“THE” Christmas Pudding Recipe.


WARNING: This recipe makes 1 gross (144) of 2 Lb puddings - as I have done most years between 1985 and 2011! You will need to scale down the recipe to make ‘domestic’ quantities!


18 Lbs organic plain flour

1 Lb organic ground cinnamon

1 Lb organic ground allspice

15 nutmegs - grated or ground

36 Lbs vegetable suet

36 Lbs organic, wholemeal, breadcrumbs

72 organic unwaxed lemons (grated rind and juice of)

18 Lbs soft muscovado sugar

18 Lbs flaked almonds

36 Lbs organic raisins

36 Lbs organic sultanas

36 Lbs organic currants

18 Lbs organic dried prunes (weight after stoning)

12 Lbs black treacle or organic molasses

12 Lbs golden syrup

11 pints rum

36 pints light golden ale (I used to use Duchy Organic pale ale or Waitrose own-brand organic amber ale)

24 dozen (288) eggs


Mix the dry ingredients together thoroughly, making sure that the flour coats all the fruits to stop them ‘clumping’ together. (By far the easiest way to do this is to tip all the fruit, prunes and grated lemon rind included, into your mixing vessel, then add the flour and spices, and mix really well before you add anything else, then add the rest of the dry ingredients, with the breadcrumbs last.)

Warm the treacle / molasses and the golden syrup together in a pan until they are very runny. (I used to put all the tins of treacle and syrup in the oven at gas mark 1 for 15 minutes, then pour the very-liquid contents into a preserving pan over a low flame.) 

Add the lemon juice, rum and ale and keep over the heat until all are thoroughly combined, then pour over the dry ingredients and mix very well.

Beat the eggs together lightly and add to the mixture, mixing in well.

Let stand for at least 2 hours, then mix again (the mixture will now be extremely heavy).

Pack the mixture into 2 Lb pudding basins (if you are making a large number of puddings do this by weight, not by volume) and tie on covers or fit lids if provided.

Steam the puddings in a large pan, with water coming about two-thirds of the way up the basins, for about 5 hours.

NOTE: when I have made large number of puddings - sometime up to 500 in a year - I break the mixture down into sufficient for batches of one dozen puddings at once (divide everything above by 12). In a Devonshire preserving pan you can mix that quantity with relative ease using a wooden, catering chef’s, paddle. You can also steam puddings in batches of 12, stacked in three layers of 4 puddings, in a Baby Burco electric tea urn if you have access to one, or in the same Devonshire sitting over all four burners of a domestic gas cooker. The Burco need only be switched to the lowest setting once the water has boiled and on a gas stove you can switch off two of the four burners, leaving two diagonally opposite ones lit at their lowest setting, once the water is simmering.