Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Pudding with Sauce

This recipe for Christmas pudding comes from my husband's Grandma. In our early years of marriage I came to enjoy this family recipe which was served along with other desserts after Christmas dinner. We all enjoy the pudding, but it's the sauce that makes the pudding. 
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup butter, frozen and grated ***see note***
  • 4 cups raisins, a mixture of dark and golden
  • 1 cup chopped figs
  • 1 1/2 cup mixed peel, put through a food processor
  • 1 cup red cherries
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda, dissolved in 3 tsp warm water
  1. Add all ingredients into a very large mixing bowl and mix together well.
  2. Christmas pudding is often made in a mold or large bowl, but grandma filled 3 wide mouth mason jars with this mixture. Dividing it to fill the jars 3/4 full. Seal loosely with new canning lids.
  3. To avoid scorching the bottom of the pudding while streaming, place small Pyrex bowls, or other heat proof dishes or extra canning jar lids in the bottom of the pot to set jars on top of. Place jars on top of the Pyrex bowls in a large pot of hot water on the stove top. The water should sit about half way up the jars. Steam pudding in jars for 3 hours adding boiling water to the pot as needed during steaming.
  4. Once the pudding has steamed, remove from heat and tighten lids. Lids will snap shut as the pudding cools, and pudding will be sealed. Store in a dark cool place or in the refrigerator. Pudding is best if it has a few weeks to sit. Because this pudding is sealed once steamed, it will keep well for up to a year stored in a cool dark place. 
  5. When ready to serve. Remove lid. Place jar or pudding in a pot, again setting the jars onto a Pyrex or heat proof bowl to avoid scorching the pudding while re steaming. Add water about 1/2 way up the jar. Steam pudding for at least an hour to re heat. Serve warm with Christmas Pudding Sauce. Recipe follows.
NOTE: This recipe was originally made with suet. We now substitute the suet for butter that is frozen and then grated into fine pieces. If using suet, use the same amount as the butter. 

Christmas Pudding Sauce
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated. Set aside egg whites to whip for last step.
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream, whipped stiff
  1. Melt butter in a small sauce pan. Stir in flour until smooth.
  2. Beat egg yolk adding to it the sugar, salt and milk. Whisk together.
  3. Add egg mixture to butter and flour mixture and stir well.
  4. Cook mixture until thick and smooth. Allow to cool.
  5. Beat egg white until very stiff. Fold into cooled mixture.
  6. Whip cream and fold into mixture. 
  7. Serve over warm steamed Christmas pudding.
  8. Sauce will keep well in refrigerator for several days. Lightly stir when ready to serve.


  1. Thank you for posting this, Kathy. I've had the bug to make steamed pudding but alas no steamer thing! This will be the perfect solution. I'm wondering what you mean by "mixed peel". Would that be a collection of orange peel, lemon peel? Do figs have peels? Or maybe you mean those candied peels in the grocer, which are already candied? Please advise - what do *you* use? I am so looking forward to making this. I know it will be good - look where I found the recipe!! ~Diane

    1. Hi Diane, I use 'cut mixed peel' that is a mixture I purchase in the baking isle at the grocery store. It is already candied. I use figs in a bag which only need to be chopped peeling. I hope you enjoy it....I'm already really looking forward to dessert after Christmas dinner:)

    2. Thank you for the additional help, Kathy. I'm sure we will all enjoy your recipe. Blessings to you and all your dear ones. ~Diane

  2. What size jars are you using

    1. For this recipe I use 3 quart jars but only fill them 3/4 full. You could use smaller jars, just leave room for expansion of the pudding.

  3. I think I will make this, reminds me so much of the one my gramma always made. I will use my canner to steam it since it has the rack in the bottom anyway. Will add dark rum to the sauce though to keep it closer to gramma's way. We have been trying to keep up her traditions since she passed and this is one we always had. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. I was wondering if flavoring like vanilla or rum was missing from the sauce. I would add either, or both!

  4. What an interesting idea to make steamed pudding in canning jars. My husband and I will be alone this year for Christmas so I am thinking ahead as to how to minimize the amount I usually make for a crowd. Putting two thirds of this recipe safely away for a later date will be perfect! I have used many steamed pudding recipes in the past but never one with cherries. Are the cherries fresh or dried? I love this site and especially enjoy reading" Bread for the Journey" on Sundays . You have inspired me in so many ways. Thank you.

    1. This recipe is especially nice for that reason. My mom in law always makes the full recipe and keeps jars to give away or use at a later date. I've halved the recipe and that works fine too. I use the cherries in the baking section labeled mixed glazed cherries. The are usually in amongst the Christmas baking ingredients during the holidays at the grocers.
      Thanks for your kind comments. We enjoy doing what we do:)

  5. I want to make Christmas pudding this year. I've never made it but T grew up with it. Your sauce looks delicious.

  6. Could you reheat the pudding in the microwave.? Do you think you could make it in small canning jars? I was thinking of the very small wide mouth ones usually used for canning salmon. Would you still fill them 3/4 full and how long would you steam them with this small amount? Sorry for all the questions but I would really like to make this but in small amounts for gifts. Thank you for your help.

    1. You can use smaller jars. Wide mouth are the best....but I would use jars that a taller than salmon jars as they are very shallow. There is always a bit of expansion in the pudding....that is why you need to leave a bit of room. In a smaller jar I would fill a bit fuller. I hope that helps.

  7. Mmmm, Christmas pudding. Kathy your sauce looks sublime!

    Blessings to All,
    Anna (Toronto)

  8. Oooh, Kathy, I do hope you'll swing by to Food on Friday to add this to Christmas Favourites! Cheers from Carole from Carole's Chatter

  9. I have never made steamed pudding ever, I would love to try this.. ty.. w/love Janice

  10. I don't have figs, but I have lots of dried dates. Would dates work as a substitute?

  11. Thank you so much for give me sharing Christmas pudding.I love it.I made this for Christmas Eve supper and got rave surveys for it. I had never made a steamed pudding previously and was enchanted at how simple it was. I did steam it longer than the formula educated, taking the exhortation of alternate analysts. I additionally included around a mug of sweetened solidified ginger (my family swooned) and substituted Drambuie in the hard sauce. I think this simply turned into another occasion custom in my gang. Happy X-Mass!

    1. Thanks for sharing and adding what you did with the recipe. Sounds wonderful with the addition of the ginger. Happy New Year.

  12. What did I do wrong? One of my jars broke while steaming! Ugh! Also how loose do you leave kids when steaming? I think I messed up!
    Peggy at

    1. So sorry to hear about the jar breaking. I wonder if you had your heat too high. Did you place something under the jar so it was not over the direct heat? About the lids...don't snug it on tightly...just really loosely screw it on. I hope you try it again and have great success. Let me know it you do:)

  13. Hi I know this is an old post but have been asked to do puddings in jars for Christmas this year. I'll be using the wide mouth Vakola pudding jars for this. I have a preserving unit so usually I put the lids and clips on then put them in the water. As I'm using a preserving unit do I still definitely leave the lids off until the end? Thanks heaps!