to add the rum). Mix together well and allow to stand for at least an hour.

Fill into a greased pudding bowl. Tie floured pudding cloth securely over the top. (mum uses a layer of baking paper, and a layer of aluminium foil tied around the rim of the pudding bowl – and over the top only). Plunge into boiling water and boil rapidly for 5 hours. Top up the boiling water in the pan as required.

On the day, boil 2 to 2 1/2 hours before serving.

Growing up in Australia we ate this family recipe throughout our lives until last year, when we changed the focus of our Christmas to more local seasonal foods. We made this Upside Down Summer Pudding with Panettone and Champagne Zabaione instead. That was the first year mum didn’t make our pudding and then mum passed away this year. Perhaps, we’ll make Christmas pudding again next year. If you try her recipe, I hope you like it. Merry Christmas.

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Comments for this article

14 Responses to “MUM’S Christmas pudding recipe”

  1. Michelle says:
    November 22, 2010 at 10:55 am

    have never made a pudding – we are hosting our family for Christmas for the first time since 2002 and I’d like to have a go at one – first chance I’ll get is probably around Dec 5 – is that too late? How do you store it after you make it prior to Christmas day? I feel like I have a memory of puddings hanging around strung from the ceiling… thanks
    PS so sorry for your loss – I imagine Christmas will bring joy from your memories and sadness from your loss.

    • Rebecca Varidel
      Rebecca Varidel says:
      November 25, 2010 at 1:59 pm

      Hi Michelle. Hope you enjoy the making and the eating. We don’t use the cloth method, just put the pudding in a greased and heatproof mixing bowl and cover with greaseproof paper and aluminium foil and tie with string (a couple of times around). Because of Sydney’s heat and humidity at this time of year, mum always stored our cooked pudding in the ‘fridge until it was time to reheat on Christmas Day.

  2. Penny says:
    January 16, 2011 at 6:36 am

    Hi Rebecca, Thank you for posting your Mum’s Christmas Pudding recipe on here – it’s perfect. I made it for my family this Christmas and it was so delicious that I have been given the job of pudding maker every year from now on! I hope you had a beautiful Christmas and New Year.

    • Rebecca Varidel
      Rebecca Varidel says:
      January 16, 2011 at 6:47 am

      oh Penny I really can’t tell you how much I appreciate this comment which has truthfully brought a little tear to my eye. Thank you yes the first Christmas without mum was quite challenging, and she was missed, but our family had a lovely time. Here’s to 2011.

  3. Lizzy (Good Things) says:
    November 3, 2011 at 6:22 am

    Hiya Rebecca, such a lovely post, particularly of the photo of you and your mum. A very special recipe indeed and thank you so much for sharing it!

    • Rebecca Varidel
      Rebecca Varidel says:
      November 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm

      thanks Lizzy. that’s the last photo we have of mum – by chance it is one of us together in the gardens at Bells at Killcare. luckily one of the staff there said “Let me take a photo of you together. You never know what’s going to happen in the future.” sure enough I am so very pleased she took the photo for us.

  4. Andrew Thomson says:
    October 20, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Our family recipe requires coffee to be added.

    • Rebecca Varidel
      Rebecca Varidel says:
      October 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm

      Thanks Andrew I really like the sound of that!

  5. Gretchen says:
    November 29, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Thanks so much for posting this Rebecca! I’ve just made this recipe in preparation for a big family Christmas with my partner’s family. Being from the USA, I had never even tried a pudding before coming to Melbourne five years ago. This is my first homemade pudding and I don’t know if it will last until Christmas day, the batter alone tastes incredible. I searched all over the net for a recipe and I’m so glad to have found this one (the carrot and apple won me over). I did add some cinnamon, and I soaked my fruit in 1/2 c brandy for about 3 weeks. Now I just have to wait to eat it. Thanks again!

    • Rebecca Varidel
      Rebecca Varidel says:
      November 29, 2012 at 6:16 pm

      Cooeee Gretchen and well done. I hope you and you and your partner’s family enjoy! Have a Merry Christmas.

  6. Karen Wildman says:
    November 20, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Hi, I made this pudding in July for our Xmas in July party. It was the first time I’d made a pudding and it was so so good. It was so big I thought I’d be able to keep at least 1/2 if it for our real Xmas. But the leftovers were demolished in about a week! So I’m making it again for my Mum and another one for my mother-in-law. Thanks so much for posting the recipe, your Mum would be pretty happy to know so many people are using her recipe I reckon :)

    • Rebecca Varidel
      Rebecca Varidel says:
      November 21, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      Hi Karen, feeling very sentimental reading this. I really appreciate you taking the time to let me know. And I’m really glad you like the pudding. How very lovely to connect with you over a family recipe, one which I grew up eating every year. x

  7. Kath says:
    November 24, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Hi Karen.
    Love the sound of your Mum’s cake ,
    can you please tell me how many it will serve..Thanks

    • Rebecca Varidel
      Rebecca Varidel says:
      November 26, 2013 at 2:25 pm

      Hi there. It’s a rich pudding and can serve as many guests as you can fit around your table. 16, 20 … or give you lots of yummy leftovers :)

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