Cherry Christmas Pudding

by Ed Halmagyi


  • 400g dried cherries, chopped
  • 150g dried apricots, diced
  • 125g raisins
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 125ml dark rum
  • 125ml sweet sherry
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp natural vanilla paste
  • 2 Tbsp Dutch cocoa powder
  • 200g breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¾ cup plain flour
  • 125ml milk


1 Combine the dried fruit in a bowl and pour in the rum and sherry. Mix well, then cover and refrigerate for one week.
2 Put the butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 5 minutes, until very light. Add the eggs and yolks and continue beating for 2 more minutes. Pour in the vanilla and cocoa, then beat until smooth.
3 Beat in the breadcrumbs, then sift in the spices and flour. Stir until smooth, then spoon into a well-greased 1.25L pudding basin. Cover with a piece of non-stick baking paper and secure with a length of kitchen string. Set on a trivet in a large saucepan of simmering water and cook for 3 hours, topping up the water as needed, so that the water level is always ¾ of the way up the sides of the basin.
4 Unmould and serve with custard.

Note: This pudding can be made up to a week in advance, then rewarmed in the bowl in water, o microwaved on low power. If you do not have a full week available to soak the fruit, a good result can still be achieved by leaving the fruit mixture at room temperature for 24 hours.