Plum Pudding (1920's-1930's)

Susan Feliciano


I've always wanted to make a plum pudding, which is sometimes called a Christmas pudding. There are several good recipes on Just A Pinch (see some of the British cooking groups).
This one I found in a very old cookbook. It was published between the Great Depression and World War II, before the rationing of ingredients started. I think it is very authentic and probably reflects what Britain was cooking in the early 20th century. It may even be from the Prohibition Era, because it does not mention brandy or any alcohol which was traditional, but calls for grape juice.


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30 Min
4 Hr


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  • 1/4 c
    shortening or lard
  • 1 c
  • 3 c
    soft bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp
    baking powder
  • 1 tsp
  • 1/4 tsp
  • 1/2 tsp
  • 1/4 tsp
  • 1/4 tsp
  • 3
    beaten eggs
  • 3/4 c
    scalded milk
  • 2 Tbsp
    chopped orange peel
  • 2 Tbsp
    chopped lemon peel
  • 1 1/2 c
  • 1/4 c
  • 1/4 c
    chopped figs
  • 1/2 c
    nuts, cut in pieces
  • 1/2 c
    grape juice (may substitute brandy or sherry)

How to Make Plum Pudding (1920's-1930's)


  1. Cream shortening and sugar together. Add bread crumbs, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  2. Add eggs and mix thoroughly. Add milk. Add orange and lemon peel and remaining ingredients and beat thoroughly.
  3. Fill greased pudding mold 3/4 full. Cover tightly with foil and steam 4 hours. A large dutch oven with a rack in the bottom works well for this. Boiling water should come halfway up sides. Make sure lid fits tightly to hold in steam. Replenish water as needed.
  4. Serve with orange sauce or hard sauce.
    Orange sauce: 1 cup orange juice, 1 tsp orange zest, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp corn starch. Combine over medium heat and stir until thick and translucent, coming just to a boil. Cool.
    Hard Sauce:
    Brandied Hard Sauce

Printable Recipe Card

About Plum Pudding (1920's-1930's)

Main Ingredient: Bread
Regional Style: English
Other Tag: Heirloom

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