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A Proper Plum Pudding

As Stir Up Sunday approaches (this year it falls on 24th November) I thought I would share Great Aunt Eliza’s recipe for plum pudding with you. I’ll be showing visitors to Petworth House just how to make this festive treat this coming weekend and again on 1st December from 1-3pm in their historic kitchen.

Aunt Eliza's Victorian Christmas Pudding

Aunt Eliza’s Victorian Christmas Pudding

Makes 1 x 600g pudding – Serves 4-6


75g currants

75g raisins or sultanas

100g pitted prunes, quartered

25g chopped mixed peel

10g blanched almonds, cut into slithers

1½ tbsp brandy

1½ tbsp dark rum

55g plain flour

55g ‘fresh’ white breadcrumbs (from a stale loaf is fine but don’t use dried)

50g dark brown sugar

45g vegetable or beef suet

1 tsp mixed spice

Pinch of salt

1 large egg

2-4 tbsp milk

Butter for greasing

1 x 600ml pudding basin

Foil and greaseproof paper to make the lid

1 large saucepan preferably with a steamer basket

  1. Put the dried fruit (including the mixed peel) and the almonds in a large bowl. Stir in the brandy and rum. Leave to marinate for at least one hour or overnight if possible.

  2. Grease your pudding basin well with butter.

  3. Mix the flour, breadcrumbs, sugar, suet, mixed spice and salt into the dried fruit.

  4. Beat the egg and 2tbsp milk together. Stir into the fruit and flour mixture until thoroughly combined. It should be dropping consistency. Add more milk if you think the mixture is too stiff.

  5. Spoon into the prepared basin. Replace the lid then steam for 6-8 hours. Allow to cool then refrigerate until required or store in a cool place like a larder.

  • If you’d like to make this in a 450g foil pudding basin reduce the prunes to 75g, the flour and breadcrumbs to 50g and the suet to 40g. You can reduce the cooking time to 4½-6 hours.

To reheat your pudding

Steam the pudding again for 1 hour on Christmas Day before serving.

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