One of the very few glories of English cooking are its puddings. And during the holiday season, no pudding is more popular — or apropos — than Christmas Pudding (also known as Figgy Pudding).

This old family recipe is easy to make and even easier to enjoy, and is the perfect way to finish a holiday meal.

Christmas Pudding

8 oz. raisins
8 oz. golden raisins
8 oz. currants
4 oz. preserved orange peel
2 oz. chopped almonds
1½ pounds sugar
1 small apple, peeled then grated or chopped
1 tsp pumpkin spice (or mixture of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg)
3 eggs
8 oz. butter
1 small carrot, grated
4 oz. brandy or bourbon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp. grated nutmeg
2 oz. flour
6 oz. fresh white bread crumbs

Mix all the ingredients together and pour into a greased pudding basin, covering the top with parchment paper, then a layer of aluminum foil and secure with rubber bands.

Place the pudding in a steamer set over a saucepan of simmering water and steam the pudding for 3 hours. Make sure you check the water level frequently.

The pudding should be dark brown when ready.

You can serve right away or, more traditionally, keep in a cool place or freezer until needed.  Time is your friend with a Christmas Pudding.

As a final touch, you may want to add some coins to the pudding — a longstanding English tradition. Cover various coins in aluminum foil, then submerge in boiling water for about 10 minutes to sterilize the coins. When they are cool, push the coins about ¾ of the way into the pudding, placing them so that every slice will have at least one or two coins. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top and feel free to garnish with some holly leaves (or not).

Serve your Christmas Pudding with cream, ice cream, or brandy butter.