Steamed Plum Pudding

Embrace Tradition with Steamed Plum Pudding: A Decadent Dessert Steeped in History!

As the holiday season approaches, the air is filled with the anticipation of festive feasts and sweet indulgences. Among the treasures of traditional desserts, Steamed Plum Pudding stands out as a timeless classic. Join us on a culinary journey as we explore the rich history and decadent flavors of this iconic treat. Whether you’re steeped in tradition or looking to create new memories, this Steamed Plum Pudding recipe is a must-try for anyone seeking a taste of yesteryears.

Ingredients: For the Plum Pudding:

  • 1 cup dried mixed fruit (raisins, currants, and chopped prunes)
  • 1/2 cup candied peel, finely chopped
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup suet or vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons treacle or golden syrup
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup brandy or dark rum
  • 1/2 cup milk

For the Vanilla Custard:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar


  1. Prepare Steaming Equipment: Grease a 1.5-quart pudding basin or heatproof bowl with butter. Cut a parchment paper circle to fit the base.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the dried mixed fruit, candied peel, breadcrumbs, all-purpose flour, suet or vegetable shortening, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  3. Add Wet Ingredients: Stir in the molasses, treacle or golden syrup, beaten eggs, brandy or dark rum, and milk. Mix until all ingredients are well combined.
  4. Fill Pudding Basin: Pour the pudding mixture into the prepared basin, pressing it down gently to eliminate air pockets.
  5. Cover and Steam: Cover the basin with a double layer of parchment paper and foil, securing it with kitchen twine. Place the basin in a large steamer or a deep saucepan with a trivet. Add enough water to reach halfway up the sides of the basin.
  6. Steam Pudding: Steam the plum pudding for 3 to 4 hours, ensuring the water is gently simmering. Check the water level periodically and top up as needed.
  7. Make Vanilla Custard: In a saucepan, heat the milk with the vanilla bean and seeds until it simmers. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale. Slowly pour the hot milk over the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring, until it thickens into a custard.
  8. Serve: Once the plum pudding is steamed, let it cool slightly before turning it out onto a serving plate. Serve slices with warm vanilla custard.

Cook Notes:

  • Steaming Time: The steaming time is crucial for the pudding’s texture. Aim for 3 to 4 hours to achieve a moist and rich consistency.
  • Checking Doneness: Insert a skewer into the center of the pudding; it should come out clean when the pudding is done.
  • Reheating: To reheat the pudding, steam it for an additional 1 to 2 hours. This enhances the flavors and ensures a moist texture.

Variations: Customize your Steamed Plum Pudding adventure with these delightful variations:

  • Nutty Twist: Add a cup of chopped nuts, such as almonds or walnuts, to the pudding mixture for added texture.
  • Fruity Fusion: Experiment with different dried fruits like figs, apricots, or cranberries to create your unique blend.

Keto Version: For those on a keto journey, transform this classic into a low-carb delight:

  • Almond Flour Base: Substitute almond flour for all-purpose flour to reduce the carb content.
  • Sugar Substitute: Replace dark brown sugar with a keto-friendly sweetener like erythritol or stevia.

Low Carb Version: Trim down the carbs without compromising on taste:

  • Reduced Dried Fruits: Use fewer dried fruits or opt for lower-carb options like berries to cut down on carbohydrate content.
  • Almond Flour Enhancement: Introduce almond flour to the mixture for a lower-carb alternative.

Steamed Plum Pudding is not just a dessert; it’s a journey through time, a taste of tradition that brings generations together. As the aroma of warm spices fills your kitchen and the rich custard drapes the pudding slices, you’re not just serving a sweet treat – you’re weaving memories. Whether you follow the classic recipe or venture into keto and low-carb adaptations, this plum pudding is a celebration of flavor and heritage. Share it with loved ones, regale them with stories of its history, and let the magic of Steamed Plum Pudding become a cherished part of your festive traditions. As you savor each spoonful, may it transport you to a place where time slows down, and the joy of the season is wrapped in a steamed, spiced embrace.

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