Neven Maguire: Auntie Maureen’s Plum Pudding


‘In my opinion, no one makes Christmas pudding as good as my Auntie Maureen’, says Neven Maguire who shares his aunt’s recipe here and in his new Christmas cookbook ‘Neven Maguire’s Perfect Irish Christmas’.  ‘Its flavour only improves as time goes on, so it’s best to make it a month before you plan to eat it. Serve warm or cold with lashings of custard or whipped cream with and brandy butter.’



50g (2oz) plain flour
½ tsp ground mixed spice
½ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
225g (8oz) sultanas
175g (6oz) butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
175g (6oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
175g (6oz) light brown sugar
175g (6oz) raisins
50g (2oz) currants
50g (2oz) candied mixed peel
50g (2oz) blanched almonds, chopped
½ apple, peeled, cored and diced
½ small carrot, grated finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
300ml (½ pint) stout
Icing sugar, to decorate (optional)
Custard or whipped cream, to serve
Brandy butter, to serve


1. Sift together the flour, mixed spice, cloves and nutmeg in a large bowl. Add the sultanas, melted butter, breadcrumbs, sugar, raisins, currants, mixed peel, almonds, apple, carrot and the lemon rind and juice and mix until well combined. Gradually add the beaten eggs, stirring constantly, followed by the stout. Mix everything thoroughly and cover with a clean tea towel, then leave in a cool place overnight.

2. Use the fruit mixture to fill 2 x 1.2 litre (2 pint) greased pudding bowls. Cover with a double thickness of greaseproof paper and tin foil, then tie tightly under the rim with string.

3. To cook, preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F/gas mark 2).

4. Stand each pudding basin in a large cake tin three-quarters full of boiling water, then cook in the oven for 6–8 hours (or you can steam them for 6 hours in the usual way). Cool and re-cover with clean greaseproof paper. Once cooked, the plum pudding can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to two months.

5. On Christmas Day, re-cover with greaseproof paper and foil. Steam for 2–3 hours, until completely cooked through and tender. Decorate with a light dusting of icing sugar, if liked.

6. To serve, cut the plum pudding into slices and arrange on serving plates. Have a separate jug of the custard or a dish of whipped cream and another of brandy butter so that everyone can help themselves.


Neven Maguire’s new book Neven Maguire’s Perfect Irish Christmas is published by Gill Books – buy it at the Gill Books online bookshop or at any good bookstore throughout Ireland.

CURATE: You can also buy Neven Maguire’s Perfect Irish Christmas online at

Related Recipes and Features

How do you cook a duck egg? Duck eggs need a little more care in both handling and cooking than hens' eggs. Duck eggs are usually organic or free-range – the people who rear d...
How to microwave fresh corn-on-the-cob With the help of a microwave, this whole corn-on-the-cob can be on the table in less than 6 minutes. How to cook fresh corn-on-the-cob in the micro...
How to prepare Globe Artichokes Artichokes can be fiddly to prepare: here are two curated videos that show how to prepare larger globe artichokes so they are ready to boil or steam u...
VIDEO: How to Kill a Lobster Humanely Japanese and french-trained chef Seiya Nakano shows how to kill a lobster the humane way, how to boil the lobster, butterfly and fry it in clarified b...
Equipment for the Italian kitchen You don't need much equipment for everyday Italian cooking but a few items will make all the difference. A pasta pot or 'pentola' You need a large...
The Sportsman Recipe: Warm Chocolate Mousse This Warm Chocolate Mousse recipe comes from chef Stephen Harris' new book The Sportsman published by Phaidon. The restaurant of the same name was vot...

Comments are closed.


Follow this blog

Get a weekly email of all new posts.

Email address