Emily Bell’s Christmas pudding

Christmas pudding recipe - Stephanie Alexander


Main ingredients
Dried fruit

Sourced from
The Cook’s Companion App and book

Print Recipe

This is my grandmother’s Christmas pudding recipe – the best in the world! I have successfully kept these puddings for a year in the refrigerator. They were even more delicious the next year.

You will need to order the suet from your butcher. Packet suet is already mixed with flour and will alter the proportions.


500 g suet
180 g plain flour
2½ cups fresh white breadcrumbs
360 g seedless raisins
360 g currants
180 g sultanas
125 g candied peel
180 g dark brown sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon
½ nutmeg, freshly grated
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 eggs
100 ml brandy
600 ml milk


Strip as much skin as you can from the pieces of suet and grate suet on the largest hole of a grater or with the grating disc of a food processor to achieve 360 g. (Measure this very carefully.)

Mix all ingredients in a large basin. (Everyone should have a stir and a wish!) The mixture should be fairly wet. Increase milk a little, if necessary. Leave overnight, refrigerated.

Next day, eat a bit to see if it has enough spice for your taste and adjust, if necessary. Pack mixture into 2 x 1 litre buttered basins, then cover with a disc of greaseproof paper and a double sheet of foil. Tie securely under the rim with a doubled length of string. Stand each basin on a wire rack inside a stockpot and add boiling water to come two-thirds up sides of basins. Boil for 6 hours, topping up stockpots as needed with more boiling water. Cool and store in a cool place until Christmas Day.

The puddings will take at least 1 hour’s boiling on Christmas Day to be really hot, but can boil away for a lot longer. Serve with custard or ice-cream, or flame the turned-out pudding with warmed brandy.