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Christmas Pudding (Figgy Pudding)

Serving size: 8
Prep time: 45 mins
Cook time: 8 hours


  • 2 1 /2 ounces pitted dried dates (about 9)
  • 1 1/2 ounces candied lemon peel
  • 1 1/2 ounces candied orange peel
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins (4 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup raisins (4 ounces)
  • 2/3 cup zante currants (3 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 3 slices white sandwich bread
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 medium sweet apple, such as Fuji or Honeycrisp
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 1 small orange
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon black treacle or molasses
  • 4 ounces shredded beef suet (about 1 cup), or 4 tablespoons frozen unsalted butter plus 1/4 cup frozen Crisco vegetable shortening
  • Holly and berry sprig
  • Powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • Heavy cream, brandy butter, or hard sauce


  • 1. Chop the following into small (1/4-inch) dice, placing each in the same medium shallow bowl as you complete it: 2 1/2 ounces pitted dried dates (about 1/2 cup), 1 1/2 ounces candied lemon peel (about 1/4 cup), and 1 1/2 ounces candied orange peel (about 1/4 cup).
  • 2. Add 3/4 cup golden raisins, 3/4 cup raisins, and 2/3 cup zante currants. Add 1/2 cup brandy and stir to combine. Cover and let sit at room temperature for least 5 hours or up to overnight for the fruit plump up.
  • 3. Let 3 slices white sandwich bread sit in a single layer at room temperature to dry out overnight. (If you are not using shredded beef suet for the pudding, freeze 4 tablespoons unsalted butter and 1/4 cup Crisco overnight.)
  • 4. Let 3 tablespoons unsalted butter sit at room temperature until softened. Meanwhile, prepare the parchment and breadcrumb mixture.
  • 5. Trace the top of a 1 1/2 to 2-quart heatproof, deep bowl or pudding bowl on a sheet of parchment paper, then cut out the round. Tear the bread into large pieces and place in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until fine crumbs form (about 2 cups), about 30 seconds. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  • 6. Add 1 packed cup dark brown sugar, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir to combine, using your fingers to break up any clumps of brown sugar.
  • 7. Prepare the following, adding each to the bowl of soaked fruit as you complete it: Peel, core, and grate 1 medium sweet apple on the large holes of a box grater. Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lemon and 1 small orange until you have 1 teaspoon each. Juice the orange until you have 1 tablespoon.
  • 8. Place 2 large eggs and 1 tablespoon black treacle or molasses in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the fruit mixture and 4 ounces shredded beef suet (1 cup); if you are using frozen butter and Crisco, grate on the large holes of a box grater into the bowl, making sure you scrape everything clinging to the inside of the grater into the bowl. Stir to combine.
  • 9. Add the breadcrumb mixture and stir until combined; this may take a few minutes. Liberally coat the pudding bowl with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Transfer the batter into the bowl. Tap the bowl on the counter and smooth the surface with a spatula. Run one finger along the circumference of the batter to seal and ensure a smooth edge. You should have at least a 1-inch space between the top of the batter and the top of the bowl.
  • 10. Brush the parchment round with the remaining 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and place butter-side down onto the top of the batter. Lightly press down with your hand to ensure the surface of the batter is flat. (If using a pudding mold with a lid, place the lid on top of the parchment round before wrapping the top with foil and parchment and tying it with twine.)
  • 11. Wrap and tie the pudding bowl (here is a video to help visualize, you do not need to butter the paper as in the video): Cut a 6-foot long piece of kitchen twine. Place a 16-inch long sheet of aluminum foil on a work surface with a short side closer to you. Top with a 14-inch sheet of parchment paper, also with a short side closer to you and centering it on the foil. Create and fold a 1-inch crease halfway down the foil and parchment (the steam will expand the fold during steaming, allowing extra space).
  • 12. Flip the parchment and foil onto the pudding so the foil is on top, positioning the crease across the center of the bowl. Press down on the foil onto the edges of the bowl to seal. Wrap the kitchen twine around the bowl near the top twice, then tie tightly to secure. Create a handle by pulling the excess kitchen twine across the top of the bowl and tying it to the twine on the other side; cut off any excess string.
  • 13. Trim off all but 1-inch of the excess foil and parchment with kitchen shears. Tuck the remaining excess foil under itself, pressing it against the outside of the bowl to create a tighter seal. If the twine around the bowl doesn’t feel very tight, tie another piece of twine around the bowl to make sure it is fully sealed.
  • 14. Place a heatproof trivet or flat steaming rack in a large, deep saucepan or small pot that will fit the bowl with a lid on top. Place the bowl on the trivet. Fill the pan with enough cold water so it reaches halfway up the sides of the bowl.
  • 15. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce the heat to low to gently steam for 6 to 8 hours (you can’t really over-steam it). Check the water level every hour or so and add more boiling water as needed to keep the water level halfway up the sides of the bowl. Do not take the foil cover off at any point.
  • 16. Grasping the kitchen string handle, carefully lift the bowl out of a pan and place on a wire rack or heatproof surface. Let rest for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the string and uncover the pudding. Invert onto a serving plate. (If you are not serving it right away, uncover and let it cool in the bowl. See Recipe Notes for storage options.)
  • 17. To serve, top the pudding with a holly and berry sprig and dust with powdered sugar if desired before slicing. If you wish to light the Christmas pudding, make sure the pudding is sitting on a heatproof plate. Gently warm 3 tablespoons brandy in a small saucepan over low heat (it helps create a larger flame). Remove the sprig, pour the warm brandy over the pudding, stand back, and carefully light with a long lighter or match. Serve the pudding warm with heavy cream, brandy butter, or hard sauce to pass at the table to pour over the warm pudding.


Amount per serving
Serving size: Serves 8
Calories: 602
Total Fat: 23.5g
Saturated Fat: 14.2g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 236.3mg
Total Carbohydrate: 90.9g
Dietary Fiber: 4.4g
Sugars: 69.8g
Protein: 5.6g


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