• Instant Pot Christmas Pudding

Instant Pot Christmas Pudding

The very second the first crisp and crunchy autumn leaf hit the pavement and dew covered the branches in the many trees around my extremely green city, my thoughts turned immediately to the festive. I can’t help it, Christmas is my favourite time of year and once the warmth of summer has gone for another year, my daily need for light has to be satisfied with a myriad of twinkling fairy lights, wrapped around as many stationary objects as I can find in the Apple Chapel. Last year, my Christmas recipe theme was around cooking for two but this year, my Instant Pot is being put to work and I’ve been busy developing new ways to cook your festive favourites with a few twists and tweaks along the way to keep things interesting. First up, is my Instant Pot Christmas Pudding.

instant-pot-christmas-pudding

Having converted the Christmas pudding haters in my family to the one I have been making for quite a few years now, it was hard to stray too far from The Recipe as I knew how much it was enjoyed. I soak the dried fruits for weeks in booze before making the pudding a good couple of months ahead of Christmas itself. I’m certainly not alone in doing this – a lot of readers have been asking me for Christmas cakes and puddings and given the amount of fruit and alcohol in both, they keep extremely well and are so much better for a little maturation in a  cool, dark cupboard. Usually, I have made my pud in the slow cooker as it is so easy to plug in and forget about, as opposed to fussing and tending to a simmering pot on the stove for hours on end. Imagine how thrilled I was to see after minimal tweaking, I could make my Christmas Pud in the Instant Pot in about an hour! In fact, when I think about it, I imagine traditional British home cooks would have been more used to cooking in a pressure cooker than most of us are today so it’s not such a strange idea.

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In fact, if anything, I think the texture is quite improved for cooking under pressure. It is the softest, most fudgy Christmas pudding I’ve ever eaten and it’s so easy to make, I will certainly be making extra to give as gifts this year. I’ve done some tweaking of my original recipe as I wanted to not just update the method of cooking but the recipe itself. My family love nuts so some finely chopped pecans went in and to help guarantee moistness and a meltingly soft texture, some finely chopped dates which work as a fabulously sticky and sweet glue as the almost melt on cooking.

How to make your own pumpkin pie spice - easy peasy and utterly delicious in lots of home baked goodies

I’ve found upping the spice level a little but not so much to overtake, and even substituting my homemade Mixed Spice for Pumpkin Pie Spice brings a lovely warming note, I think from the cardamom I add to it.  A little of grated carrot is a very traditional addition but I have used the less common hazelnut liqueur Frangelico as I always have a bottle in the cupboard (I love the flavour and the fact the bottle looks like a monk complete with a rope tied around it’s ‘waist’!). You may of course use whichever spirit or liqueur you and your family prefer but I do encourage you to be fast and loose with the measuring of said alcohol if you aren’t presoaking the fruits. No one wants a dry Christmas Pudding and certainly, don’t drive home after eating one either! 😉

5 from 5 votes
Instant Pot Christmas Pudding
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Instant Pot Christmas Pudding
A deliciously moist and fudgy Christmas pudding made super fast in the Instant Pot pressure cooker.

Recipe updated October 2017 with an improved cooking method after further testing and tweaking (I can't help this, even with my own recipes!). 

: Dessert
: English
Servings: 8
Author: Just Jo
Ingredients
  • 200 g dried fruit*
  • 50 g finely chopped dried dates
  • 50 g finely chopped pecans**
  • 90 ml Frangelico *** hazelnut liqueur
  • 4 balls of Stem Ginger finely chopped
  • 75 g soft butter
  • 75 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 tsp mixed spice or try my pumpkin pie spice blend for a change
  • 1 tsp orange extract or zest of an orange
  • 1 tsp lemon extract or zest of a lemon
  • 70 g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 70 g self raising flour
  • 1 medium carrot finely grated about 150g worth
  • 1 tbsp treacle
Instructions
  1. If you haven't soaked dried fruit in booze ahead of time, then I would either place the fruit and Frangelico in a covered bowl overnight before you start and perhaps be a bit loose with your pouring wrist when you measure out the liqueur 😉
  2. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then beat in the eggs.  Mix in everything apart from the flour, mixing very well. Lightly fold in the flour then scrape into a well buttered 1.4 to 1.7-litre pudding basin. 

