Tis the Season… Traditional Christmas Pudding by Chef Gavin Mc Donagh.

Perfect Christmas Pudding by Irish Hero Chef Gavin Mc Donagh


  • 110g     Shredded Suet (Vegetarian Suet can be used)
  • 25g       Whole candied peel (finely chopped)
    25g       Whole almonds Chopped (skin on is ok)
  • 1ea       Small cooking apple cored and finely chopped (no need to peel)
  • 1ea       Orange Zest
  • 1ea       Lemon Zest
  • 2tbsp    Irish whiskey
  • 150ml   Guinness
  • 2ea       Large eggs
  • 50g       self-raising flour (sifted)
  • 110g     White Breadcrumbs
  • 1tsp      Ground Mixed Spice
  • ¼ tsp    Ground Nutmeg
  • Good pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 225g     Soft brown sugar
  • 110g     Sultanas
  • 110g     Raisins
  • 275g     Currants


You will need a 2-pound pudding bowl, lightly greased, baking parchment, foil and string, traditional steamer pan


Begin the day before you want to steam the pudding

Take your largest mixing bowl and start by putting in the suet and breadcrumbs, spices and sugar. Mix these ingredients very thoroughly together, then gradually mix in all the dried fruit, peel and nuts followed by apple and the grated orange and lemon zests. Don’t forget to tick off ingredients as you go to make sure nothing is left out.

Next in a smaller bowl measure out the whiskey and Guinness, then add eggs and beat these thoroughly together. Next pour this over all the other ingredients and begin to mix thoroughly.

The mixture should have a fairly sloppy consistency – that is, it should fall instantly from the spoon when this is tapped on the side of the bowl. If you think it need to be a bit more liquid, then add juice of half an orange.

Cover the bowl and leave to rest overnight.

Next day stir in the sifted flour quite thoroughly, then pack the mixture into the lightly greased pudding bowl, cover with a double layer of baking parchment and a sheet of foil and tie it securely with string. It is also a good idea to tie a piece of string across the top to make a handle.

Place the pudding in a steamer set over a pot of simmering water and steam for 8 hours.

Make sure to keep a regular eye on the water underneath and top it up with boiling water straight from the kettle about halfway through the time.

When the pudding is steamed, let it get quite cold, then remove the parchment and foil and replace with fresh ones, again making a string handle for easy manoeuvring.

Now the pudding is ready for Christmas day, store in a cool dry place away from light.

Happy Cooking….

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