Mum Phipps’ Old Fashioned Christmas Pudding

Officially this is written in my old recipe book as “Rich Plum Pudding” but I have always known it as Mum Phipps Christmas Pudding.  This one takes a few days preparation but is worth the effort and makes two large puddings – larger than the large supermarket ones – this is a seriously big pudding mix for a big family.  I recall one of the puddings feeding 10 or more on Christmas day in Tokoroa and the other being eaten at a later date – maybe New Years.   You will need 2 or 3 large bowls that each fit into a pot with a lid for cooking this – borrow from neighbours if you need to.   It does look like a lot of ingredients and effort but I can assure you that this pudding is well worth the effort.

Christmas Pudding

Start 4 days before you plan on cooking this.

  • 500 grams raisins
  • 250 grams currants
  • 1 Cup mexed chopped peel
  • 500 grams Sultanas
  • 1 Cup chopped Crystalized Fruit (apricot, pineapple, ginger etc)
  • 500 grams Ground Suet
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon Allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 ¼ Cups Brandy
  1. Mix all except for Brandy in a large sealable bowl.
  2. Add ¼ Cup of the Brandy.
  3. Cover and place in the fridge.
  4. Each day add ¼ Cup of the Brandy mix and return to fridge.
Then on cooking day –
  • 1 Cup scalded milk (heated just to  the boil (but not boiled)
  • 625 grams breadcrumbs
  • 1 Cup sherry or Port
  • 12 eggs Beaten (yes 12)
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  1. Soak breadcrumbs in milk for 5 minutes in a BIG bowl.
  2. Add sherry, Eggs, Sugar and Salt. Mix well.
  3. Stir in prepared fruit mix and combine well.
  4. Fill pudding basins 2/3 full, cover and tie down.
  5. Steam for 6 – 7 hours keeping an eye on the water level in the pots.
  6. Uncover the puddings and place in a slow oven (140°C) for 30 minutes.

Serving day

Reboil for two hours before serving with custard and cream.

I  remember having Christmas pudding at Nana and Grandpas in Timaru when I was a girl and we all got a five-cent coin in our serve of pudding – I could never work out how Nana knew where to cut so we all got one and nobody got two – more of my Nanas magic.  I asked dad aboutit and he recalls being a lad and getting a thrippence in his pudding, as did all of the family. Every year there was a riot when Pop Smith (my great Grandfather) pulled a ha’penny from his mouth. 

We were discussing this with Daryl the other night and in his family sometimes it was magic and everyone got a coin – other years the coins were mixed into the pudding and it was a lucky dip.   His family still use the same set of coins they have used every Christmas how cool is that.


2 thoughts on “Mum Phipps’ Old Fashioned Christmas Pudding

  1. Small correction, Pop Smith pulled a “Half Crown” = 2shillings & sixpence
    10 x the threepence value, creating a riot of grizzling children.
    Every year Mum asked him not to do it,
    but it still happened !!!


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