Can you freeze Christmas pudding?
In this article, we will answer the question “Can you freeze Christmas pudding?”, and how to make the best Christmas pudding from scratch?
Can you freeze Christmas pudding?
Store-bought Christmas pudding is safe to freeze. The same goes for homemade Christmas pudding unless you want to store them in a cool and dry place to allow the flavors to mature. More on this in the article below.
The shelf life of frozen fruit cakes is 6-12 months (5).
The global cake market size was valued at USD 42.94 billion in 2019 and is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.3% from 2020 to 2027 (5).
How to freeze a Christmas pudding?
Cut the Christmas pudding into manageable portions or keep it whole. Wrap the pieces or whole pudding in multiple layers of foil. For added protection, add a ziplock freezer bag. Label the bag and freeze.
Can Christmas pudding be made in a slow cooker?
If the old-fashioned steaming method of cooking Christmas pudding is not your thing, you can rely on a slow cooker for that.
Fill the greased pudding basin with your homemade pudding mixture and seal it with a pleated piece of baking paper and foil. Fill the bottom of the slow cooker, a couple of inches only, with boiling water.
Lower your pudding basin into the slow cooker and cook on high for about 8-9 hours. Instead of messing with the hob ring for reheating your Christmas pudding, you can use a slow cooker to do it.
Is Christmas pudding the same as a fruit cake?
Christmas pudding and Christmas cake share a lot of similar spices and are the star of the festive season. But there is a major difference in the cooking process of the two desserts.
For example, Christmas cake is baked in the oven and served with marzipan and/or royal icing on top. You can look up a variety of Christmas cake decoration ideas to make this cake exciting.
On the other hand, Christmas pudding cooks in the steamer and is topped with a piece of holly as a part of the tradition. Red currants and berries also make for a great decoration.
How to make the best Christmas pudding?
- 350g/12oz mixed dried fruit (raisins, currants, sultanas)
- 100g/3½oz pitted ready-to-eat prunes, chopped or left whole
- 100g/3½oz dark muscovado sugar
- 4 tbsp dark rum
- 100ml/3½fl oz stout
- 100g/3½oz chopped walnuts
- 100g/3½oz blanched almonds
- 100g/3½oz ground almonds
- 100g/3½oz fresh white breadcrumbs
- 50g/1¾oz plain flour
- 100g/3½oz frozen butter, grated, plus a little extra for greasing
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 100g/3½oz chopped glacé cherries (or left whole if you prefer)
- 3 large free-range eggs, beaten
- In a mixing bowl, combine mixed fruit, prunes, muscovado sugar, rum, and stout until homogeneous. Cover and set aside for 24 hours to soak.
- After 24 hours, stir walnuts, almonds, ground almonds, breadcrumbs, flour, butter, spices, cherries, and eggs into the soaked fruit mixture in a large mixing bowl. Stir until well-combined and let everyone make a wish while they stir in the mixture.
- Wrap the bowl with cling film and let it stand and cool for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, butter a 1.2 litre/2 pint pudding basin. Line the bottom of the pudding basin with a round cut-out piece of baking paper. Grease the paper with more butter.
- Add and press the pudding mixture into the pudding basin. Place a pleated baking paper over the pudding. Cover with a large piece of pleated foil such that the pleats align with each other. Use a kitchen string to secure the pleats in place.
- Place an upturned saucer into a large saucepan one-quarter full of water. Create a long strip out of a piece of foil folded into quarters lengthwise.
- Bring the sides of the strip up the sides of the pudding basin and lower into the saucepan. The water should be covering about ⅓ of the sides of the basin from the bottom. The ends of the foil strip hanging over the sides will be used to lift the pudding.
- Bring the water to a boil. Then simmer the pudding for about 5-6 hours without uncovering it. Top up more water as needed during the cooking process.
- Remove the cooked pudding from the pan and let it cool. Store in a cool and dry place for up to 2 years. Reheat the pudding the same way you cooked it. Alternatively, reheat in the microwave after removing the foil.
Does the Christmas pudding go bad?
Yes, Christmas pudding can go bad and quicker if stored incorrectly. A Christmas pudding made with fresh fruits and no booze goes bad quicker than the one made with booze, a lot of sugar, and dried fruits.
However, according to scientists at the University of Nottingham, bacteria cannot grow in the Christmas pudding because there is no water available. Although there is moisture, there’s a difference between food appearing moist to eat and the availability of water which microbes need to grow. Because the water molecules are bind to sugar and alcohol molecules, there is no free water for the development of bacteria.
When water molecules are bound with ethanol through weak hydrogen bonds, this leaves less free water available, and microbes have less water to survive on. This resulted in a preservative effect towards certain food products, when alcohol is added as an ingredient in the food formulation, before cooking. As ethanol reduces the water activity in food, this characteristic helps preserve high moisture food by delaying microbial spoilage, as free water which is available for the microorganisms are reduced, through reduction of water activity (aw). An example of such a product is the Christmas pudding, cherry in wine alcohol or mixed fruit cake. Brandy or whiskey provide a prolonged shelf life (4).
In a study, the concentration of ethanol in common Christmas puddings ranged from 0.260 to 1.685 g per 125 mg slice (1). This is enough to prevent microbial growth. The results of studies suggest that ethanol could act as an effective additional barrier to inhibit fungal growth in bakery products. Thus it represents an interesting alternative to the use of chemical preservatives and merits further research (2).
However, studies showed that two outbreaks of giardiasis indicated a role for zoonotic transmission, namely the consumption of a Christmas pudding contaminated with rodent feces (3)
In this article, we answered the question “Can you freeze Christmas pudding?”, and how to make the best Christmas pudding from scratch?
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Brieger, Daniel G., et al. What proof is in your Christmas pudding? Is caring under the influence possible?. Med J Aust, 2014, 201, 702-704.
Axel, Claudia, Emanuele Zannini, and Elke K. Arendt. Mold spoilage of bread and its biopreservation: A review of current strategies for bread shelf life extension. Crit Rev food sci nutr, 2017, 57, 3528-3542.
Smith, H. V., et al. Cryptosporidium and Giardia as foodborne zoonoses. Veterinary parasitology, 2007, 149, 29-40.
Rahim, Alina Abdul, and Siti Mashitoh Abdul. The uncertain halal status of edible products with natural or added alcohol. J Fatwa Manage Res, 2014, 3, 109-126.
Garden-Robinson, J. Food Storage Guide. 2013. North Dakota State University.
Should my Bakery Sell Christmas Cakes this Year? Bakery Solutions. 2021.