Pear Christmas pudding recipe

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Decadent and full of flavour, this pear Christmas pudding is our nutty twist on the classic. Fresh fruit transforms this pud into a much lighter dish.

(Image credit: TI Media UK)
Serves8–8
SkillMedium
Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time3 hours 30 mins
Total Time4 hours
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories949 Kcal47%
Fat31 g44%
Saturated Fat10 g50%
Carbohydrates173 g67%

This pear Christmas pudding makes enough for two puddings so is ideal for a large Christmas family get-together.

Decadent and full of flavour, this pear, ginger, and walnut Christmas pudding is our nutty twist on the classic. Pear adds a touch of freshness to what can be a dense pudding, while ginger supplies lovely warm notes and walnuts add a nice bite. It’s so moist we don’t think you’ll need to add lashings of cream or brandy sauce.

Ingredients

  • 300g (10oz) mixed dried fruit
  • 200ml (7 oz) brandy
  • 100g (31⁄2oz) chopped walnuts
  • 400g (14oz) grated pear (about 3 pears)
  • 200g (7oz) pack candied peel
  • 100g (31⁄2oz) stem ginger, roughly chopped
  • Zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 6 eggs
  • 200g (7oz) pack shredded suet or grated fresh suet
  • 1tbsp ground mixed spice
  • 1tbsp ground ginger
  • 250g (9oz) dark muscovado sugar
  • 250g (9oz) breadcrumbs
  • 175g (6oz) plain flour

For the topping

  • 75g (21⁄2oz) walnut halves, plus extra to decorate
  • 1⁄2tbsp brandy, plus extra to flame
  • 21⁄2tbsp ginger syrup from the stem ginger jar
  • Edible gold leaf, to decorate (optional)
  • 2 x 1.25-litre (2-pint) pudding basins

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Method

  1. Place the dried fruit in a large, non-metallic bowl, pour over the brandy, stir well and cover with cling lm. If you have time, leave for 2-3 days, stirring occasionally.
  2. To prepare the pudding basins, cut out 2 circles of greaseproof paper the size of the top of each basin. Make a cut in the centre of each to allow the pudding to expand, and set aside. Add the remaining pudding ingredients to the fruit and brandy mix, and combine well.
  3. For the topping, combine the walnuts, brandy and ginger syrup, and spoon half into each basin. Pack the pudding mixture into the 2 basins, pressing down lightly. Cover with the prepared baking parchment.
  4. Cover the top of both basins with an additional sheet of baking parchment and a sheet of foil. Tie securely with string around the lip.
  5. Bring water to the boil in 2 steamers or large pots with a metal trivet in the base. Reduce to a simmer, then place the puddings inside. Cover and steam for 3 hrs15 mins. Top up the boiling water regularly, making sure the pans don’t boil dry. Remove the puddings from the boiling water, remove the foil and baking parchment, and test with a knife inserted in the centre to ensure they’re cooked through. Once cool, re-cover the puddings with fresh parchment. Store in the fridge or a cool, dark place for up to 2 months.
  6. To reheat the pudding, either wrap it in foil and place in a steamer over boiling water and steamfor 1 hr until piping hot,or microwave on high for 8 mins. Turn out onto a warmed plate. Decorate with the extra walnut halves and gold leaf, if using.
  7. To flame the pudding, warm some brandy in a small pan or ladle over direct heat. Light it and pour it slowly over the pudding (make sure it is on a heatproof plate).You could also use a sparkler for some extra theatre at the dinner table.

Top tips for making this pear Christmas pudding

Christmas puddings are traditionally made on the last Sunday in November (Stir it Up Sunday) so mark this day in your calendar to get ahead of Christmas food prep. The longer you soak the fruit, the more boozy flavour will be absorbed. Whiskey or rum may be used in place of brandy.

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Jessica Ransom
Jessica Ransom

Jessica currently works as a Senior Food Writer at Future. She writes food and drink-related news stories and features, curates product pages, tests, and reviews equipment, and also develops recipes that she styles on food shoots. An enthusiastic, self-taught cook Jess adores eating out and sharing great food and drink with friends and family. She has completed the Level 1 Associate course at the Academy of Cheese and is continually building on her knowledge of beers, wines, and spirits.