This is of course a traditional Christmas recipe; a steamed pudding in the style of a Christmas pudding. If you have never made a steamed pudding before, it might seem a bit intimidating but it’s really not difficult to make. You will need string, a 1.5 litre (2½ pint) pudding bowl, greaseproof paper and foil.


150g self-raising flour
100g candied or crystallised ginger, finely chopped
100g sultanas
100g breadcrumbs
100g dark brown sugar
100g suet (or vegetarian suet)
1 tsp ground mixed spice
½ tsp ground nutmeg
6 South African plums, stones removed, sliced thinly
1 apple, peeled, cored and grated
75ml dark rum
2 eggs, beaten
225ml milk

Preparation time
25 minutes

Cooking time
3 hours


South African Weisser Riesling (Rhine Riesling) will work well with this dish. Riesling has adapted well to South African’s soil and climate. This grape variety produces very full and flavourful wines which will develop well with bottle ageing. The wines have a honeyed spicy nose and a flowery sweetness on the palate.

Wine recommendations by Wines of South Africa


  1. Mix the flour, ginger, sultanas, breadcrumbs, sugar, suet and spices together. Add the South African plums, grated apple, rum, eggs and milk. Stir thoroughly to mix well.
  2. Generously butter a 1.5 litre (2½ pint) pudding bowl and sprinkle with sugar (this helps it to be lit if you want to set fire on it when serving).
  3. Butter and sugar a piece of greaseproof paper big enough to cover the top of the pudding bowl. Then pour in the batter. Cover the bowl with the greaseproof paper, then a layer of foil. Smooth it down so that it makes a seal. Then tie a string around the lip of the pudding bowl, knot it and make a ‘handle’ by looping the string over to the other side of the bowl then tying it again.
  4. Prepare a saucepan deep and wide enough for the bowl to sit in with a lid that will fit over the top. Place the pudding bowl in the pan and fill halfway up the bowl with hot water. Place on a medium heat and steam the pudding for at least three hours (though you can steam it for up to five hours), checking every so often to make sure the water hasn’t run dry. If the water is getting low, top up with boiling water.
  5. After three hours, remove the bowl from the pan and serve immediately. If you want to keep it until Christmas Day, replace the greaseproof lid and you can add more rum to keep it moist. To reheat, steam it for another hour.

Serve with brandy butter or cream.

Recipe created by Kerstin Rodgers, aka Ms Marmite Lover, award-winning author, blogger and supper club owner

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