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It’s Starting To Look A Lot Like Christmas - Bourbon Plum Pudding

Author: Matt Wooler - Saturday, December 24, 2016


So it is late into Christmas season 2016 and we thought to share a special season treat we have adapted from an old family boiled plum pudding recipe. You know we like cooking with whisky, especially bourbon. Bourbon is robust, full flavoured, and complex. It adds levels of complex maple syrup style sweetness to many dishes from BBQ through to desserts.

Of course any pudding should have a slug of booze added to the recipe. Often being rum or sherry. Well hey we are talking whisky here, so this year I have chosen to do a bourbon plum pudding utilising Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Decades. This is a great full bodied whisky that works exceptionally well in a pudding such as this. If you have not encountered Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Decades, then have a read of our review here: All I Want For Christmas 2016 - The Bourbon. Don't be concerned if you do not have decades on the shelf as regular Wild Turkey or any other bourbon of your choice will also work.

Unlike a store purchased puddings wich are dry and flat, making them yourself is easy, quick, super moist and delicious to taste. You can amp up the booze content as you will, but remember the more booze the more flour to balance. The most vital item needed of course is a pudding pot boiler. They are relatively cheap to buy in stores or hunt around 2nd hand stores for the older aluminium boilers for literally $2 a pop. Personally the aluminium ones are better than modern counterparts and the one (of many I have) in the photo is an old family pot.

Another note is that tradition in our family, as with many, has always had it that a plum pudding should always have coins inserted into them as a way of delivering luck and wealth to the finder of the coins. I always add at least 2 sterling silver coins to my puddings. Unfortunately these days our modern coinage is not made of metals that work well when baked. In fact they will go black and taint the food. I have some old 1950's sixpence hand down through the family which I use in the cakes as they are made of silver. When the kids find a sixpence I trade them for a $2 coin and retain for next years pudding. If you do not have any sixpence then ask your parents or grand parents if they have any tucked in a draw. Explain what is it for and i am sure they will be glad to help. Alternatively try taking a modern coin and wrapping it in aluminium foil shining side out. The foil will blacken marginally but it won’t taint the pudding around it.

So before you get into reading the recipe it is worth considering soaking you dried fruits in the alcohol. This helps retain flavour and it cooks out into the pudding delivering extra deliciousness to a surround fruits. Tip the fruits into a takeaway container and pour some  bourbon over. Come back in a hour, turn the fruits over, and add some more liquid. Be sure to cover though or fruit flies will appear from everywhere.


Pot Boiled Bourbon Plum Pudding


Part 1

  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 cup mixed dried fruits (bourbon soaked)
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • pinch of salt

Part 2

  • 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 1 cup self rating flour
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1/4 cup bourbon whiskey


  • 1 greased pudding pot boiler
  • 1 large pot with lid big enough to place pudding boiler into. Pressure cooker is bested my fool proof method.


Step 1.

Combine all ingredients from part 1 in a small pot on stove and bring to boil while stirring constantly. Do not worry when the milk curdles as this will recombine in step 2. Once boiled remove from heat and let cool for 10min.

Step 2.

Combine all ingredients in part 2 into a small mixing pot and mix by hand with a knife. It won’t take long to develop into a thick batter.

Step 3.

Add the mixed ingredients of step 1 and 2 together and blend. Use an electric beater and it will make short work. The end result is a loose batter.

Step 4.

Grease the pudding pot well with butter then pour in the combine ingredients. Secure lid then add pudding pot into second larger pot. Fill larger pot with water until it come up to 2/3 the height of the inner pot. Put on high heat, secure outer lid, then low boil for 40min. Check density and continue for  a short period if needed. Using a pressure cooker is guaranteed no longer than 40min. The final texture in the pot will feel soft but it should not be runny. Remove from heat and let stand out of the water until warm. Serve other warm, cold, or reheated with warm custard or cold vanilla ice-cream.

What’s the end result? A great pudding, super moist on the inside and out. The alcohol balanced against the soaked fruits is amazing yet unlike a rum based pudding their is not that intense spirity effect.

Happy Christmas from Dramnation and see you next year!

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