Even if you don't like dried fruit, you'll agree this Christmas pudding is special and delicious. There's no sugar added, and no spices, either—it's perfect as is! Serve with vanilla ice cream, heavy cream, or crème anglaise.

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Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary test

prep:
50 mins
additional:
8 hrs
cook:
4 hrs 5 mins
total:
12 hrs 55 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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A Truly Regal Holiday Dessert 

I'm not British, so I didn't grow up eating Christmas pudding, but as a young boy signing in the school chorus, I did participate in a Madrigal Concert every year at Christmas. It was a basically a holiday-themed buffet dinner with us students providing the free entertainment. We literally had to sing for our supper. And yes, I still know all the words to "Scarborough Fair."  

The highlight of the evening was a procession through the dinning hall, where a rather large Christmas pudding was paraded around while we sang some song I can't remember. After which, the pudding was cut and served, and everybody hated it. Or, at least us kids did, and we couldn't figure out why the adults seemed to be enjoying it so much. Eventually, we figured out it was probably all that wassail they drank. 

Anyway, despite not being a fan at a young age, I do love The Great British Baking Show, and I'm huge fans of both Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson. And after seeing them present versions of this impressive steamed fruitcake over the years, I decided to give it a go, and I was very happy with the results.  So happy in fact, I deemed it "fit for a Queen," as the name would indicate. This has a great texture, a lovely taste, and contains no added sugar, and I really do hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy! 

Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Select a heat-proof bowl of any size or shape and generously grease with butter.

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  • Combine dates, apricots, currants, raisins, cranberries, ginger, whiskey, orange zest, and orange juice in a mixing bowl. Toss thoroughly to combine.

  • Pour in melted butter and stir until everything is evenly coated. Mix in egg, heavy cream, and buttermilk. Add salt, pecans, bread crumbs, and flour and mix until batter is very thick and sticky.

  • Transfer dough to the prepared bowl and press it down to flatten with a spatula. Place a circle of parchment paper over the top and press down to seal. Stretch 2 pieces of plastic wrap over the bowl, then place the bowl on a third piece of plastic wrap. Bring the ends up and over the bowl and seal tightly. Cover the bowl with 2 pieces of foil, then tie a piece of string around and secure tightly.

  • Place in the refrigerator, 8 hours to overnight.

  • Lay rosemary sprigs in the bottom of a large Dutch oven. Place the wrapped pudding on the rosemary sprigs and fill the Dutch oven halfway with water.

  • Place over high heat, cover, and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, reduce heat to medium and steam, covered, for 4 hours, checking every hour to see if you need to add more water.

  • Use kitchen towels and carefully lift the pudding out of the Dutch oven. Snip the string, take off the foil, remove the plastic wrap, and peel off the parchment. Place a plate over the bowl and invert the pudding to unmold.

  • Brush maple syrup over top. Cut and serve immediately.

Chef's Notes:

When chopping your dried fruit, grease the sides of your knife with a little vegetable oil so the fruit doesn't stick as much.

You can use a clementine or a couple of tangerines for the orange, regular milk plus the juice of ½ medium lemon for the buttermilk, and any nut of choice for the pecans.

Pudding can be cooked immediately if need be, but better if left to rest.

You can use chopsticks instead of rosemary sprigs, and golden syrup instead of maple syrup.

Nutrition Facts

717 calories; fat 33.9g; cholesterol 82.7mg; sodium 216.5mg; carbohydrates 101g; protein 9g. Full Nutrition
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Reviews

Rating: 5 stars
12/25/2021
I never made a Christmas pudding before. In fact, I only had a vague idea what it was. But I really like it. It's fruity, soft and perfect for a cold Christmas day. I replaced the bourbon with a single malt and it worked quite well. It takes a bit of measuring and mixing but it's a simple recipe. I served it with a vanilla custard. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
12/11/2021
Way to expensive to make by the time I was done buying the fruit I was already in about 50 bucks. But each to their own bet it's delicious but it's gonna be a hard pass for me. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
12/27/2021
This was really fun to make and delicious! My boyfriend and I prepared it the night before and used a pyrex bowl in a dutch oven. I only added dates, currants, and raisins and omitted the ginger and brandy (to save money). I hope the plum pudding gods are not ashamed of my changes. My boyfriend is afraid of plastic wrap so I just used foil. Perfectly sealed, no leaks! We topped it off with a very sweet plum pudding cream sauce recipe I found online. It was so fun to make and eveyone loved it. We are eating the leftovers but it really was best right out of the steamer. Thank you, Chef John! Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
12/26/2021
Not bad. Do not feel pressured to put all the fruit this calls for! I did because Chef John mentioned how good it tasted even if you don't usually like dried fruit. After trying it, stick with the fruit you like and put that in. Forget the ginger if you don't like it usually, etc. I like dates, but I would skip those too maybe. I really liked the raisins and currants. I also think with less fruit, I'd consider adding flavor in other ways like extracts or spices. Also, unless you're cooking for 6 or more people, I'd half this recipe. This is a lot of pudding. I made this gluten-free with King Arthur's All-Purpose gluten-free flour and some gluten-free bread blended into crumbs. I also subbed the cream and buttermilk with coconut cream and lemon juice. I really liked the cakey part. It still came out good with the substitutions. I forgot to butter the bowl, so it fell apart coming out, but that's okay since it's very soft. I just shaped it back together. It is better eaten warm. I think if I tried this again, I would add another egg to help it stick together more as a gluten-free desert. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
12/26/2021
Terrific. Having never made an English pudding before I was a little skeptical, but it turned out great. I didn't add bourbon, so I increased the amount of OJ. I included dried cherries and blueberries, since I am the Groot of my dried fruit. Per the recipe, I refrigerated it overnight, steamed it for four hours but since it was ready well before Christmas dinner, I popped each slice in the microwave before serving. The vanilla ice cream was a nice touch. Thanks CJ! Read More