Everyone has a go-to Christmas pudding recipe, and once you’ve tried this sherry-soaked suet pudding, you’ll never go back. Ginger wine and mixed spice add warmth to this classic pudding, while orange zest, currants and prunes combine for a luxurious fruity flavour.
Suet has traditionally been used in British pies, pastries and puddings for hundreds of years, adding a rich flavour and matchless texture. Traditionally made from animal fat, these days it’s used interchangeably with vegetarian suet. If you can’t get hold of suet, vegetable shortening or butter may be substituted but should be frozen and grated before use.
- For the Christmas pudding
- 150g each of currants, raisins, sultanas and prunes
- 300ml sherry
- 4tbsp ginger wine
- finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
- 90g molasses sugar
- 45g self-raising flour
- 2tsp ground mixed spice
- 125g suet (regular or vegetarian)
- 30g blanched almonds, chopped
- 90g white breadcrumbs
- 90g carrots, grated
- 2 eggs
- You will need:
- 1.25ltr pudding basin
Put the dried fruits in a pan and pour in the sherry and ginger wine. Add the orange zest and juice. Cover and cook over a medium heat until the fruits are warm and have soaked up some of the liquid.
Pour the dried fruits and liquid into an airtight container and leave overnight to macerate. The following day, pour half of the dried fruit and liquid into a food processor and blend until smooth. Crumble the molasses sugar into a large bowl, breaking up any lumps with your fingers. Sieve in the flour and mixed spice. Then stir in the suet and almonds.
Add the blended fruits along with the whole fruits and liquid. Stir in the breadcrumbs and grated carrot then, finally, the eggs. Mix everything together well.
Spoon the pudding mixture into the basin. Cover with a double sheet of baking parchment and foil, pleated in the middle, and secure with string.
Cook in a steamer for 6 hours, checking the pan and topping up with boiling water every 30 mins or as needed.
Top tip for making this suet Christmas pudding
These days, most suet has been treated so that it doesn't need to be kept in the fridge and can be found in the baking aisle. Alternatively, ask your local butcher.