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David Bouchier's Christmas Pudding Recipe

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

An Authentic Victorian Christmas Pudding Recipe

From David Bouchier’s grandmother, who was born in 1884 (the 47th year of Queen Victoria’s Reign)

Breadcrumbs (5 cups, real and fresh)
Sultanas, currents and raisins (at least 2 or 3 cups of each)
Grated carrot and apple (to keep the pudding moist and dark)
Golden Syrup (1 cup)
Treacle (1 cup)
Eggs (2 to 6 or more)
Flour (2 cups)   
Brown sugar (3/4 cup)
Almonds (1/4 cup)
Pecans (1/4 cup)
Chopped dates (1/2 cup)
Candied Peel (1 1/2 cups)
Grated Nutmeg (1 tsp.)
Suet (1 1/4 cups)
Porter (1/2 to 1 cup of dark, sweet beer - Guinness is fine, or brandy or sweet sherry can be substituted)

Optional: mixed spice, ground ginger, juice of an orange.

Quantities are very vague. The original recipe says: "As much as you need…."
Mix as much as you need of all the above ingredients, plus any others you can think of, into a glutinous mass and keep stirring until your arm almost drops off (the whole family should join in this activity). In the old days a silver threepenny piece (a tiny coin about half the size of a dime) was secretly dropped into the mix. Whoever broke their tooth on this would have good luck all year. Wrap tightly in a double layer of cheesecloth, or place in a covered bowl, and steam for at least 7 - 8 hours. When done, keep in a cool dark place for at least a year to mature, and get this year's pudding from a catalog.

The pudding should be served smothered in warm brandy and ignited. Notify your local fire department before doing this.

This page and its contents are copyright WSHU Public Radio and David Bouchier.

David began as a print journalist in London and taught at a British university for almost 20 years. He joined WSHU as a weekly commentator in 1992, becoming host of Sunday Matinee in 1996.