home Forums Recipe Conversions Christmas pudding recipe

This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Laura Pazzaglia 1 year, 11 months ago.

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
  • #442705


    So, I’ve had a look around the site and at the recipe converter and was wondering whether my recipe (containing brandy) can be converted or will it turn my pressure cooker into a flame-thrower? I’m hoping to make a fairly traditional British Christmas pudding so the one in the recipes section isn’t quite what I’m looking for.

    Anyway, I’m using a Fissler pressure cooker here in the UK. Here is the manual for the model I’m using:

    This is the pudding basin I’m using:

    Before I post the recipe some key points are:

    – My pressure cooker has a few settings: Normal steaming (no pressure)
    Setting 1, approx. 110°C (45 kPa operating pressure)
    Setting 2, approx. 116°C (75 kPa operating pressure)
    – The pudding will be sealed with paper and foil.
    – Steamed on a trivet.
    – I’m looking to use the minimum amount of water for my cooker if advisable.
    – I’m using a 1.75 L/ approx 3 Pint pudding basin
    – I’m using English weights and measures
    – The pudding will not be eaten straightaway, but kept airtight and fed alcohol until Christmas day.
    – The pudding contains raising agents (baking powder)


    450g mixed dried fruit
    3tbsp brandy
    150g butter, softened (or half butter half lard/suet)
    150g dark brown sugar
    150g eggs, lightly beaten
    125g fresh white breadcrumbs
    85g self-raising flour
    12g ground almonds
    zest of half and orange and half a lemon
    1 medium cooking apple, grated
    1 tsp mixed spice
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

    Soak fruits in alcohol for at least 24 hours.
    Put all ingredients into bowl and stir until just combined.
    Grease pudding basin and line with a circle of baking paper.
    Empty mixture into pudding basin and cover with pleated baking parchment and foil

    steam for 8 hours

    Any help greatly apprecited.


    Laura Pazzaglia

    JH, a few tablespoons of liquor in a pudding basin will not set your cooker a-flame. Braising chicken with limoncello, will (don’t try it).

    For the rest, use your recipe but follow my technique and cooking time:

    STEAMY! The New Christmas Pudding





    Thanks for the advice Laura. Your method seems unique among the others I have researched so far. That’s what interested me.

    I’m a little concerned that my pudding won’t be cooked after a mere 30 mins of pressure cooking even allowing for the initial steaming and natural release. The consensus from the recipes I have researched for the amount of batter and size of container seems to be anywhere from 6-8 hours of non-pressure steaming. The general rule seems to be that pressure cooking in my cooker at 10.8 psi / 75 Kpa knocks off about two thirds of the cooking time. So a very rough calculation indicates 2-2.5 hours of pressure cooking would be necessary.

    I was hoping to get your thoughts on the following:

    1. Why the huge gulf in cooking time between your method and those of other people’s?

    2. I have noticed that most of the recipes stand the pudding on a trivet and fill the water half-way up the basin. How does this change the cooking of the pudding versus just using the steaming basket and having the water well below the bottom of the basin?

    3. Why do you leave the pudding uncovered while pressure/non-pressure cooking?



    Laura Pazzaglia

    JH, I can’t really explain how others came up with their methods. I can only tell you that I carefully test all my recipes. It’s true that a general rule of thumb is that pressure cooking time cuts regular cooking time by 2/3 but it’s not always true. That’s a good gauge to start with but it’s never exactly like that. In the pressure cooker, the cooking is actually determined by the size and density of the food.

    That being said, some foods are more resistant than others to being overcooked (and this includes Christmas bread puddings) so if you overcook them twice or even three times as long you’ll still get a good result. Perhaps this explains why you’re seeing other methods recommend more time. My goal when figuring out the pressure cooking time is to find the least-possible time to just-cook something so I keep reducing the time from the rule-of-thumb 1/3 by half until I get an under-done recipe- at which point I know I’m close to my goal and do a little more testing to find the “sweet spot” that will work in almost any situation. BTW for “cake/flan/pudding like” recipes you just need enough cooking time to raise the dough, cook the eggs or activate the starch.

    Water will cook foods faster than steam, so when you partially submerge a pudding mold the submerged part will cook faster than the part that is out of the water. You can see this illustrated in the photos of the “pressure cooker bread” where I make a gluten-free version in a glass jar… note how the color of the bread in the glass jar is dark only to the point the jar was covered with water. Placing a container the rack and steaming it ensures that the pudding is evenly cooked by the steam on all sides.

    Pressure Cooker Bread: less energy, less time, REAL bread!

    I recommend leaving the pudding uncovered to speed-up cooking time. Anywhere the super-heated steam will touch will transmit heat faster and because it is so fine, it won’t make the pudding any soggier. Traditional puddings were covered to be protected them from spalshes of boling water –
    there’s is no danger of that when steaming it in the pressure cooker.

    You’ll find lots of “unique” techniques and recommendations here (and in my cookbook ; ) because I’m always thinking “there must be a better way” and when you consider the science around (and inside) the pressure cooker – there usually is. : )




    Laura Pazzaglia

    JH, in case you haven’t seen it. I have published a more “classic” Christmas Pudding recipe, yesterday. Here it is:

    BBC Good Food’s Easy Christmas Pudding – pressurecookerized

    Happy Holidays!


Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.