Christmas pudding is a traditional dessert that is a combination of dried fruits, nuts, eggs or molasses, spices, flour, and butter. Steaming the Christmas pudding is generally the cooking method used and then it’s served with some kind of topping like a decadent hard sauce. It is an old-fashioned favorite for Christmas dessert, also known as plum pudding or figgy pudding.
Related: 20 Best Christmas Pudding Recipes
Where Did Christmas Pudding Originate?
Originally, people started to enjoy this dessert in the United Kingdom. Recipes for Christmas Pudding were made from ingredients that were more affordable, and accessible and were stored in the pantry for special occasions. Root vegetables were a popular ingredient, as were flour and spices, which may have been used sparingly. Lard and suet were frequently used in this dessert and are replaced by butter nowadays.
Keeping with the Christmas traditions makes Christmas Pudding so popular. It has withstood the test of time and is still enjoyed in so many homes today.
How To Make Christmas Pudding
- When cooking a Christmas pudding, bake it in a pan in a water bath. The pan needs to be covered with parchment, then foil, then sealed very tight with string.
- Fold the edges inward so that the parchment doesn’t get wet from the water bath.
- The Christmas pudding actually cooks by the steam method. It takes around 90 minutes or possibly longer, depending on the container size. A bowl can be used as well as semi-spherical cake pans if you have these.
- Be careful to really seal the cake well so that water doesn’t seep in while cooking.
- To make a traditional Christmas Pudding, make sure to drench the cake in a boozy sauce such as rum or brandy for full flavor.
- Make the puddings a day in advance, wrap with saran wrap and store them at room temperature. For a dramatic presentation, make sure to flame the cake at the table. It will make for a memorable dessert for all!
Related: 50 Christmas Classics Made Vegan
What Kind of Pudding was Served in A Christmas Carol?
Christmas pudding has always been a big deal in the UK. You may remember A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, showing a flaming pudding being carried proudly to the table. It’s the flaming center that is the climax of the entire Christmas supper. While singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” there are two whole verses about demanding some figgy pudding:
“Oh, bring us some figgy pudding
(scroll to keep reading)
Oh, bring us some figgy pudding
Oh, bring us some figgy pudding
And bring it right here
Good tidings we bring to you and your kin
We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year”
What Should Be Served With Christmas Pudding?
Christmas pudding is delicious on its own, but it can be made even more indulgent with a caramel or bourbon sauce. Ice cream or freshly made whipped cream are delicious toppings as well. Coconut and chopped nuts give the pudding extra flair.
Can Christmas Pudding Be Frozen?
Yes! Make it ahead of time. Christmas pudding freezes wonderfully, so it’s the perfect choice for the holiday season. After the Christmas pudding has cooled, cover it with foil, then in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer.
When you’re ready to eat it, thaw the Christmas pudding completely, and re-steam it before serving. Another option is to leave the aluminum foil on and reheat it in a low-heat oven just until warm. If using an instant pot, it works wonderfully to reheat the Christmas pudding just using the warm function.
Next: 15 Beautiful Trifle Recipes to Serve at Your Christmas Party