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Behind the Half Door Christmas Special: Nora's Christmas Pudding

Posted by Kady Oconnell on

Behind the Half Door Christmas Special: Nora's Christmas Puddings

We have a very special Christmas treat just for you! Kady and Biddy, authors of Behind the Half Door - Stories of Food and folk cookbook are giving us a sneak peak into the Christmas section of their new book. We hope you enjoy and you can find out more about this delicious hardback book here.


  • ¾ cup (110g) Oldums Cream Plain Flour
  • 1 cup (120g) almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 450g beef or vegetarian suet, finely chopped
  • 6½ cups (450g) breadcrumbs
  • 2½ cups (440g) brown sugar
  • 3 cups (450g) each raisins, sultanas and currants
  • ½ cup (110g) glacé cherries
  • 1½ cups (110g) candied peel
  • cup (110g) almonds, halved
  • 1 large apple, peeled and grated
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • 8 eggs
  • ½ cup (125ml) stout
  • lemon juice, to taste


Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Lightly grease 1 x 4-cup-capacity (1-litre) pudding bowl and 1 x 10-cup-capacity (2.5-litre) pudding bowl (both with lids).

Sift the flour, almond meal, salt and the spices into a large bowl. Add the suet and breadcrumbs and mix well. Add the sugar, fruit, peel, almonds, apple and carrot and combine.

Place the eggs in a separate large bowl and whisk until thick and creamy. Add the stout and beat until just combined. Add the egg mixture to the fruit mixture and mix well. Add the lemon juice and mix.

Rinse 2 large squares of clean muslin under boiling water. Allow to cool a little, squeeze dry and spread onto a clean surface. Dust the damp muslins lightly with extra flour and use them to line the pudding bowls. Divide the pudding mixture between the bowls and press so it fits snugly. Bring together the muslin and tie with kitchen string to secure. Clip the lids onto the bowls. Wrap the bowls in a layer each of non-stick baking paper and aluminium foil. Place the bowls in a large roasting pan or baking dish and fill it half-full with boiling water (about 5cm deep). Cover the entire tray with a double layer of aluminium foil. Bake for 5 hours, replenishing the boiling water in the pan every 1 hour. Allow the puddings to cool in the bowls, then unwrap and turn them out onto serving plates.

Serve immediately or cover with baking paper and return to the bowls. Cover bowls with aluminium foil or 2 layers of plastic wrap and store in a cool dark place for up to 1 month. Re-steam to serve.

 Kady has written and photographed cookery books for eminent chefs and clients all over the world and is obsessive in her search for new tastes. Co-author of Irish cookbook Behind the Half Door: Stories of Food and Folk, she lives and breathes food. Kady will be sharing a new recipe with us each week based on nutritional and tasty Irish flavours.