Harry Potter Eats Christmas Pudding


Oh yes, he does!

Oh no, he doesn’t!

Oh yes, he does!

Oh, never mind.

(If you don’t get that, just move along…)

At the weekend, I was helping make Christmas puddings, sometimes known as plum pudding.

I gathered the ingredients, washed up and tried, rather unsuccessfully as usual, to control two 11 year-olds who were way too excited that their very own school operations officer had come along to show them how to do it.

Other than that, I stood back to watch the master chefs at work.

Oliver doing some serious measuring...

We approached it with a ‘bit of this and a bit of that’ mentality. πŸ˜‰

We used the recipe from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook (aff), but we dropped the marmalade (I hadn’t got any,) added suet – a delightful euphemism for pig fat, and switched Cointreau for the traditional brandy.

As you do.

That’s the way we roll in our house.

The cooks mixed everything up, wrapped the puds in muslin, and tied and steamed for three hours.

Just like they did in the good old days.

This was the real deal.

Right now the six we made are aging in garages around the Bay Area and will get steamed once again for 3 hours prior to eating.

I was asked on my Facebook page if Christmas puddings were worth all the effort.

Is that a serious question, I wondered?

Of *course* they are!

No question.

Pig fat Suet, dried fruit, a few breadcrumbs, a little flour, spices, eggs, lemon, orange and apples, double steamed, served with cream, custard or brandy butter….yum.

This recipe is suitable for kids (no alcohol) and doesn’t use suet.

Best served in small helpings with other people who revere the Great British Christmas Pudding as much as you do and will give it the due respect it deserves. πŸ™‚


Harry Potter Christmas Pudding for Kids

Anxiety about drinking the illegal Polyjuice Potion does not interfere with Harry and Ron’s appetites. They have three helpings of Christmas pudding before Hermione hustles them away to pluck hair off the heads of the two thugs that the potion will change them into (see Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 12.)

1 and a half cups all purpose flour (I used self raising.)

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 and half teaspoons of ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Half a teaspoon of ground cloves

Half a teaspoon of salt

2 sticks of cold butter, cut into pieces

1 cup dried currants or cranberries (Cranberries are not authentic British but we like them so we chucked them in.)

1 cup dark raisins

1 cup golden raisins (Sultanas to you Brits – but don’t tell me, you’ll be going to M&S for yours, right? ;-))

4 large eggs

What it looks like after steaming, still wrapped in cheesecloth...

1/4 cup of marmalade (We used Cointreau. It’s the same. Really.)

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

Grated zest and juice of 1 orange

Three quarters of a cup of apple juice

Grease and flour a 2 and a half quart bowl. Fill a large, wide pot halfway with water, place an overturned shallow bowl (we used a ramekin) in the bottom and bring to a simmer.

Mix together the flour, breadcrumbs, brown sugar, spices, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Scatter pieces of butter over the flour mixture and rub it in with your fingers until it reaches the consistency of wet sand (such an enticingly delicious sounding comparison don’t you think?) Add the currants or cranberries, dark raisins, and golden raisins, and toss to combine.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, marmalade (or Cointreau) and juice of orange, lemon and apple juice until well combined.

Pour egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir to combine.

We took it out of the bowl, still wrapped in cheesecloth and put in an old pillowcase tied with string to store in our garage.

Line bowl with cheesecloth/muslin and fill with pudding mixture. Steam for three hours, making sure it doesn’t boil dry.

Place in a cool, dry place for at least 2 weeks.

Steam again for three hours before serving.

Serve with your choice of cream, brandy butter/sauce or the common (wo)man’s favorite, Bird’s custard(aff).





{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary E. Ulrich
November 30, 2011 at 9:52 pm

OH Alison, your Plum Pudding sounds marvelous. If I lived closer I’d beg for a bite.

I’ll bet your relatives in England feel so proud. How wonderful that the boys get to make a part of their heritage. This will make it REAL and not just something they’ve read about. Was the school person part of their cooking classes? (I remember they took baking classes last summer, right?)

Take lots of pictures, and maybe a video so the boys can use this for one of those dreaded “essays” or “speeches” they will need to give in school.

