Food & Drink

Christmas Recipes: Niall McKenna's Christmas pudding and cranberry sauce

Niall McKenna's Christmas pudding
Niall McKenna's Christmas pudding Niall McKenna's Christmas pudding

As a chef, the month of December is all about preparation, and by mid-November we normally try and get some jobs done and out of the way, as many Christmas dishes and condiments taste better the longer they have to rest. This week’s recipes are Christmas pudding and a festive cranberry sauce.

For all those entertaining for the first time this year, we have a short series of cookery classes taking place throughout December, focused solely on Christmas dinner. Why not give them a go? Check them out at: or follow us on Instagram

Individual Christmas pudding


(Serves 8)

250g sultanas

250g raisins

250g currants

3 tbsp brandy

Zest and juice of two oranges

2 tsp mixed spice

50g almonds, chopped

200g light brown sugar

100g butter, softened

2 large eggs, beaten

75g fresh white breadcrumbs

75g plain flour


Begin by placing the sultanas, raisins and currants into a large bowl, pouring over brandy, orange zest and juice. Mix well and cover before leaving overnight for the mix to absorb.

Next, add the remaining ingredients and beat well until combined. Then, grease eight 175ml pudding basins, lining each with a disc of grease proof paper.

Spoon in the pudding mix between each of the basins, covering the top of each with a buttered piece of tinfoil, butter side down. Tie down the tinfoil with string so no steam escapes.

Next, arrange the basins in the base of a steamer, putting the steamer on top of the saucepan filled with water, bringing to a boil and simmering for 2.5 hours. Check the water regularly and top up as necessary.

Read more:

  • Niall McKenna's Halloween treats – Creamed leek and Young Buck risotto, and pumpkin, sage and seeds risotto
  • James St Recipes: Start your Christmas prep with Niall McKenna's chocolate roulade and orange and lemon drizzle cake
  • Hot stuff: Niall McKenna's Spicy Aubergine and Thai Cauliflower and Potatoes

Once cooked, remove the foil and replace with a new piece of foil. The puddings can then be stored in the fridge or freezer.

Before serving, steam again for up to 90 minutes until the pudding is piping hot. Serve with brandy cream.

Niall McKenna's cranberry sauce
Niall McKenna's cranberry sauce Niall McKenna's cranberry sauce

Cranberry Sauce


(Serves 12 - best kept in a Kilner jar)

400ml orange juice (freshly squeezed, approximately six oranges)

400g caster sugar

½ tsp mixed spice

½ tsp ground black pepper

1/3 cinnamon stick

2 bay leaves

1kg cranberries


Begin by peeling and roughly dicing the cranberries (discarding the pith), putting them into a pot with cold water and one teaspoon of caster sugar to bring to a boil.

Refresh in cold water and repeat this process three times.

Next, place the orange juice, mixed spice and remaining sugar into the pot with the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, ground black pepper and bring to the boil before reducing to a simmer to reduce the liquid by half.

Add in your cranberries and bring back to the boil and reduce by half again.

Simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and if preferred, it is optional to pass it through a sieve to remove any inconsistencies.

Place in bowl/jar and refrigerate until required.


Waterman House Cookery School,

Waterman House,

5-23 Hill Street,