This recipe was given to me by my best friend’s gran, who’s Christmas pudding was allegedly infamous throughout Glasgow. I asked if I could share it and surprisingly my friend agreed. So here is “Granny Glasgow’s” perfect Christmas pudding. Is it a labour of love? Yes. Will you be able to put the bowl down when it’s made? Quite simply… No!



You will need a two pint (1.2 litre) lightly greased heatproof pudding basin (with or without lid), baking parchment, foil and string, a steamer or large pot.


Ingredients: Serves 8-10

125g sultanas

125g currants

25g candied or sugared ginger, finely chopped

25g candied peel, finely chopped

25g dried figs, apricots or prunes (or mix)

25g whole almonds chopped (skin on is ok but I prefer blanched)

25g pecans, roughly chopped, skin on

Medium cooking apple, cored and grated

Grated zest ½ orange

Grated zest 1 lemon

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 level teaspoon ground mixed spice

¼ level teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 large eggs

100g self-raising flour, sifted

125g suet

110g white breadcrumbs

150g soft dark brown sugar

50g Amaretto

100g Sherry

50g Cointreau



Put the sultanas, currents, ginger, candied peel and dried fruit in a bowl with all alcohol and let it steep over night or up to a week.

When the fruits have steeped, combine the remaining ingredients together, then add the fruit/alcohol mix and stir thoroughly, making sure everyone has a turn and makes a wish.

Butter your heatproof pudding basin (or basins), if you have a lid, grease that too, or if using glass, thoroughly butter all the way around.

Pack the mixture as tightly as you can into your bowl(s), if no lid, cover it with a double layer of parchment and a sheet of foil and tie it securely with string and don’t forget to make a string handle too. If you don’t have a steamer, place a plate upside down on the base of a large pot and place the pudding on top of it. Adding boiling water to the pot, no more than halfway up the bowl, then add a lid and steam the pudding for eight hours, making sure you keep an eye on water levels and top up when needed. When the eight hours is up, leave until cool then remove the paper and foil and replace with new (don’t forget your handle). Store somewhere dark and cool until Christmas.

On Christmas day re-steam the pudding for two hours and when ready to serve slide a cutlery or palette knife all around the pudding onto a warm plate, decorate with a sprig of holly. Warm a ladle of vodka or brandy over direct heat and then carefully light the alcohol using a long match. At the table, pour the alcohol slowly over the pudding and watch it flame. Serve with your accompaniment of choice – sherry cream is my favourite!

Gary Townsend is head chef at One Devonshire Gardens by Hotel du Vin, Glasgow. See or phone 0141 378 0385 to book.

Twitter @Chefgtownsend

Instagram- @chef.g.townsend


Gary has reached The National Chef of the Year finals which will take place on 21st October. You can show your support by viewing a live streaming of the event on