Friday, December 02, 2011

a Christmas Pudding

Once thing I really wanted to try making this year
was a Christmas pudding...I just didn't
realize that Stir Up Sunday
was the Sunday before Advent :)
So, a little late, I have put together
a Christmas pudding
to be enjoyed here on Christmas Eve.
Not knowing where to begin as far as
a recipe, I did a google search and ended
up choosing
Since this is my first try at the pudding,
I am wondering if 'store in a cool dry place'
means the refrigerator?
And, should I serve it flaming?...that scares me
a little...:)
Any expert Christmas pudding makers' advice
would be greatly appreciated!


  1. I would love to make one of those puddings. Would have to use gluten free flours. Hmmm...might be worth a try. I like your old fashion flour sifter and scale!

  2. Taketimefortea5:55 PM

    Deb, I have used brandy to flame it. I keep mine in the mold in the fridge:-)  Did you use beef suet?

  3. Enchantedthings6:08 PM

    Where you have it seems okay, I usually put mine in calico and hang it, in Australia we always worry about it going moldy as we are entering warm weather...if you are worried then putting it in the fridge would be fine I think. As for the flames, never heard of it!  So just reboiling it for the suggested time for its size would be all you need to do....making sure it does not leak. Good on you for giving a pudding a go....Im sure it will be lovely with some thick cream and custard!

  4. Seasider6:30 PM

    Like Enchantedthings, I'm from Australia I always make my puddings in calico (muslin in the US) and hang it - usually in the laundry - to dry out. I make mine in October, and once it's dry, I keep it in the freezer until a day or two before Christmas, then bring it out to thaw.

    If you're making it in calico, cut the calico into a large circle,pour boiling water over it, then shake flour all over. Then place the calico in a basin with the sides hanging over, then spoon in the mixture. Bring all ends together and tie, making sure you leave ends of the string which you tie into a loop for pulling out of the saucepan. 

    Your recipe no doubt has directions on how long to cook it initially and then to reheat it on Christmas day. I have been known to reheat mine in the microwave!! Brandy over it sounds wonderful, though I wouldn't be walking to the table with it flaming .. maybe light it at the table. Good luck - love your photos by the way.

  5. Seasider6:36 PM

    After all that, I see you have it in a pudding mold. Well forget the calico instructions :). I've never made it in a mold so don't know how you dry it. I don't think it would be any problem with your climate though maybe British readers would know better. 

  6. Susanryan4111:08 PM

    After I've steamed mine the first time, I change the greaseproof paper and muslin and store them in a tin in the basement.  I wouldn't put them in the fridge.  If you have more than one and don't eat them all this Christmas, you can keep them for another year.  I have two left from last year.  I periodically feed them some brandy to keep them moist.  I always turn out the lights and light my puddings. Adds to the flavour and it wouldn't be a Christmas pudding without the flames.  Hope you'll be serving it with brandy butter!

  7. I love Christmas pudding but there is no Suet and no lard here do you think I could use butter instead?

  8. According to the one and only truely great Delia Smith, a good place to store your pudding is in a cool place away from the light. And she stores her's under the bed in her unheated guest bedroom! Here's the link to her recipe:

  9. wendy.wilson3217:45 AM

    Hi I aint no expert but I am British and I make a Christmas Pudding every year! Dont store it in the fridge, a cool cupboard is all you want. Just make sure it is well wrapped, I wrap mine in two layer of greaseproof paper then a layer of foil. As for flaming it, you only spoon a small amount of brandy over the top then light, it it will go out as soon as the alcohol burns out. Serve it with lots of brandy or rum sauce and enjoy! You can 'feed' it with more alcohol as you would a Christmas Cake, just make sure you rewrap it properly. If its well stored your pudding will keep for months...thats if theres any left!!
    Hugs from York, England
    Wendy x

  10. I didn't use the beef suet, but read elsewhere that butter could be substituted so I used the butter-do you think this changes things much?


  11. Thank you so much! I didn't know about hanging the pudding in seems this year's pudding will be a bit of an experiment :-)


  12. Thank you so much for all the information. I was completely ignorant of the hanging/muslin method-I now have a fear of my poor pudding getting moldy :-)
    And I really am getting a late start compared to yours in October!


  13. I had put mine in the basement also-but it is in a bowl with the parchment paper tied around the top of the bowl; do you think I need worry about it molding?


  14. Cathy, I used butter-somewhere in my research I read that it was an acceptable substitution-not sure how the results will compare with using suet.


  15. Thank you Ann! I'm going to check out that link.


  16. Wendy, thanks so much for the information. I have my pudding in a bowl with parchment paper tied over the top. I had put it in the basement where it is cool-but I'm not sure if I need worry about it getting moldy? The rum sauce sounds wonderful-I'm going to look for a recipe for that :-)


  17. wendy.wilson3218:53 AM

    As long
    as its well sealed it won’t go mouldy, your basement will be fine under a bed
    in an unheated bedroom is an ideal place - just make sure its away from the light!

    my recipe for Rum Sauce, the quantity of rum is a guideline only ( I must
    confess that I add a wee bit more, but taste as you go!), you can also
    substitute rum for brandy. I make mine now and freeze (one less job on the big
    day!), then I take it out on Christmas Eve and defrost it overnight in the


    Serves 6



    60G (2 ½

    60G (2 ½


    50G (2




    the butter in a medium saucepan with the flour.  Pour in the milk, then, using a balloon whisk,
    whisk everything vigorously together over a medium heat.  As soon as it comes to simmering point and has
    thickened, turn the heat right down to its lowest setting, stir in the sugar
    and let the sauce cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes.  Stir now and then to prevent it from sticking
    to the bottom.

