Light Christmas Pudding

If you love Christmas pudding… but you want something lighter this year… then try our recipe. We’ll help you to interpret the classic recipes in your own way, choosing your own fruit and favourite tipple – to make a light Christmas pudding with all your favourite flavours!

Interpreting The Classic Recipe…

There are several ways to approach the classic recipe to make it lighter. You could swap out the alcohol (usually brandy or rum) for fruit juice (lemon or orange); you can change the raisins and cherries to lighter apricots and pears; and you can replace the traditional suet with an extra egg and sticky treacle. The fruit provides natural sugars, so this Lighter Pudding doesn’t need much extra sweetness. Serve it with custard made using semi-skimmed milk and you’ll have a pudding light enough for seconds and thirds!

Lighter Christmas Pudding

Read the notes and adapt this recipe to suit your family’s tastes. It’s easy to swap the fruit and brandy to avoid ingredients that certain children (or adults) won’t eat!

You Need:

  • 400g (14oz) mixed fruit (you can buy this pre-mixed, or prepare your own mixture: choose a variety of types, including raisins, sultanas, currants, candied peel, dried cherries, dried apricots, dried figs, or dried cranberries).
  • 200g (7oz) grated apple
  • 50g (2oz) soft brown sugar
  • 75g (3oz) wholemeal flour
  • 75g (3oz) fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • Spices: ½ tsp each of mixed spice, ginger and cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 160ml (5½ fl oz) liquid, to bind: use the juice of 2 oranges, topped up with milk or cold tea with a splash of brandy, if liked.
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2tbsp treacle

Mix the dry ingredients – flour, breadcrumbs, salt, spices – in a big, roomy bowl. Add your selection of fruit, stirring to cover it all in flour and distribute the spices. Now beat the eggs with fruit juice (brandy or milk) and stir them in to the mixture.

You’re aiming for a ‘soft dropping’ consistency – the mixture should drop slowly from a spoon when it’s spooned into the basin. Stir the mixture well and decide if it needs any extra liquid – if so, add some more milk. At this stage, you can leave the cake mixture overnight so the fruit soaks up the liquid. You can cook it if you’re in a hurry.

Get out your biggest saucepan. Prepare your pudding basin (a 2 pint one) by buttering it well and cutting a round of greaseproof paper to fit over the top. Cut a round of foil a little larger all round. Now stir the pudding mix well and spoon it into the basin. Cover with greaseproof and then foil, and secure with string. (If you have a plastic pudding basin, just put on the lid, following manufacturer instructions.) Now you’re ready to steam the pudding.

Put it, with the foil upwards, into the saucepan and check the lid fits well. Boil the kettle and half-fill the pan with boiling water around the edges of the basin. Clamp on the lid (using weights if it’s a bit loose) and steam for 6 hours, checking from time to time and topping up the water level.

The pudding can now be cooled, turned out, wrapped tightly and stored until Christmas Day. On the big day, give it another two hours in the steamer before serving to your lucky guests!

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