Irish-American Christmas Pudding

A fabulous Christmas pudding given an American flavour with cranberries, blueberries, pecan nuts, maple syrup and bourbon.


  • 110 g fresh cranberries
  • 225 g dried cranberries
  • 110 g fresh or dried blueberries
  • 110 g pecan nuts (roughly chopped)
  • 225 g sultanas
  • 110 g glacé cherries (chopped)
  • grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 2 dsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 tblsp bourbon
  • 225 g butter
  • 225 g soft brown sugar
  • 3 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 110 g plain flour (sifted)
  • 110 g white or brown breadcrumbs
  • 1-2 tbsp bourbon (to flame)


  1. Place the cranberries in a small saucepan and cook over a very low heat for a few minutes, just until they have softened a little.
  2. Pour the cooked cranberries and any juice into a large bowl.
  3. Add the dried cranberries, blueberries, pecan nuts, sultanas, cherries, orange zest and orange juice, apple, maple syrup, spices and bourbon.
  4. Cover with cling-film and leave for 24 hours to allow the fruits to absorb the liquid and plump up.
  5. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  6. Add a little beaten egg, a little flour and some of the breadcrumbs and mix.
  7. Do not add all the egg without the flour and breadcrumbs as this will cause the mixture to curdle.
  8. Repeat until the egg, flour and breadcrumbs are used up.  Mix in the steeped fruits until thoroughly combined.
  9. Grease two 900g/2lb pudding basins.
  10. Divide the mixture between the basins.
  11. Cover with a secure lid or a double layer of well greased greaseproof paper, making a fold in the paper to allow for expansion during cooking.
  12. Top with folded foil.  Tie securely with string or use an elastic band, and boil or steam for 3 1/2 - 4 hours.
  13. Store the pudding for 1-2 weeks to allow the flavours to develop.
  14. Boil or steam for 1 hour before serving.
  15. Turn out onto a large plate.
  16. Heat the bourbon in a small pan for a few seconds.
  17. Pour it over the hot pudding and immediately set it alight.
  18. If the pudding has cooled slightly, light the bourbon in the pan and then pour it over. Serve immediately with warm egg-nog sauce.


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