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An amazingly light Christmas pudding which is wickedly indulgent! You can make it three months before Christmas and then store it in a cool, dry place. Steam it gently for 3 hours on Christmas morning and serve with a flourish.


1. Put the dried fruit in a bowl with the brandy. Turn the fruit over in the liquid and leave to soak for several hours or overnight.

2. The following day, mix together all the ingredients, except the eggs and Guinness, in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the beaten eggs and Guinness, remembering to make a wish.

3. When the mixture is thoroughly mixed, pour it into a 1.2 litre/2 pint pudding basin. Cover with a double thickness of greaseproof paper and then a piece of foil and tie securely with string.

4. Place the pudding in the top of a steamer above gently simmering water. Cover with a lid and steam gently for 7-8 hours, topping up the water in the bottom of the steamer, as necessary.

5. When the pudding is cold, replace the covers with clean ones and store in a cool, dry place until Christmas Day.

6. Reheat on Christmas morning by steaming gently for 3 hours before turning out on to a serving dish. Decorate with a sprig of holly or pour over the brandy, set it alight and serve it flaming.