Christmas Pudding

Remember to soak in brandy and flambé!

I am the sole heir of a Christmas pudding recipe handed down through the generations. While Margaret was alive, she referred to it as her family’s secret recipe and I was the only person with whom she shared it. Over the years, I have faithfully followed the recipe and have delighted many friends both in Australia and overseas with this traditional Christmas treat.

I always think of recipes in terms of the person who shared it with me. Each time I make a dish, it is infused with love for, and memories of, the person who was kind enough to share their skill and knowledge with me. It is a true act of friendship to hand someone the gift of a great recipe. I hardly ever use commercially printed cookbooks, but I always return to the scraps of paper with scribbled recipes that friends have shared. Not only does it bring joy to think of people who have accompanied me at points in my life, it also brings joy to the people who are in my life now. A recipe is a gift of paying it forward.

I have never cared much for keeping secrets. Now that I am the sole guardian of Margaret’s Christmas Pudding recipe, I wonder about the felicity of the secret. Imagine if our forebears had kept recipes for bread or wine a secret. Would we have national cuisines if all recipes were fiercely guarded or just family feuds over the best dishes?

I don’t want to be the last in line to make this adaptation of a great Christmas pudding. The recipe is too good for that. My apologies darling Margaret but the secret is out.

                                                Christmas Pudding

6 oz breadcrumbs
2 oz flour
4 oz butter
½ lb sultanas
½ lb currants
4 oz raisins
2 oz glacé cherries
1 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated)
½ tsp mixed spice
½ lb brown sugar
2 eggs
¼ pint stout
½ cup grated carrots
1 tsp marmalade
½ cup warm milk
Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tsp bicarb

Mix butter and sugar until smooth. Mix all dry ingredients except spices and bicarb. Dissolve latter in warm milk, add lemon juice, rind and add beaten eggs and stout. Mix all ingredients together. Cover and leave. Stir again and if dry, add more milk and stout.

Cook for 5 hours in buttered pudding container with a tight lid, lined with grease proof paper. Serve hot.

11 thoughts on “Christmas Pudding”

  1. As usual food for the heart and mind. Yes like plants or cuttings, recipes are delightful memory nudgers and interestingly your plum pudding bears resemblance to mine which came quite a complex path to its present state At this point I am getting determined reminders that it’s been a long cooped up afternoon and two dogs are desperate for a breath of fresh air….. Xxx



    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the idea of plants or cuttings having the same function. Recently, when my beautiful friend Colleen died, her children suggested planting something in our gardens which will remind us of her. She was a keen gardener and her place was always full of colour!


    1. Wow, was I delighted to see, as I was reading, the recipe appear below. I think Margaret would be secretly (pun intended) pleased to know that her recipe was about to give so many more people joy. I’m making it soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am going to try this, it looked doable until I got to, “Cook for five hours.” Is that in the oven or simmered in water please? Thanks for sharing!


    1. Ah, a writer without clarity! I will have to go back and edit. This is a boiled pudding so the pudding pot has with its tight lid has to sit in simmering water, about a centimetre or two from the top. You will need to top it up regularly but make sure not to get water into the mixture. All the best, Liz!


  3. I do love Christmas pudding and have made them with many recipes… but NOT our family recipe from Scotland in as I cannot bear the thought of suet! I love that this one is in ounces, just as I used to bake things too when in the UK. Happy memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Margaret changed the suet to butter and reduced the sugar somewhat from the original recipe handed down to her. I’ve kept it in ounces as this was how it was given to me. I love the freshly grated nutmeg in this.


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