Food Monday ~ Nana’s Christmas Pudding

Nana’s Christmas Pudding (No suet)
2x2pint Bowls greased well

8oz Butter
8oz Brown Sugar
2oz Plain Flour
¼ teaspoon each: Nutmeg, Cinnamon and Mixed Spice
8ozs Bread Crumbs
3 large Eggs
18oz Dried Fruit
1 large cooking Apple, chopped
2oz Nuts
3oz Candied Peel
2oz Cherries
1 grated carrot
Juice & Rind of 1 Orange
½ glass Spirits
Stout to moisten

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well using your hands – part of the mystery of Christmas! Add the stout a little at a time to moisten the mixture. Finally stir ½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda into a little milk last thing and add to the pudding mixture and mix well. Divide between the two bowls. Cover with a double layer of greased greaseproof paper and tie well. Place each bowl in a saucepan of boiling water making sure the water does not cover the bowls. Boil for 5 hours topping up the water level at intervals. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. Boil 2 further hours before use. This second boiling can be done a week or so before Christmas and the pudding heated on the day.

19 thoughts on “Food Monday ~ Nana’s Christmas Pudding

  1. cathy

    Thanks, Grannymar, this one I’m clipping and printing. My MIL used to make great puddings, but unfortunately didn’t pass on the recipe. I’m making yours this Christmas! When would you recommend making the pudding? And how do you store it while you wait?

  2. Grannymar

    Hi Cathy

    We always made the puddings before the end of October. It got rid of all that steam in the kitchen befor the pre-Christmas clean down!

    After the first boiling the bowls were set to cool on a baking rack. Remove the greasproof and when cold recover with a fresh paper lid all ready for the second boiling. Store in a cool dry place, no need to take up Fridge space unless you have industrial version.

    Second boiling was often 10 days to a week before Christmas repeating above. Then it only remains to heat the pudding on the day, by steaming, in the oven or microwave!

  3. steph

    The ingredients look delicious, Grannymar

    Steph’s Christmas Pudding…

    Get bus to town

    Buy Christmas pud in favourite food shop

    Store in cool place until ready to eat 😀

    Seriously though…

    I made my own Christmas puds for years in the days when I had access to my MIL’s ‘Aga’. These days I find it hard to justify the 7-8 hours of fuel consumption on my little gas hob.

    But you can’t beat a home-made pud!

  4. steph

    @ Elly

    Nope! Not M&S although they do have good Christmas fare.

    For the last 5 years approx, I’ve bought my pud at the Avoca Shop food hall (Suffolk Street, Dublin & Kilmacanogue, Wicklow).

    They’re expensive enough (choice of small, medium & large) but very tasty and the nearest thing I can find to making my own.

    But you have to be fast off the mark as they sell like hotcakes!

    Last year, I was late going to purchase mine and the shop was sold out. When the lady saw the disappointment on my face, she went off and found me one ‘hidden away’ somewhere.

    I didn’t dare tell her that we don’t usually eat ours at Christmas time 🙄

    I prefer to keep it for when the cupboard is otherwise bare 😀

  5. Magpie11

    When we were kids it was always Mrs Peak’s Christmas pudding but herself cooks her own and always makes several. A very similar recipe.
    The puds to be stored for up to four years…yes four…are doused with brandy in the basin before being covered as above. Always with a pleat in the greaseproof paper to allow for expansion and steam! I’m dieing to make a cannon-ball shaped one some day!

    This year is scheduled for pud making…the Cakes being out of the way including all the orders that were taken after my birthday!!!

  6. Grannymar

    *note to self* If I get pudding at Stephs’… don’t ask for seconds ’cause the cupboard will be bare! 🙄

    @Magpie – I often thought about making a cannon-ball shaped pudding. Worried I might not grease the cloth properly to seal out the water.

    I like a nicely moist turkey for the big day , cold again the next and don’t want to see it for the rest of the year. I don’t cook it for one when I am on my own.

    @Elly – Nearly time you did it again in case you forget! 🙄

  7. Baino

    Sorry Grannymar, I could never get into the christmas pud. I remember my mother making it as a child and about this time of year. Stirring in sixpenses and hanging the thing in a muslin cloth until December – just couldn’t bring myself to eat it. I guess the joy is in the making.

  8. Grannymar

    I miss the mixing, making and the chat with my grandmother singing a song about the ingredients. Alas I can’t recall the lyrics.
    I also preferred pudding to the cake!

  9. Will Knott

    The tradition in our family was to make 2 puddings.
    One would be served at Christmas, the other would be kept until Easter.

    Both the puddings and the cake would be made months in advance, and every week each would receive a tot of whiskey to act as a preservative, and to ensure that no one would be driving that night.

    We only did one attempt to “light” the pudding. The smoke alarm never recovered.

  10. Grannymar


    Mammy made about 4 puddings in the year. If the bowls looked that they were over full, with not enough room for expansion while cooking, a few spoonfuls were put in a very small bowl and that was for the cooks! 😉 We had the chance to taste it when the puddings were finished the first boiling. Being small it didn’t require those extra hours!

    We had a pudding on Christmas Day, New Years Day and St Patrick’s Day. The last one was held over, like in Steph’s house, for emergency dessert when the hoards descended!

    Some years the extra puddings were stored until the next Christmas, with regular checking and oiling (with booze) throughout the year!

  11. Deirdre

    I made Delia Smiths recipe to the T for two years running and have been disappointed. I used plastic pudding bowls, suet and steamed for 8 hrs. And this year dumped them 🙁 I took great care for 8 hrs topping up the puds as they steamed. I was very careful with how I wrapped them and even let them ‘dry’ out before re wrapping. Still, they were wet, and had a greasy film. I bought 3 ceramic pudding bowls the other day and am looking at new recipes (searched for Avoca) but your recipe doesn’t ask to steep overnight which has me curious? Also I am hearing the ceramic pots can be baked in waterbath for less thatn 8 hrs. Any opinions? Thanks

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