Plum Pudding

Plum Pudding Recipe - Best Christmas Pudding

Plum pudding brings to mind shades of Washington Irving and Charles Dickens traditional Christmas celebrations. Never, never while there is a raisin or a bit of citron and a handful of suet for its making should old-fashioned plum pudding be superseded by any other dessert for a true traditional Christmas! So fond are some folks of any plum pudding recipe that they seize upon any sort of an excuse for serving it, but to the sentimentally inclined the real, unimpeachable, old-time plum pudding should never be eaten upon any day but the twenty-fifth of December.



Plum pudding, a Christmas pudding, has been served on Christmas day for centuries. The traditional plum pudding is served in a blaze, with a sprig of holly stuck on top. For the plum pudding sauce, a little brandy is poured over the Christmas pudding and lighted at the last moment to produce the desired effect. Many a favorite plum pudding recipe has been handed down from generation to generation, which adds to the festivities of the holiday. Plum pudding is best when made four or five weeks prior to Christmas and can be stored for months. During the Victorian era, a silver coin was baked in the pudding, with a promise of wealth in the coming year.


Rich Plum Pudding: Stone carefully one pound of the best raisins, wash and pick one pound of currants, chop very small one pound of fresh beef suet, blanch and chop small or pound two ounces of sweet almonds and one ounce of bitter ones; mix the whole well together, with one pound of sifted flour, and the same weight of crumb of bread soaked in milk, then squeezed dry and stirred with a spoon until reduced to a mash, before it is mixed with the flour. Cut in small pieces two ounces each of preserved citron, orange, and lemon-peel, and add a quarter of an ounce of mixed spice; quarter of a pound of moist sugar should be put into a basin, with eight eggs, and well beaten together with a three-pronged fork; stir this with the pudding, and make it of a proper consistence with milk.

victorian pictureRemember that it must not be made too thin, or the fruit will sink to the bottom, but be made to the consistence of good thick batter. Two wineglassfuls of brandy should be poured over the fruit and spice, mixed together in a basin, and allowed to stand three or four hours before the pudding is made, stirring them occasionally. It must be tied in a cloth, and will take five hours of constant boiling. When done, turn it out on a dish, sift loaf-sugar over the top, and serve it with wine-sauce in a boat, and some poured round the pudding. The pudding will be of considerable size, but half the quantity of materials, used in the same proportion, will be equally good. [from Godey's Lady's Book, Dec. 1860]


Christmas Pudding


victorian picture

To make what is termed a pound pudding, take of raisins well stoned, currants thoroughly washed, one pound each; chop a pound of suet very finely and mix with them; add a quarter of a pound of flour, or bread very finely crumbled, three ounces of sugar, one ounce and a half of grated lemon-peel, a blade of mace, half a small nutmeg, one teaspoonful of ginger, half a dozen eggs well beaten; work it well together, put it into a cloth, tie it firmly, allowing room to swell, and boil not less than five hours. It should not be suffered to stop boiling. [from Godey's Lady's Book, Dec. 1860]


victorian pictureBOILED PLUM PUDDING

The crumbs of a small loaf, half a pound each of sugar, currants, raisins, and beef-suet shred, two ounces of candied peel, three drops of essence of lemon, three eggs, a little nutmeg, a tablespoonful of flour. Butter the mould, and boil them five hours. Serve with brandy-sauce. [from Godey's Lady's Book, Dec. 1860]



One pound of raisins stoned, one pound of currants, half a pound of beef-suet, quarter of a pound of sugar, two spoonfuls of flour, three eggs, a cup of sweetmeats, and a wineglass of brandy. Mix well, and boil in a mould eight hours. [from Godey's Lady's Book, Dec. 1860]



One pound of flour, two pounds of suet, one pound of currants, one pound of plums, eight eggs, two ounces of candied peel, almonds and mixed spice according to taste. Boil gently for seven hours. [from Godey's Lady's Book, Dec. 1860]



"With respect to the mixing of the ingredients, different modes are employed. The eggs are always beat up previously in a separate state; and the milk, spice, flour, and crumbs are generally added by degrees, and beat up successively, adding the suet and fruit next, and the brandy last. In some cases, however, this process is reversed, and the eggs are added last; but in general, the eggs and milk, the flour, suet, and fruit, and the spices, go together."

"The pudding-bag is always dredged with flour, and often tied rather loose, that the pudding may swell; and, after boiling it, about five minutes are suffered to elapse, in order that the moisture may evaporate from the outside of the cloth, and allow it to leave the pudding in a perfect state. Some are boiled in a cloth only, some in a mould only, with a cloth over the mould, and others in both a cloth and basin. They all should have pounded white sugar sprinkled freely over them, on being served on the dish for table."

"Much puzzling difference is apparent in the time directed for the boiling of the puddings of each receipt. This appears to depend on the nature of the composition and the proportion of binding material. We have instituted a comparison of all the receipts by reducing the weight of ingredients to the average standard, and have obtained the following independent deduction:


  • Christmas puddings require the same boiling, if the crumb be left out, and more flour, egg, and fruit supply its place.
  • They require more boiling, when containing a greater proportion of flour and egg, but less crumb and suet, or when boiled in a mould.
  • They require less boiling, when having less flour, but more crumb and fruit.
  • The average time of boiling for ingredients weighing four pounds is about four hours."
    [from Godey's Lady's Book, Dec. 1860]