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Double plum pudding with brown sugar hard sauce

Christmas recipe for double plum pudding with brown sugar hard sauce.

By Emma Knowles
  • 1 hr preparation
  • 4 hrs cooking plus making fruit mix
  • Serves 12
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Double plum pudding with brown sugar hard sauce


  • 125 gm softened butter
  • 125 gm brown sugar
  • 1 egg, plus 1 extra egg yolk
  • 80 gm shop-bought plum jam
  • 100 gm fine sourdough breadcrumbs
  • 75 gm plain flour (½ cup)
  • 1 tsp each ground cinnamon and mixed spice
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 75 ml milk
  • 600 gm dark fruit mixture
Brown sugar hard sauce
  • 250 gm softened butter, coarsely chopped
  • 165 gm each brown sugar and sieved pure icing sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 80 ml brandy
  • ½ eggwhite


  • 1
    Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until very pale and fluffy (6-8 minutes), scrape down sides of bowl and beat in egg and yolk to combine. Beat in jam, then stir in breadcrumbs, flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda. Stir in milk, then fruit mixture and spoon into a well-buttered 1.2-litre ceramic pudding bowl. Smooth top, cover bowl with 2 layers of baking paper and secure with kitchen string. Cover with a layer of foil, place in a large saucepan lined with a tea towel, then pour in enough boiling water to come just below the rim of the bowl. Cover with a lid, bring to the boil and cook over high heat, topping saucepan up with extra boiling water if necessary, until an inserted skewer withdraws clean (3½-4 hours).
  • 2
    For brown sugar hard sauce, beat butter in an electric mixer until light and very fluffy (6-8 minutes). Add sugar in batches, beating well to combine (10-15 minutes), then beat in spices and vanilla seeds. Beat to combine well (4-5 minutes), then, with motor running, drizzle in brandy, beating well to incorporate. Beat in eggwhite until light and very fluffy (4-5 minutes). Transfer to sterilised jars and refrigerate until required. Brown sugar hard sauce will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before using.
  • 3
    Serve hot pudding topped with brown sugar hard sauce.


Note If you have cooked the pudding in advance, cool pudding to room temperature in pudding bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Pudding will keep for 2 weeks. To re-warm, remove plastic wrap, cover with foil and place in a large saucepan of simmering water, topping up with extra water if necessary, for 1-1½ hours.