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Christmas Decorations


Makes 1 large pudding, or two medium size puddings 




  • 100 grams dried currants

  • 100 grams dried sultanas

  • 100 grams raisins

  • 100 grams roughly chopped dates

  • 100 grams roughly chopped prunes

  • 100 grams dried cherries

  • 250 millilitres Joadja Pedro Ximenez



  • 1 orange, finely grated rind, and juice only

  • 1 medium cooking apple (peeled and grated)

  • 100 grams ground almonds

  • 125 grams plain flour (plus extra for cloths)

  • 150 grams fresh breadcrumbs

  • 150 grams grated suet

  • 150 grams brown sugar

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon mixed / all spice

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 4 large eggs beaten

  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup


  • 125 millilitres Joadja Brandy or Rum

       (to flame the pudding)



  • 560ml (2¼ cups) milk

  • 185ml (¾ cup) thin cream

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 100g (½  cup) caster sugar

  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornflour

  • 60ml (¼ cup) Joadja Brandy


  1. Put the fruit mixture together with the Joadja Pedro Ximénez in a bowl, swill the bowl a bit, then cover with clingfilm and leave to steep overnight or for up to 1 week.

  2. Heat large pot of water.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, rub grated suet into flour, add dry ingredients and mix. Beat eggs and add. Add golden syrup and stir well with the rest of ingredients.

  4. Add the steeped fruits, scraping in every last drop of liquor with a rubber spatula, and mix to combine thoroughly.

  5. Add one prepared pudding cloth at a time to water and boil for 1 minute, then remove with tongs and squeeze excess water from cloth (wear rubber gloves to protect your hands). Place ¼ cup flour in centre of cloth and, using a flat-bottomed cup, spread flour in a 30cm-diameter circle in centre of cloth and rub in.

  6. Pile all or half of the pudding mixture into the centre of cloth.

  7. Gather up edges of cloth, enclosing mixture, and twist firmly. Tie tightly with twine to seal, then tie ends of twine into long loops. Repeat with remaining pudding cloths and pudding mixture.

  8. Gently lower puddings into boiling water, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook until firm (4 hours), topping up with boiling water during cooking to ensure puddings are completely submerged. Remove puddings from water with a slotted spoon, pass the handle of a wooden spoon through twine loops and place puddings in a colander until cloth is dry but puddings are still warm to touch (2-3 hours).

  9. Untie puddings, peel back cloth and invert onto a plate. Cool completely, then tightly wrap each pudding in plastic wrap, place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 months or freeze for up to 1 year before using.



  1. To reheat, boil for 45 minutes in cloth. Remove and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Unwrap.

  2. FLAME: Put the sprig of holly on top of the dark, heat the Joadja Brandy or Joadja Rum in a small pan and the minute it’s hot, but before it boils – you don’t want the alcohol to burn off before you attempt to flambé it – turn off the heat, strike a match, stand back and light the pan of Joadja Brandy or Joadja Rum, then pour the flaming liquid over the pudding


SERVE WITH Joadja Brandy Cream

  1. Heat the milk and cream in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat for 4 minutes or until it comes to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat.

  2. Use a balloon whisk to whisk together egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl until pale and creamy. Gradually whisk in milk mixture. Return to pan.

  3. Place over medium heat and stir with a wooden spoon for 8 minutes or until the custard thickens and coats back of spoon (do not boil). Remove from heat. Stir in the Joadja Brandy. Transfer to a heatproof serving jug. Serve warm or place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of custard and store in fridge until required.

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