Last-Minute Christmas Pudding

If you suddenly discover just days before 25th December that family and friends are coming to your house for Christmas dinner, this is the Christmas pudding recipe for you!  Don’t stress!  (You will need 6 x 160ml (2/3 cup) heatproof, microwave-safe ramekins.)

If you are pressed for time, another dish you can make up quickly is our amazing homemade Canadian pancakes that always gets made at holiday time in our house.  Match it with an eggnog smoothie and you have a match made in heaven!


melted butter for greasing
100g sultanas
80g raisins
100g pitted dates, coarsely chopped
80g dried apricots, coarsely chopped
125ml (1/2 cup) brandy
100g butter, cubed, at room temperature
100g (1/2 cup) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon parisienne essence
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons plain flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
105g (1+1/2 cup) soft breadcrumbs (made from day old bread with crusts removed)
105g (3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped warm vanilla custard, to serve.


Brush 6 x 160ml (2/3 cup) heatproof, microwave-safe ramekins with melted butter to grease.
Place the sultanas, raisins, dates and apricots into a medium heatproof bowl.
Place the brandy in a heatproof, microwave-safe jug.
Heat, uncovered on High/800watts/100% for 1 minute or until hot.
Pour the brandy over the fruit mixture and stir well to combine.
Cover and set aside to macerate overnight.
Use electric beaters to beat the butter and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until just combined.
Add the parisienne essence and eggs one at a time, beating on low speed to combine.
Sift the flour, cinnamon and nutmeg over the fruit mixture.
Add the butter mixture, breadcrumbs and pecans and mix gently with a wooden spoon until well combined.
Spoon the mixture evenly into the ramekins so they are almost full.
Cover with two squares of non-stick baking paper and secure in place with unwaxed string.
Place 3 onto a microwave-safe rack evenly spaced around the outer edge and cook, on medium-low, defrost/350watts/30% for 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of each pudding comes out clean.
Repeat with remaining puddings.
Stand for 10 minutes before turning onto serving plates.
Serve with warm custard.
To make 1 pudding:
Spoon the mixture into a 1.25litre (5-cup) heatproof, microwave-safe pudding basin.
Cover with 2 sheets of baking paper and secure with unwaxed string.
Place onto a microwave-safe rack and cook, on medium-low, defrost/350watts/30% 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

If you have no time to macerate the fruit overnight, pour the cold brandy over the fruit.  Cover with a lid or double layer of plastic wrap.  Cook on low/90watts/10% for 20-30 minutes or until almost all the brandy had been absorbed by the fruit.  Stand, covered 30 minutes to cool.

To reheat individual puddings in the microwave:
Line a heatproof, microwave-safe plate with non-stick baking paper.  Invert the pudding onto the lined plate. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.  Place on a microwave-safe rack or upturned saucer.  Reheat on medium-low, defrost/350watts/30% 3-5 minutes or until the pudding feels warm to touch (the pudding will get hotter on standing).

To reheat 1.25 litre pudding:

Follow the method above and reheat medium-low, defrost/350watts/30% 12-15 minute.

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