  3. Take a piece of baking parchment and a slightly larger piece of foil. Put a pleat about an inch deep across the middle of both then lightly grease the parchment side. Place over the pudding and secure with an elastic band or string, scrunching up the excess paper and foil around the rim of the basin. 

  4. Lower onto the trivet inside the Instant Pot and pour boiling water to just below the level of the foil. My kettle has a capacity of 1.7-litres and I find I need most of it to come up to an inch below the rim of the pudding basin.  

  5. Put the lid on, leave the Valve OPEN and set to Steam. As soon as you hear the steam coming out of the vent, set a timer for 15 minutes. Note that as the pot is not steaming under pressure when the vent is open, it will not start its own timer countdown. 

  6. When the 15 minutes is up, close the Valve (use oven gloves) and set to Manual High for 45 minutes. When done, allow an NPR then retrieve the cooked pudding carefully with oven gloved hands. Remove the paper and foil and allow to cool. When cold, replace with fresh paper and foil and leave in a cool dark place until required. This could be done a year in advance but tradition dictates at least 5 weeks before Christmas to give a full, matured flavour. 

To cook on Christmas Day:
  1. When ready to cook, place the pudding on the trivet and pour boiling water in as before, setting the Instant Pot to 20 minutes on Steam (close the Valve this time). If you like your pudding extra rich and dark, you can give it 40 minutes on Steam and leave it for an hour or two on Keep Warm until you ae ready for it. You can leave the pressure to release naturally and serve when you are ready on Christmas Day or if you like, do a QPR and serve right away.

  2. Invert onto a serving plate before portioning and serving with rum or brandy butter, custard or rum sauce mmm 😀

Recipe Notes

*= make the dried fruit up with whichever you prefer - currants, sultanas, raisins, cranberries, dried cherries are all good.
**= if you don't like the crunch of nuts, then replace with dried fruits instead.
***= I do love Frangelico and always have a bottle in but please do feel free to use Brandy, Rum, Whiskey or even Amaretto would be lovely. Use whatever you like or have in!

To make this pudding Gluten Free:

Replace the breadcrumbs with ground almonds and use gluten-free flour in place of the self-raising. If your GF flour is plain, add 1 scant tsp GF baking powder and 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda but if you have gluten-free self-raising flour in, by all means, use that. 

How to make the most delicious Christmas Pudding in the Instant Pot

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37 Comments

  1. I have heard so much about the Instant Pot! Maybe I need to add it to my Christmas list! This recipe looks easy and fantastic!

    • Just Jo 01/11/2016 at 14:48 - Reply

      Oh yes, ask Santa if he will bring you one! It’s an indispensable piece of kit in my kitchen 😀

  2. Platter Talk 01/11/2016 at 14:43 - Reply

    Thanks you for this recipe! I have been thinking about making for the holidays and yours seems quite “doable”!

    • Just Jo 01/11/2016 at 14:49 - Reply

      Oh it’s easy peasy Dan – mix and go!

  3. Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche 01/11/2016 at 14:51 - Reply

    Oooh this does look beautifully soft and fudgy. You’ve got me excited for Christmas now!

    • Just Jo 01/11/2016 at 14:52 - Reply

      It really is those things Becca! Roll on the festive season – I’m a-ready!
      😀

  4. Vicky @ Avocado Pesto 01/11/2016 at 14:58 - Reply

    I am right there with you on Christmas spirit and wanting everything to be wrapped up in twinkling lights : )) Have never tried an instant pot before but need to get my hands on one to make this pudding!

    • Just Jo 01/11/2016 at 14:59 - Reply

      Bring on the twinkly lights! And a sleigh full of Instant Pots for everyone lol!

