Christmas pudding is a delicious British steamed dessert consisting of fried fruits, rum or brandy, citrus zest and a few other ingredients. It is a great dessert that is often made a year before it is actually eaten and also often “fed” during that period by pouring some rum or brandy over it every few days or every month. This pudding looks like a cake, but trust us, it’s steamed, not baked.
Our recipe tastes great on the day it is made and does not require ageing or feeding although some might still choose to do those. It is a perfect representation of the flavours of Christmas on a plate and is sure to amaze your dinner guests, not just by its appearance, but by the traditional way it tends to be brought out/presented which is to set the pudding on fire by pouring flaming alcohol over it in a rather dark (but not pitch black) room. Don’t worry, the fire dies out on its own within 30 seconds.
For those who want to make or serve a Christmas pudding void of alcohol, replace the rum in this recipe with either freshly made apple juice or black tea. Alternatively, you can opt to not soak the dried fruits in anything. However, their texture and appearance are more appealing after soaking.
This recipe was kept nut-free for those who might be allergic. If you are a fan of nuts and none of your guests are allergic to nuts, you can add about 40g of chopped blanched almonds to your pudding mix.
Without further ado, here’s our vegan Christmas Pudding recipe!
200g Mixed Fruits (containing sultanas, raisins, currants and candies peels)
4tbsp Dark Rum
1/2tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/2tsp Ground Ginger
1/4tsp Mixed Spice
Pinch of Salt
1 Orange, zested and juiced
2/3 Lemon, zested
1 Pink Lady Apple, grated
1.5tbsp Brown Sugar
1tsp Baking Powder
50-60g Quick Cooking Rolled Oats (to be more traditional, use breadcrumbs instead)
2tbsp Neutral-Tasting Oil (substitute with vegan butter or vegans suet)
600ml Hot Water
2tbsp Powdered Sugar (or sweetener of choice)
Pinch of Salt
150ml Cold Water
2tbsp Neutral Tasting Oil (optional)
- In a bowl with a lid, soak the mixed fruits in the rum for several hours or, preferably, overnight.
- Place a round cookie cutter or upside down ramekin centralised in a pot. Fill the pot with hot water to a few inches above the cookie-cutter or ramekin, place a lid over it and turn the heat up to keep the water simmering.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the soaked fruits with spices, salt, orange zest, lemon zest, grated pink lady apple and brown sugar.
- Gently stir in the flour, baking powder, oats (or breadcrumbs), oil and orange juice. Do not be tempted to add any additional liquid to this mixture as it is not necessary. Trust the process!
- Transfer your mixture into a pudding basin/pudding bowl. If you are unfamiliar with pudding bowls, search for “pudding bowl” on Google to know what bowl shape to look out for.
- Cover the opening of the bowl with parchment or greaseproof paper and tie a string around the paper to secure it to the sides of the bowl.
- Cover the bowl with foil paper and scrunch up the paper to completely cover the parchment paper (to prevent it from getting wet).
- Gently place the bowl onto the cookie-cutter or ramekin in your pot and top up the water till it reaches mid-level of the bowl).
- Cover the pot and let the water simmer in it for 8hrs. Check on it every few hours to ensure the water is not drying out or to top it up if needed. (N.B. You can split this step over 2 days. Steam the pudding for 5hrs on one day then leave it out (covered) overnight and return it to the pot of simmering water for 3hrs the next day. This is our prefered method)
- During the last hour of steaming, soak the oats in a bowl/pot of hot water for an hour.
- When the pudding is done steaming, gently take the bowl out of the pot and set it aside to cool for 15-20mins.
- While the pudding cools, in a blender, combine the rest of the oat cream ingredients with the soaked oats (and the liquid still in the pot) and blend them till smooth.
- Pour the blended out mixture through a fine sieve. If you have cheesecloth or a nut milk bag, pour the mixture through it after the initial sieve. However, instead of squeezing the cream out, use a spoon to move the mixture around on the cloth/in the nut milk bag until all the cream has been extracted. Transfer this mixture to a milk jug or a presentable bowl.
- Uncover the bowl and place a flat plate over it. Holding the bowl and plate in place, turn the bowl upside down (so the plate is now at the bottom on the bottom of the bowl is facing the ceiling). Gently pull off the bowl to reveal the pudding on the plate.
Serving Suggestions: Before bringing the pudding out, gently heat up some rum in a pot (do not let it boil) then hold a match over it to set it on fire (ensure your clothes are nowhere near the opening of the pot). Pour the flaming rum over the pudding to set it on fire and carry the flaming pudding out to your guests (who should be in a darkened room).
Place a slice of the pudding in a dessert plate or bowl and either drizzle the oat cream over it or pour it to surround the pudding.