This slow cooker Christmas pudding recipe is guaranteed to deliver a juicy, flavoursome pud everyone in the family will love. We've tweaked and tweaked this recipe until we finally found the right combination of ingredients. This doesn't mean that you absolutely have to adhere to the list here: everyone will have their own preferences (more on that at the end of the article).
Slow cookers are a great choice for Christmas puddings, locking in moisture and flavour. Be prepared to let the cooker do its magic for a full day for best results.
The other thing that we must say about this recipe is that it absolutely requires suet. Suet is something of a rare ingredient these days, perhaps because of its unappetizing origins (the kidney fat of a cow). And yet, suet is the only thing that is guaranteed to give your Christmas pudding the characteristic pudding texture: dense yet not greasy. You can get a vegetarian substitute if you prefer, but never, ever use butter instead, as your pudding will turn into a greasy mess. Don't use gelatine, either: wrong for this type of pudding.
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Slow cooker Christmas pudding recipe
For this Christmas classic, you will need:
- Large eggs, three;
- Self-raising flour, 150 grams;
- Suet, 170 grams;
- Brown sugar, a cup;
- Brandy, 200ml;
- Guinness, or other dry stout, 100ml; you don't have to use it, but it adds a wonderful richness you won't quite achieve with just the brandy;
- Large dates, stoned and chopped, 100 grams;
- Dried berries, including cranberries and cherries, 200 grams;
- Glace cherries, 100 grams;
- Sultanas and raisins, 100 grams;
- Almonds, finely chopped or ground, 50 grams;
- Cinnamon, ground, two teaspoons;
- The zest and juice of one orange;
- Butter, a slice, for greasing the pudding bowl;
- A ceramic pudding bowl, smaller in size than the inner bowl of your slow cooker.
1. Pour the brandy over the fruit and let soak while you're mixing the other ingredients. If you have time, you can also pre-soak the dried fruit several hours prior to cooking.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar and flour, folding the flour in gradually to avoid lumps. Add the chopped suet and almonds and mix together well.
3. Add the Guinness, the cinnamon, the orange juice and zest, then pour in the brandy with the fruit. Stir together well. You should have a fairly thick mixture with a good, dense distribution of fruit throughout.
4. Prepare the pudding bowl for cooking. If using a non-stick type, simply grease the inside with butter. Alternatively, butter up a sheet of grease-proof paper and line the bowl with it. Pour in the pudding mixture.
5. Put the bowl inside your slow cooker bowl, making sure that the pudding bowl isn't too snug inside. Pour water into the slow cooker bowl, filling it about halfway. Cook for nine to ten hours on medium, or about eight hours on high, topping up with water when it gets low.
Serve with clotted cream or brandy butter.
Christmas pudding problems, and how to fix them
The most common problem with Christmas puddings is that they dry out during cooking. The most obvious reason is that there wasn't enough liquid added to the cake mix, but sometimes it can seem as if you've done everything right, and the pud's still dry.
If this is the case, it may be that your dried fruit is just quite dry and will need soaking in booze (a lot) longer. Try 24 hours or even 48 hours – the fruit should be plump and juicy.
The other problem is that Christmas pudding tastes 'off' to some people, and that's often because of the brandy. Always try the alcohol you're using for your pudding beforehand – if you dislike the taste, choose something else. Amaretto is a popular alternative, but you can also try port.