Heritage Recipe: Como House Plum Pudding

Learn how to make Mrs Armytage's famous Plum Pudding. Follow along with the recipe below or join in a cook-a-long here.

Before you start

You’ll need a 60cm (24-inch) square of unbleached calico for the pudding cloth. If the calico hasn’t been used before, start with an 80cm (16-inch) square of calico, soak in cold water overnight. Next day, boil it for 20 minutes, rinse in cold water and cut to a 60cm (24-inch) square.

If you’re using copha it will need to be frozen for at least 30 mins before you start.



Modern translation in brackets

  • A pound of beef suet cut very large (455g copha – freeze copha for at least 30 mins before the event)
  • Half a pound of stoned raisins (255g pitted raisins)
  • 5 ounces flour (Mix 70g plain flour with 71g of “00” plain flour, and 50g excess flour to rub into the calico)
  • 5 ounces Lisbon sugar (141g panela sugar)
  • The peel of a lemon grated fine
  • 4 eggs leaving out half the whites
  • Water



  • 80cm calico square
  • String. Allow for extra string so you can tie pudding to
    the handles up to a metre
  • Grater
  • Large bowl
  • Stock pot to boil with lid
  • 5 smaller bowls
  • 1 dinner plate for grating fat on to
  • Scales
  • Wooden spoon

Allow about 45 minutes to weigh ingredients, grate, mix, wrap items. 



  1. Pour hot water into a large stock pot until three-quarters full. Cover. Bring to the boil over high heat. Add cloth to pot. Boil for 1 minute. Using tongs, quickly remove cloth from pot. Spread onto a flat surface.
  2. Rub flour thickly over cloth to form a 40cm circle (flour should be thicker in centre of cloth).
  3. Weigh out all ingredients with our cook.
  4. Separate the whites from yolks – beat egg mixture in separate bowl.
  5. Next we will grate lemon rind.
  6. Prepare chop / grate vegetable shortening / beef suet.
  7. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl by hand adding the vegetable shortening / beef suet last.
  8. Make ball shape as demonstrated by cook.
  9. Spoon the pudding mixture into centre of the prepared cloth. Gather edges of cloth around mixture, pulling tightly to avoid thick pleats. Shape pudding into a round. Tie up tightly with string to avoid water passing through.
  10. Place the pudding into the pot of boiling water carefully.
  11. Tie string to the handles of the stockpot. Cover tightly with a lid.
  12. Boil for 6 hours, topping up pot with boiling water when required. Check water levels periodically over the next six hours to ensure doesn’t boil dry.
    Cook will demonstrate how to untie your pudding which you will do once its boiled.
  13. Carefully untie string from handles. Hang pudding to dry, suspended freely so base of pudding doesn’t rest on bench (this will result in a flat-topped pudding). Place a bowl under pudding to catch any excess water. Set aside for 15 minutes or until cloth has dried.



To store your pudding, we prefer to remove the cloth rather than hanging the pudding, as mould can form in our climate. After removing cloth, allow pudding to come to room temperature; wrap in plastic wrap and seal tightly in a freezer bag or airtight container, and refrigerate for up to two months.


To serve

  • Rewrap the pudding in calico with a think layer of flour .
  • Boil pudding for an hour.
  • Place pudding on a plate or board. Remove string. Gently peel back top of cloth. Turn onto a plate.
  • Carefully peel cloth from pudding to prevent ‘skin’ from sticking to cloth.
  • Set aside for 30 minutes to darken.
  • Serve warm or cold with custard and brandy butter.



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