    After that, add the rum and cream and transfer to a freezer container.  Cover the surface of the sauce with clingfilm
    to stop a skin forming.  Leave until
    cold, then cover with a lid and freeze.  Alternatively,
    you can freeze the sauce in a freezer bag.


    I hope you try it, let me know what you think!!

    Hugs Wendy x

  18. Thanks Wendy! I’ve emailed you directly.


  19. Susanryan4110:42 AM

    I've never heard of a pudding going moldy and I come from the British Isles - doesn't get much damper than that!  I think it'll be fine and delicious.  If you want to try another recipe, I can send you the one I do every year.  It's been so popular that they now package it as a 'kit' in supermarkets.  All this talk of Christmas puds is making me look forward to mine even more!  It goes really well with mince pies and brandy butter, or just plain cream.  Yum!

  20. Susan, thank you for the reassurance-I will not worry about it going moldy now :-) I would certainly love to try your recipe-no rush, whenever it's convenient.


  21. Seasider12:04 PM

    On the butter question, I've always made mine with butter, I don't know if you can get suet here. They have always been quite delicious! You probably won't have trouble with mould .. it's the humidity in summer here that makes them go that way, hence the drying and putting in the fridge. Love the sound of rum butter .. we usually have a bit of brandy butter and custard.

  22. Mmm, brandy butter and custard sounds wonderful-I can hardly wait for the pudding unveiling :-)


  23. Rose Marshall5:04 PM

    Now that's a brave piece of cooking! Deb, like the other British and Aussie girls, I would say your pud is going to be fine. The butter is a fine substitute on traditional suet -- most people don't use suet any more.

    The pud was traditionally hung so that moisture would drip out and it would dry out a tad but we create the same environment with a fridge or freezer these days. In your part of the world at this time of year an unheated room would be fine for its storage as would the parchment paper for covering.

    When serving lighting brandy is a bit of fun, most people don't bother, some do. Enjoy!

  24. Uminchugrammy11:56 AM

    I was looking at your pictures and noticed your recipe's just like mine. I inherited it from my grandmother. When she was downsizing into a retirement community she asked me if I would like it. I think of her everytime I see it.

  25. Susanryan418:48 PM

    Debbie,  I see Ann has posted the link to Delia Smith's website.  That is the recipe I always use.  You can get suet from the butcher if you have one or you can get it here:  They have a light vegetarian version.  I'm not sure how they make 'light' suet - seems like a bit of an oxymoron!  Delia also has several recipes for mince pies.  This is a traditional one:
    The britishfoodshop also has mincemeat.  I like the plain old Robertsons.

  26. Leslierottne3:47 PM

    Being raised in a Scottish family Christmas just isn't Christmas without Christmas pudding.  We have it on Christmas day after dinner, flamming (a must), with all of us singing Silent Night.  Don't forget the hard sauce!

  27. Leslie, thank you for sharing your pudding traditions-I think the singing is a beautiful touch! Merry Christmas to you.


  28. Susan, thank you for the links! Maybe mince pies will be my next endeavor :-)


  29. I wish I had my grandma's recipe box!-mine was found at a tag sale.


  30. Thank you Rose! I just love all the advice and stories I have received on the Christmas pudding.


  31. Karen Andregg8:00 PM

    Debbie I seem to have missed the recipe and I would like to try it...where do you have it posted.  When we were little (70) plus years ago my Mother used to make carrot pudding and that was good with lemon sauce.  

    Thanks Debbie.

  32. Can I ask some advice please?

    I made two Christmas puddings last year ( I always make 2 every other year and store one till the next Christmas). They have always been fine. I stored this pudding in a different cupboard as we moved house. I have just opened and checked it and one side of the top is covered in a fine brown dust. Is this just crystallised sugars etc. or is it mouldy? I've never seen mould on a pudding and can't find any info about what it would look like! Any advice appreciated. Thanks.

  33. Can I ask some advice please?

    I make 2 Christmas pudding every other year and always store one till next year. I just unwrapped my stored pudding and found half (one side) of the top to be covered in brown dust. Is this crystallised sugars etc or mould? I've never seen mould on a pudding and not sure what it would look like. We moved house so cupboard may be warmer etc. than last house. Can't find any mention of mould colour on the web - has anyone had experience with this dust?

    Any advice much appreciated thanks.


Thank you for taking time to leave a comment--I love reading each and every one! I will try to answer any questions you have in the comment section. Due to the amount of spam, I am sadly no longer able to accept Anonymous comments....Kindly, Deb


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