How to steam Christmas pudding

Article by: Allrecipes staff  |  Picture by: Allrecipes
How to steam Christmas pudding
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Whether you're steaming your first Christmas pudding, or want to make another type of steamed pudding, read on for step-by-step tips and advice on how to steam a perfect Christmas pudding.

Preparing the pudding basin

Butter the your pudding basin or heatproof bowl lightly. Cut a round of baking parchment to fit the bottom of the basin, and butter that as well. This prevents any chance of the pudding sticking. Fill the basin with the pudding mixture, no more than two-thirds full.

Lay a large sheet of baking parchment over a slightly larger sheet of aluminium foil. Butter the baking parchment, then make a 2.5cm (1 in) pleat in the centre to allow the pudding to rise. Lay the sheets parchment-side down over the basin.

Tie the parchment and foil lid securely with a double length of string below the lip of the basin. Make a handle with string to lift the pudding out by threading another double length of string through the string already tied to the basin.

Trim away any excess foil and parchment, leaving about 5cm (2 in). Tightly fold under the foil and parchment all the way round the basin. This is to ensure a water-tight seal.

Steaming the pudding

Steam your pudding in a steamer set over a saucepan of boiling water. Ensure you have a tight-fitting lid so that steam cannot escape. You can improvise by using a heatproof saucer or dish set at the bottom of a large saucepan.

Steam as the recipe states, ensuring you replenish with boiling water as necessary so your pan doesn't go dry. The water level should always be about halfway up the side of the basin. Once the water is boiling and steam is circulating, ensure the lid is on and then reduce the heat slightly to avoid having the water bubble up and get into the pudding.

If you are storing your pudding and plan to re-steam later, allow it to cool, then remove the string and the foil and parchment lid and replace with a fresh one as before. To re-steam for serving, simply steam for two hours and serve with brandy butter, cream or custard.

Turning out the pudding

Uncover the pudding basin. Leave to cool and shrink slightly, then loosen the pudding at one side of the basin with a palette knife. Place a warmed heatproof plate over the basin, and turn it upside-down. Lift the basin to reveal your perfectly steamed pudding!

How to steam Christmas pudding step picture 4
Flaming the pudding

All of that work deserves a brilliant finish! To flame your pudding, take a metal ladle and fill it with brandy about two-thirds full. Very carefully heat the ladle over a gas flame or candle. When the brandy is hot, have someone set it alight whilst you hold the ladle. Bring the pudding and flaming brandy to the table - with the lights dimmed of course! - and pour the brandy over the pudding. Once the flame dies down, you're ready to tuck in!

Christmas pudding recipes

Check out our Christmas pudding recipe collection for loads of tried and tested recipes!

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