Of course, best puddings are made by grandmas and my family is not any different. The legends about gran’s pud are passed through generations. What a pity those priceless family recipes are often lost and the grand pudding is replaced by convenient substitute from a supermarket.

No wonder though. You got to be well organized to make a good Christmas pudding in time for festive celebrations as it takes weeks feeding with alcohol to mature and develop its distinctive flavour.  But if you want to make this Christmas very special, then this is your gentle reminder “it is about time”. So pour yourself a small glass of brandy to start the festive mood rolling and get cracking. It is 6 weeks to Christmas!



  • 110g butter or suet
  • 50g self-raising flour
  • 110g white bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 225g soft dark brown sugar
  • 150g raisins
  • 150g sultanas
  • 150g curants
  • 25g candied peel
  • 25h chopped almonds
  • 1/2 orange zest and juice
  • 1/2 lemon zest and juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150ml dark ale
  • 3tbsp brandy



Place all your dried fruit  into a large mixing bowl and add ale, orange and lemon juice and brandy. Cover and leave to marinate overnight.

Mix all your dry ingredients. Add melted butter (obviously don’t melt suet, add with dry ingredients) and lightly beaten eggs. Finally, add the marinated fruit and give it a good mix (or get your family and friends to take turns in stirring whilst making their Christmas wishes)

Place the mixture into the 2lb greased pudding basin. Cover with greaseproof paper and aluminium foil and tie securely with string.

Put an old plate at the bottom of a saucepan big enough to fit the pudding basin. This will  stop the pudding  burning. Place your pudding into the saucepan and half fill with water. Simmer for 7h frequently checking the water level so it will not boil dry.

Remove the pudding from the steamer and let it cool down. Peel off the paper and pour a couple of teaspoons of brandy or port on top of the pudding. Replace greaseproof paper and cover up tightly.

Store in a dry, cold place until Christmas, occasionally feeding with some liqueur.