Very fruity Christmas pudding

Very fruity Christmas pudding


27 people made this

About this recipe: Lighter than the traditional pudding, this is packed with fruit, soaked in sherry and orange juice so it's extra juicy. Served with brandy sauce, this Christmas pudding won't leave you feeling uncomfortably full.

Norma MacMillan

Serves: 10 

  • For the Christmas Pudding
  • 85 g (3 oz) currants
  • 85 g (3 oz) raisins
  • 85 g (3 oz) sultanas
  • 85 g (3 oz) dried stoned dates, chopped
  • 85 g (3 oz) dried apricots, chopped
  • 75 g (2½ oz) dried cranberries
  • grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
  • 3 tbsp sherry or brandy
  • 115 g (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 115 g (4 oz) dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 dessert apple, peeled and diced
  • 1 large carrot, finely grated
  • 30 g (1 oz) flaked almonds, toasted
  • 55 g (2 oz) self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 100 g (3½ oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
  • For the Brandy Sauce
  • 6 tbsp cornflour
  • 900 ml (1½ pints) semi-skimmed milk
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar, or to taste
  • 3 tbsp brandy

Prep:45min  ›  Cook:4hr30min  ›  Ready in:5hr15min 

  1. Place all the dried fruit in a bowl. Add the orange zest and juice and sherry or brandy, and set aside to soak.
  2. Grease a 1.4 litre (2½ pint) pudding basin and place a small disc of greaseproof paper on the bottom.
  3. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in the eggs. Add the apple, carrot, almonds and soaked fruits, and mix together. Sift in the flour and mixed spice, and add the breadcrumbs.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin and smooth the top. Lay a doubled sheet of greaseproof paper and then a doubled sheet of foil on top, and fold together to make a pleat in the centre. Smooth the paper and foil down round the basin and tie securely with string under the edge.
  5. Steam for 3 hours, topping up with more boiling water when necessary. Remove the basin from the steamer and take off the foil and greaseproof lid. Cover loosely with a tea-towel and leave to cool.
  6. When the pudding is completely cold, cover with doubled sheets of fresh greaseproof paper and foil. Keep in a cool, dark place for up to 3 months.
  7. On the day of serving, steam for a further 1½ hours. To make the sauce, blend the cornflour with 6 tbsp of the cold milk. Heat the remaining milk until almost boiling, then pour onto the cornflour mixture, stirring. Return to the pan and stir over a moderate heat until thickened. Simmer for a further 1–2 minutes, still stirring. Add the sugar and brandy, then taste for sweetness, adding a little more sugar if liked.
  8. Turn out the pudding onto a serving plate. Pour the hot brandy sauce into a sauceboat or jug and serve with the pudding.

How to steam Christmas pudding

See our How to steam Christmas pudding guide to get step-by-step instructions for steaming your pudding to perfection.

Each serving provides

A * calcium, copper * B1, B2, B12, C, E, niacin, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc

Some more ideas

If preferred, replace the sherry or brandy in the pudding with extra orange juice. * Make 2 smaller puddings, dividing the mixture between two 750 ml (1¼ pint) pudding basins. They still need 3 hours steaming. * Rather than steaming, the pudding can be reheated in a microwave. Remove the foil and cook on Medium power for about 8 minutes, or following manufacturer's instructions. * Make a figgy pudding for Christmas. Use 250 g (8½ oz) chopped dried figs instead of the currants, raisins, sultanas, dates, apricots and cranberries. Soak the figs overnight in 3 tbsp dark rum and the grated zest and juice of 1 lemon. In step 3, use 1 peeled and diced pear in place of the carrot, and add 115 g (4 oz) chopped glacé cherries, rinsed of syrup, and 2 pieces of stem ginger, chopped. Omit the mixed spice. Serve the pudding with a rum and ginger sauce made by flavouring the sweetened white sauce with 3 tbsp ginger syrup (from the jar of stem ginger), 3 tbsp dark rum and the grated zest of 1 lemon in place of the brandy.

Plus points

This brandy-laced sauce, made with semi-skimmed milk and thickened with cornflour, provides a much lower fat alternative to cream or brandy butter.

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Reviews (3)


this was very good. I made a few changes. instead of the dried fruit stated, I found it easier to use the same weight of prepacked dried mixed fruit,. I used the same amount of atora suet instead of the butter and used ground almonds instead of the flaked since that is what I had on hand. I also used white sugar plus a large tablespoon of treacle instead of the muscovado. due to egg allergies, I just left them out and it made no real difference. - 23 Nov 2013


It's much easier to steam your pud in a slow cooker as you can just leave it to cook and then keep warm with no worries about it boiling dry. I put mine on High to begin with then turn it down and it'll keep moist as long a you like. That way, if you're too full after the main meal, you can at least come back to hot, juicy pud 2 hours later. It's a shame to spoil a good pud with skimmed milk sauce, after all, you're only having a couple of tablespoonsful, so we have the proper white sauce and brandy for us Merry Xmas !! - 28 Nov 2012


Fantastic pudding, great taste and texture, nice and light. Everyone loved it. - 01 Jan 2014

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