The Trick To Making The Royal Family's Boozy Christmas Pudding

With the fourth season of The Crown having been released on November 15 (via Decider), the chefs of the royal family apparently decided to capitalize on the timing by sharing the royal family's recipe for Christmas pudding with a step-by-step video on their official Twitter account. This pudding consists primarily of dry fruit and booze. The recipe calls for raisins, currants, sultanas, and mixed peel, and the candied peels of citrus fruits like oranges and lemons. The star of this pudding is booze. The chefs turn to brandy, dark rum, and beer. As for preparing the pudding, it's your standard fare of combining dry ingredients, stirring, adding liquid ingredients, and stirring. Then you place the mixture into a greased pan, cover the pud with parchment paper, and the basin with either muslin or foil. Steam for six hours and once it's cooled, keep in a cupboard until Christmas.

What makes this dish so special? Delish makes pains to explain to its American audience that a British Christmas pudding is a traditional dessert that can either be sweet or savory, not the custardy substances found on grocery store shelves. This pudding is boiled and steamed and sometimes doused in brandy and set on fire for Christmas. Food Timeline notes that British puddings have meat-based origins – hence black pudding – and dates the final separation between traditional boiled pudding and custard puddings to the 1840s when the average American had enough food to feed their family something other than pudding, and custard powder was invented as a substitute for egg thickeners. 

Further ways to enjoy your Christmas pudding

If you want some added sweetness to your Christmas pudding, you should prepare a small batch of brandy butter to dollop on the various fruits. Brandy butter is a simple whipping together of – you guessed it – butter, sugar, and brandy, with recipes all adding their own flavor, such as a few ounces of icing sugar, as Mary Berry's recipe does, or vanilla (either paste or seeds) as the BBC's Good Food team suggests. The recipes, however, follow the same basic premise of beating the non-brandy ingredients together then whisking in the brandy until you achieve a pleasing taste and texture. 

If you still want to try something more with your pudding, Tesco lists additional methods for eating your Christmas pud, from the no-thrills pudding to the mentioned brandy butter to treating any leftovers as an ingredient for a crumble. However, their second suggestion, and something anyone who's bothered to make a Christmas pudding should really do, is to set it on fire. Turning to Tesco's recommended way to not burn the house down while doing so, you take any leftover brandy, ladle it, hold the ladle over a flame for a few seconds to encourage lighting, and then tip the ladle slightly. This should cause your brandy to catch fire. Once this has happened, pour the flaming brandy over the pudding and after it burns away, enjoy the pudding.