California Walnut Plum Pudding

  • Yield 10-12 servings
  • Prep 35 mins
  • Cook 120 mins

Welcome the in-laws with a former outlaw. English Puritans once banned this fragrant dessert for being sinfully rich. Steeped in the traditions of the English Christmas season, plum pudding was originally baked with small silver charms for the coming year, which were kept by the person receiving the serving. These were later replaced by tiny silver coins. Here’s a charming, updated version that includes walnuts.


1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 -- eggs
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon each salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
1 cup candies orange peel
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped California walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup grated apple
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup Calvados or brandy


  1. Grease an 8-cup pudding ring mold or 6-cup ceramic pudding bowl. Set aside.

  2. In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time; add orange zest.

  3. In separate bowl, mix together flour, bread crumbs, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Stir in candied peel, raisins, walnuts, apple and cranberries. 

  4. Stir half the dry ingredients into butter mixture. Add the Calvados and stir in remaining dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Scrape into pudding mold or bowl, smoothing top.

  5. Place a circle of greased parchment on surface of pudding. Cover with lid or securely with foil.

  6. Place on rack in a deep stockpot and add boiling water until water reaches two-thirds up the side of the mold. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, adding more boiling water to maintain level. Cook about 2 hours for pudding mould or 3 hours for a bowl, or until cake tester inserted in middle comes out clean.

  7. Lift out of water and cool on rack; let stand 10 minutes before unmolding onto a plate.


Tip: Cooked Plum Pudding can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 1 month or wrapped in plastic and then foil and frozen for up to 3 months.  To reheat: Cover with glass bowl and heat in microwave until heated through.



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