  5. Emma 01/11/2016 at 14:58 - Reply

    Definitely need to get an instant pot! Such a delicious looking recipe!! And getting me all excited for Christmas

  6. Teal 08/11/2016 at 03:44 - Reply

    Has anyone made this gluten free?

    • Just Jo 08/11/2016 at 07:52 - Reply

      HI Teal – I have just tried that this weekend. I used Juvela white mix in place of the flour and ground almonds in place of the breadcrumbs. As it was a more liquid and more dense mix with these substitutions, it is better with a longer cooking time – 60 minutes on Manual after the initial steam seemed to be about right. If you have gluten free breadcumbs I would use them instead of the almonds to lighten the mix but I don’t have GF bread in – this is to be eaten on our Christmas Day where only one family member is Coeliac. Hope that helps!

  7. helene 22/11/2016 at 14:02 - Reply

    Waving hi over here in America. What is stem ginger and treacle? Treacle is maybe molasses? Is the dark sugar maybe a brown sugar?

    • Just Jo 23/11/2016 at 07:20 - Reply

      Hi there Helene! Stem ginger also goes by the names of glacé ginger or candied ginger – I have a recipe to make you own here if you can’t find any locally (but you may be able to find crystallised ginger which is just fine as a substitute) -> http://www.everynookandcranny.net/simply-stem-ginger/

      Treacle is technically a descriptive term to mean anything syrupy but in the UK, it is taken to mean a thick black and bitter syrup very similar to molasses. In fact, you could substitute it like for like here, no problem.

      Again, in the UK, we have light and dark brown sugars. In the US I believe you only have “brown” sugar, without variation in strength of colour/depth of flavour. All these are, are white sugar with molasses added – the dark version has quite a lot more than American brown sugar in and is used here in Christmas cakes and puddings to give a darker appearance and a fuller flavour to the finished bake. You could use brown sugar and simply add another tbsp of molasses to get a similar effect here, again without altering the recipe.

      I hope this all helps and that you enjoy the pudding! xx

  8. Simon Vanbecelaere 24/11/2016 at 22:47 - Reply

    Wow I’m really surprised you can make this so long before the actual serve 😮 Does it improve/change in taste the longer you keep it in a dark place?

    • Just Jo 26/11/2016 at 21:17 - Reply

      Absolutely – the bare minimum you want to leave a Christmas Pud before eating it is 6 weeks but they can keep for years. The flavour matures and the texture softens. I’ve some friends who make two and have the second at Easter 😀

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  10. Eva 11/12/2016 at 18:09 - Reply

    What were the main switches you did to adapt a traditional recipe for the instapot?
    I have a traditional steam-over-the-pot recipe that asks for 2cups of fruit, 4cups of flour, 1cup of sugar, etc…. How would you adapt that? Is there anything that needs to be lowered or increased to be suitable for the instapot?

    • Just Jo 12/12/2016 at 16:11 - Reply

      Hi Eva, thank you for your question. Essentially for the Instant Pot, you start the cooking off by steaming under pressure then finish cooking on Manual. You do need to cook it again as stated on the day you serve it whichever way you do it. Just looking at the list of ingredients you have mentioned, it sounds like one monster Christmas pud you’re planning there!
      Now, i haven’t tested a much larger pudding but I would suggest that it would need a longer cooking time to get it cooked right through. Maybe try an hour rather than 45 minutes and do check the pudding for doneness before covering and storing. It’s hard to overcook a Christmas pud but you could definitely under do it if it is much larger. I hope that is helpful – let me know how you got on 🙂

  11. Ruthie 24/09/2017 at 07:32 - Reply

    I’ve not had my IP for very long and am getting used to all the wonderful food it can make.
    I’d like to make your Christmas pudding recipe this year, but as they’ll only be 3 of us at Christmas lunch, I want to make 2 smaller puddings. Can you suggest what size basins and what timings I should use for cooking and reheating please?

    • Just Jo 24/09/2017 at 16:38 - Reply

      Hi Ruthie. I’ve made mini versions of this pudding by using individual plastic pudding mounds or darioles. Depending on how big they are, a half batch should make 3-4 individual puds. I would still steam for 10 minutes, but cook on Manual for 30 minutes. Then when ready to serve give them a 15 minute steam. It’s hard to overcook a Christmas pudding but you can underdo them. This would be the minimum cooking time I would suggest. I hope that helps x

      • Ruthie 25/10/2017 at 15:13 - Reply

        Hi again. Thanks for your reply. My pudding basins are about 140ml each. I can fit 4 in my 8l pot. Do I need to cover the pots with parchment and foil or can I just use the plastic lids that came with the basins? Also do i still fill the Ip with boiling water up to just below the rim of the basins?

        • Just Jo 25/10/2017 at 17:16 - Reply

          Hi Ruthie. You can use the lids but what I would say is to be careful to not overfill them – no more than 3/4 full is about right or the lids my pop off as the pudding cooks! I use foil and greaseproof as I am old school (plus I always lose those lids!). What I do is put 4 on the bottom layer of my pot on top of the trivet then pour boiling water up to just below the rims of the basins. If need be, you can stack more on top – you will probably have enough mixture for 6 little puddings with that size basin.
          They will cook in the steam without needing to be immersed in the water beneath them x

  12. Carole M 09/10/2017 at 00:33 - Reply

    I took this and it applied it to another, similar, recipe. Worked beautifully! Wow! Thank you!

    • Just Jo 09/10/2017 at 09:17 - Reply

      I’m really pleased to hear that Carole, thanks for letting me know! 😀 x

  13. Ruthie 28/10/2017 at 17:32 - Reply

    Hi again Jodie Having used your recipe to make 6 small puds, I’m planning to make some more but this time in 2 medium size ceramic basins. I checked the size and they each hold about 640ml each. How long do you think I should cook each pudding for? Still 15 minutes steam and 45 mins manual high pressure like the large pud?

    • Just Jo 28/10/2017 at 19:10 - Reply

      Hi Ruthie, yeah I would give it the full cooking time. Better safe than sorry – ceramic basins don’t conduct heat as well as metal or plastic and you want to be sure the puds are cooked x

      • Ruth Green 28/10/2017 at 21:24 - Reply

        Great! That’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow then 😄

  14. Susan 03/11/2017 at 16:03 - Reply

    How long should I soak the fruit before using? 🙂

    • Just Jo 03/11/2017 at 20:12 - Reply

      Usually a minimum of overnight will do – just until the fruit has sucked up all of the booze x

  15. Susan 07/11/2017 at 21:44 - Reply

    I made this at the weekend; absolutely delicious! Another great recipe from EN&C 😋

    • Just Jo 07/11/2017 at 21:56 - Reply

      Thank you Sooze! So glad you enjoyed it x x

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  17. Pam 17/11/2017 at 12:19 - Reply

    Hi Jo. Love your cooking and all the help. Can I ask a very silly question please ? When you steam Christmas puds and say leave the valve OPEN do you mean it should be set to Venting ?

    • Just Jo 17/11/2017 at 17:24 - Reply

      That’s right Pam, point it to “venting”. You want the steam to escape to allow the pudding to rise initially they you close it to pressure cook and cook it through. And thank you, I’m teally happy to hear you enjoy the recipes x

  18. Pam 18/11/2017 at 12:10 - Reply

    Hi Jo. Thanks again. 3 brilliant puddings waiting for Christmas ! And the IP is not going back in the under stairs cupboard. I’m going for it and trying out lots of your ideas – and a few of my own ! I just wish you lived next door !

    • Just Jo 20/11/2017 at 06:59 - Reply

      Wonderful! Ooo 3 puddings, lucky family you have there. I’m so happy my recipes are useful for you, thanks for your lovely comment x

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