This inspires me to want to bake something. Hum, probably a box brownie mix:)

Only a warrior woman would take on an old English tradition, tie it in to Harry Potter to make it modern. I’m wondering what other recipes are in the Potter cook book. Sounds like amazing fun for the family.
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Alison Golden December 1, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Mary, it is marvellous. We only had one last year and have felt incomplete all year! This time, no chances. We have three.

It is very important to me to teach the boys about their culinary cultural heritage. I know some people think British food is awful (which is a bit rich when you consider one of the US national dishes is meatloaf!) but I love it and I want to pass on the traditional food as a way to reinforce their roots and be a part of a British Christmas even if we can’t physically be there. I’ll even forgo the healthy for a few days – culture trumps that on special occasions, I’ve decided. πŸ™‚


Green Bean
December 1, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Intriguing! Especially without the pig fat, ahem, I mean suet. That makes me feel a little queasy. Perhaps we’ll try this recipe. I mean, if it is good enough for Harry Potter . . .
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Alison Golden December 1, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Ooh, I’d love you to try it and let us know what you think. πŸ™‚


Mika Castro December 1, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Wow! I think that rocks with the pig fat on it! It taste so mouth watering. I can’t wait to taste it.
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Peter December 8, 2011 at 2:43 am

It really looks good and sounds also very good. I really enjoy a good Christmas pudding (sometimes even when it’s not even Christmas). Thanks for sharing this one and I will definitely eat it with Christmas. Thanks!
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olivia34newton December 12, 2011 at 4:49 am

hmmm i have something to try on this weekend when my nephews and niece are coming for a sleepover. they love to eat! thanks for the recipe.
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Mika Castro December 13, 2011 at 8:57 pm

I’m gonna make this pudding on christmas eve! I’m pretty sure my brothers and sisters will love it!
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Solenn December 19, 2011 at 7:19 am

I want to try this kind of pudding it sounds good to eat..Thanks for sharing the recipe..
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diane December 19, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Thanks for sharing this recipe to us..I am really sure my whole family will love it…This is a good idea for the holiday season..
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Rudy December 20, 2011 at 1:45 am

Lovely to share us the recipe. I love the photo’s you made.. Thanks for sharing again.
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December 21, 2011 at 9:00 am

Alison–you had me salivating till I came across the pig fat reference…that’s almost as bad as spying your FB photo strip and thinking the kidney whatevers was a chocolate fudge roll…:P.

I agree that kids should learn about culinary culture, and at the risk of offending a few Americans, we have a lot to gain in that arena.

I admire you and the boys (adorable, btw) for going to all this trouble–or at least that’s my interpretation, for the Harry Potter Christmas Pudding. Now I feel guilty that all we do around here is make sugar cookies. Though I guess it could be worse–at least we make ’em from scratch. No store bought cookie dough in this culturally-challenged culinary-less household ;).

Happy Holidays Alison! I’ve truly enjoyed connecting with and learning from you in 2011.
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Alison Golden December 21, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Linda, Linda, Linda,

I still think that’s hysterical you thought a cows kidney was a Tootsie Roll. πŸ™‚ Wonder what animal product I can shock you with next year. I’ll work on that.

Glad to hear you’re making your own cookies. I tried to make a few yesterday but found concentration hard and 4 of the 5 batches were burned. Moral of the story: don’t make cookies when you’re engaged in an argument with someone on social media. πŸ™‚


Chris December 26, 2011 at 6:28 am

I will try this one this coming new years morn and. This time I will add some chocolate add-on on the top of the padding. Thanks for sharing this great recipe.
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Bettina143 January 2, 2012 at 9:25 am

Wow! I think this is great! Sorry for me, I have not visited this site before Christmas, I did not get the chance to bake this for my Nuche Buena… My kids will surely love this recipe. Thanks for sharing…
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JSP December 27, 2014 at 8:06 am

SUET is beef or sheep fat. LARD is rendered pork fat.


Jean January 4, 2015 at 11:07 am

Suet is actually pure white fat that surrounds the kidney of a cow. My dad was a butcher and was able to get it for us to make out puddings. Glad to find a recipe without, as I can no longer get it, and what the meat people at the supermarket want to pass off as suet ruined a pudding once for me.


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