Christmas pudding, also known as plum pudding, is a traditional British dessert that is typically served during the Christmas season. Despite its name, Christmas pudding doesn't necessarily contain plums; historically, the term "plum" referred to any dried fruit. The pudding is a steamed or boiled dessert, and its ingredients often include suet (beef or mutton fat), flour, breadcrumbs, sugar, and a mix of dried fruits such as raisins, currants, and sultanas.
Christmas pudding is seasoned with various spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, and sometimes mixed with treacle or molasses for sweetness. The mixture is traditionally moistened with beer or brandy. Some recipes also include breadcrumbs or flour to give the pudding a dense texture.
Preparing Christmas pudding is a festive tradition in many households. Once the ingredients are mixed together, the pudding is often placed in a basin or mold and steamed or boiled for several hours. After cooking, it is typically aged for a few weeks or even months, allowing the flavors to mature. Before serving, it is reheated and often flambéed with brandy or another spirit. It is customarily served with a rich sauce, such as brandy butter or custard.
Christmas pudding is often associated with Christmas Day, and it has become a symbol of the holiday season in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries. It is sometimes used as part of Christmas celebrations in other parts of the world as well.