Quince and Walnut Christmas Pudding Recipe
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas with a Christmas pudding and I’ve played around with a few of my favorite ingredients to create this quince and walnut Christmas pudding recipe. If you’ve never had Christmas pudding, it’s an ancient dessert coming through the dark ages from medieval England and was also known as plum pudding. In the middle ages, this thing was meant to be the sweet and rich culmination of the year so there’s nothing light or even healthy about this pudding except perhaps that you might go for a walk to deserve it. Think a ton of dried fruit, beef suet, spices, sugar, stout, rum and eggs. Steam the whole thing during hours, “feed” it with brandy regularly (if you want it boozy), store it for months in a cool cupboard and steam again on Christmas day to eat it with brandy butter. Does it sound like a rich medieval recipe? Totally right, and I suggest you organize a family walk in the woods to walk it off because it’s delicious and well worth the effort. This recipe is inspired by Stacie Stewart‘s family Christmas pudding recipe and yields 2 2-liter/quart puddings for 8 and a small pudding for 4.
The ingredients’ list may be long but once you got it all, it’s frankly just of matter of mixing in a big bowl. No technique is required, only patience.
- 500g/1 lb mixed dried raisins
- 300g/12 oz dried cranberries
- 300g/12 oz dried pitted dates, chopped
- 200g/8 oz dried figs, chopped
- 1½ cup of rum
- 125 g/1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground allspice
- 2 tsp grated nutmeg
- 250 g/9 oz suet (I used beef but you can use vegetarian suet), shredded
- 200 g/3 cups breadcrumbs (I chopped 4 slices of whole wheat toast bread)
- 450 g/1 lb dark brown sugar
- 1 large quince (or two tart dessert apples), grated
- Grated zest of 2 oranges
- 100 g/1 cup slivered almonds
- 150 g/1 /2 cup walnuts
- 300 ml/1¼ cup stout
- 5 eggs, beaten
- Start the day before and mix all dried fruits in a large bowl with a lid (a tupperware would be great). Add the rum and cover overnight so the fruits soak it all in.
- The next day, add these ingredients to the dried fruits in a bigger bowl: flour, spices, suet, breadcrumbs, sugar, quince, orange zest, almonds, walnuts.
- Add the stout and eggs and mix with a wooden spoon. The mixture should be sloppy and fall off the spoon when tapped. If not, add more stout.
- Grease 2 2-liter/quart pudding bowls with butter. Pudding bowls are the bowls on my picture. If you don't have pudding bowls, substitute an oven-proof ceramic souffle dish or something with high sides but that will fit in your steamer. Fill the bowls and cover with a circle of greaseproof paper.
- Steam the puddings for 6 hours and don't go too far because you'll need to add water roughly every hour. If your lids don't fit tightly (mine didn't), seal the lids with aluminum foil as tightly as you can so the steam doesn't escape - too much. I'm warning you, it might get messy and the puddings may spill a little on the sides.
- After 6 hours, your home smells wonderful. Remove the puddings from the steamer and leave it out to cool completely.
- Clean up the bowls and wrap the pudding bowls in a double layer of foil. Store in a cool dark place.
- Once a week until Christmas, say hello to your puddings and "feed" them with rum. Meaning, pour a couple tablespoons of rum and wrap it again.
- On Christmas eve or Christmas day, microwave until piping hot in the middle (6 to 10 minutes) or steam for 45 minutes. Serve with brandy butter.
You can replace beef suet by vegetarian suet.
If they are unavailable where you live, replace with sour apples.
Replace alcohol in the ingredients with a flavorful strong tea (Earl Grey or Breakfast Tea).
Step-by-step photos – click on thumbnails to enlarge: