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Karen Martini's last-minute Christmas pudding

Karen Martini
Karen Martini

My recipe for Christmas pudding can be made well ahead of time if you like, and the flavour will build in intensity and it will become even more moist. But it really isn't critical; it will still be delicious made on the day.

You can make the pudding on the day, or ahead of time for a more intense flavour.
You can make the pudding on the day, or ahead of time for a more intense flavour. Photo: Marcel Aucar


200g mixture of sultanas, golden sultanas and raisins

100g currants

100g prunes, chopped 

60g dried sour cherries

10 whole red glace cherries

30g glace ginger, finely chopped

60g mixed peel

200ml brandy

100g plain flour

35g cornflour

80g butter, chilled and chopped 

180g breadcrumbs (freshly processed stale breadcrumbs are best)

200g brown sugar

2 tsp mixed spice 

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground cloves

1 whole nutmeg, finely grated

1 large apple, grated 

finely grated zest of 1 orange 

3 extra-large eggs

100ml milk


1. Add the dried and glace fruit, ginger and peel to a pot and pour over the brandy. Warm gently for five minutes over low heat. Set aside for 15 minutes.

2. Add the flour, cornflour and butter to a mixing bowl and rub between your fingers until you have a fine crumb. Add the breadcrumbs, soaked fruit including any liquid, sugar, spices, apple and orange zest and gently combine. Lightly beat the eggs and milk together and pour over the other ingredients. Mix until combined.

3. Grease a one-litre pudding basin and pour the mix in, smooth the top and cover with a piece of baking paper. Seal with a double layer of foil tied under the basin's lip with twine.

4. Place the pudding basin in a large pot and pour hot water in so that it comes three-quarters of the way up the side of the basin. Bring to a simmer with the lid partly on and cook for three hours – it will need topping up a few times, so keep checking to ensure it doesn't boil dry. 

5. Either serve the pudding immediately or allow to cool before refrigerating. Reheat when needed in the basin for one hour in a pot of simmering water. Serve with pouring custard, whipped cream, brandy butter or ice-cream.


1. This can easily be made gluten-free by substituting the flour and breadcrumbs for gluten-free versions.

2. You can try different dried fruit in this but don't skimp on the quality as it's the star of the show.

3. Make sure your spices are fragrant and fresh. Spices lose their pungency over time, and if you don't use them often it's advisable to buy in small quantities, and always store cool, dark and dry.

Main ingredient:
Apple, Eggs

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