Mrs. Cratchit’s Christmas Plum Pudding (McCarter’s A Christmas Carol @Home)

Gentle home cooks, note that as with most Christmas puddings, this recipe is usually made a day or more before it is required for the table.  —Mrs. G. Cratchit


340 gr (12 oz.) raisins

230 gr (8 oz.) currants (or already dried currants)

230 gr (8 oz.) mixed peel (i.e., candied lemon and orange peel)

170 gr (6 oz.) breadcrumbs

170 gr (6 oz.) suet, or other shortening

4 eggs

½ wineglassful of brandy



Stone and cut the raisins in halves, but do not chop them.

Wash, pick, and dry the currants, and mince the suet finely.

Cut the candied peel into thin slices, and grate down the bread into fine crumbs.

When all these dry ingredients are prepared, mix them well together.

Moisten the mixture with the eggs (which should be well beaten) and the brandy.

Stir well, that everything may be very thoroughly blended, and press the pudding into a buttered mould.

Tie it down tightly with a floured cloth.

Boil for 5 or 6 hours. It may also be boiled in a floured cloth without a mould and will require the same time allowed for cooking.

When the pudding is taken out of the pot, hang it up immediately by a hook, and put a plate or saucer underneath to catch the water that will drain from it.

Store cooled pudding in its mould or cloth in the refrigerator or cool place. On the day you plan to serve it, boil it for 2 hours in advance of serving.

For added holiday cheer for the adults and an added bit of drama, heat some brandy or rum in a small saucepan, then set it alight and pour over the pudding

What makes it special?

From Robert’s and my humble home, this is a favorite family holiday tradition. Our Peter even once said that our plum pudding tasted of Christmas itself! This is a recipe that I passed on to my own girls, Martha and Belinda, but even our Tim, once having reached good health after the kindly intervention of Mr. Scrooge, asked to make it himself! (Mr. Scrooge was always a beneficiary of not one, but two slices of Tim’s pudding when we were honored by him at the head of our table. Perhaps he thought it tasted of Christmas too!) And now I pass this Cratchit Family tradition on to you and your family for the holidays and to those closest to your heart, hearth, and home.

Recipe shared by Mrs. Grace Cratchit

Adapted from recipe number 1328 in Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management (1861), a compendium of the quintessential dishes of Victorian England.

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