Browse Recipes

Browse Recipes

Karen Martini's last-minute Christmas pudding

Karen Martini
Karen Martini

My recipe for Christmas pudding can be made well ahead of time if you like, and the flavour will build in intensity and it will become even more moist. But it really isn't critical; it will still be delicious made on the day.

You can make the pudding on the day, or ahead of time for a more intense flavour.
You can make the pudding on the day, or ahead of time for a more intense flavour. Photo: Marcel Aucar


200g mixture of sultanas, golden sultanas and raisins

100g currants

100g prunes, chopped 

60g dried sour cherries

10 whole red glace cherries

30g glace ginger, finely chopped

60g mixed peel

200ml brandy

100g plain flour

35g cornflour

80g butter, chilled and chopped 

180g breadcrumbs (freshly processed stale breadcrumbs are best)

200g brown sugar

2 tsp mixed spice 

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground cloves

1 whole nutmeg, finely grated

1 large apple, grated 

finely grated zest of 1 orange 

3 extra-large eggs

100ml milk


1. Add the dried and glace fruit, ginger and peel to a pot and pour over the brandy. Warm gently for five minutes over low heat. Set aside for 15 minutes.

2. Add the flour, cornflour and butter to a mixing bowl and rub between your fingers until you have a fine crumb. Add the breadcrumbs, soaked fruit including any liquid, sugar, spices, apple and orange zest and gently combine. Lightly beat the eggs and milk together and pour over the other ingredients. Mix until combined.

3. Grease a one-litre pudding basin and pour the mix in, smooth the top and cover with a piece of baking paper. Seal with a double layer of foil tied under the basin's lip with twine.

4. Place the pudding basin in a large pot and pour hot water in so that it comes three-quarters of the way up the side of the basin. Bring to a simmer with the lid partly on and cook for three hours – it will need topping up a few times, so keep checking to ensure it doesn't boil dry. 

5. Either serve the pudding immediately or allow to cool before refrigerating. Reheat when needed in the basin for one hour in a pot of simmering water. Serve with pouring custard, whipped cream, brandy butter or ice-cream.


1. This can easily be made gluten-free by substituting the flour and breadcrumbs for gluten-free versions.

2. You can try different dried fruit in this but don't skimp on the quality as it's the star of the show.

3. Make sure your spices are fragrant and fresh. Spices lose their pungency over time, and if you don't use them often it's advisable to buy in small quantities, and always store cool, dark and dry.

Main ingredient:
Apple, Eggs

More recipes like this...

Toffee apple crumble with pickled pears and sour cream.

Toffee apple crumble with pickled pears and sour cream

Adam Liaw
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars
3 Reader ratings
Apple Brandy Syrup cake

Apple brandy syrup cake

Dan Lepard
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
15 Reader ratings
Apple and orange crumble tart.

Apple and orange crumble tart

Dan Lepard
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
87 Reader ratings
Lamb, red wine and rosemary pot pie.

Apple and cranberry pot pies

Jill Dupleix
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
98 Reader ratings
Apple tart with cardamom shortcrust and tahini-almond filling.

Apple tart with cardamom shortcrust and tahini almond filling

Dan Lepard
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
47 Reader ratings
Baked autumn apples with verjuice and clove crumb.

Baked apples with verjuice and clove crumb

Karen Martini
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
40 Reader ratings
Christmas mincemeat.

Stephanie Alexander's Christmas mincemeat

Stephanie Alexander
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
57 Reader ratings
Christmas mince pies

Christmas mince pies

Caroline Velik
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars
11 Reader ratings

3 comments so far

  • This was an absolute winner. I haven't made a Christmas pudding for more than 15 years but this year, there was a late vote for it instead of the usual pavlova roulade. I added about 125g of glace pineapple that I found in the pantry. I think the recipe should say to cook it in a 2 litre basin as the mix would have overflowed a 1 litre container. I cooked it in my pressure cooker for about 50 minutes and reheated it on Christmas Day for 30 minutes in the pressure cooker.

    Date and time
    December 28, 2014, 1:41PM
  • Trying this recipe out. Seems very nice, but are the breadcrumbs fresh or dried.
    Will comment after Xmas when we have tasted it.

    Date and time
    November 07, 2015, 9:54PM
    • Sorry for late reply but Karen advises it's best to blitz up your own breadcrumbs using some stale bread.

      Good Food
      Date and time
      December 02, 2015, 10:49AM

Commenting Policy

Daily Life is a proudly female biased website with content tailored to women. We encourage lively debate and conversation around our stories and while all opinions are welcome – we also have some guidelines to make sure everyone is treated with the respect they deserve. We love comments that articulate a different point of view, a witty insight, some humour or a shared experience. Our moderators will reject comments that personally attack the author or other commenters. We also won’t publish comments that are aggressive, sexist, racist or in any other way discriminatory or derogatory.

We hope these guidelines make the process of commenting on stories and reading the comments left by other users as enjoyable as possible. More details about our comment policy here.

Make a comment

You are logged in as [Logout]

All information entered below may be published.

Error: Please enter your screen name.

Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Please enter your comment.

Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

Post to

You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

Thank you

Your comment has been submitted for approval.

Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

Top 10 Recipes

  1. 1

    Quince jelly

    Quince jelly

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    This jelly is great with fresh ricotta or on toast for breakfast, or served with sharp cheeses such as pecorino or parmesan.

  2. 2

  3. 3

    Omelette Rothschild

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

  4. 4

  5. 5

    Prawn cocktail

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

  6. 6

    Stella McCartney's summer coleslaw

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

  7. 7

    Mexican-style salted cod fish

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

  8. 8

    Raw pad Thai

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

  9. 9

  10. 10

    Super berry smoothie

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Daily discussions