Christmas Plum Pudding (With Suet)

Learn how to make your own Christmas pudding using suet with this recipe, courtesy of the one and only James Beard, House and Garden December 1963. You can't beat tradition when it comes to a Christmas pudding!

Prep Time

15 mins

Cook Time

8+ hours


Serves 12

Christmas Plum Pudding (With Suet)


Fruit Mixture (make 4 days ahead):

  • 450g seedless raisins
  • 450g sultana raisins
  • 225g currants
  • 1 cup thinly sliced citron
  • 1 cup chopped candied peel
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 450g finely chopped suet
  • 1 1/4 cups cognac


  • Approx. 560g fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 cup scalded milk
  • 1 cup sherry or port 12 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Cognac


  1. Blend the fruits, citron, peel, spices and suet and place in a bowl or jar. Add 1/4 cup cognac, cover tightly and refrigerate for 4 days, adding 1/4 cup cognac each day.
  2. Soak the bread crumbs in milk and sherry or port. Combine the well-beaten eggs and sugar. Blend with the fruit mixture. Add salt and mix thoroughly.
  3. Put the pudding in buttered bowls or tins, filling them about 2/3 full. Cover with foil and tie it firmly. Steam for 6-7 hours. Uncover and place in a 120°C. oven for 30 minutes. Add a dash of cognac to each pudding, cover with foil and keep in a cool place.
  4. To use, steam again for 2-3 hours and unmold. Sprinkle with sugar; add heated cognac. Ignite and bring to the table.
  5. Serve with hard sauce or cognac sauce.

NOTE: This pudding is usually made well in advance (often a whole year), so at a minimum you should give it a few weeks to age before it's ready to serve.

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