Barb and Lil's Christmas Pudding

This recipe is a combination of two generations of recipes: one from Bec’s great-grandmother and another from Damo’s nan. We’ve made it our own, with native fruits and spices to boot. A delicious and deeply flavoured family affair.

Barb and Lil's Christmas Pudding Recipe | Warndu Australian Native Food
Photography: Courtesy First Nations Food Companion

Barb & Lil's Christmas Pudding

Serves 8-10


250g (9 oz) butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing
200g (70 oz) raisins, finely chopped
100g (35 oz) dried muscatels, finely chopped
100g (35 oz) dried quandongs, finely chopped
²⁄³ cup (100 g) candied orange rind, finely chopped
100g (3½ oz) candied ginger, finely chopped
1 Granny Smith apple (skin on), finely chopped
200g (7 oz) riberries (dried or fresh)
1 cup (155 g) muntries
1 cup (150 g) macadamia nuts, finely chopped
1 cup (250 ml) orange juice
Juice of 1 lemon
4 finger limes, pearls squeezed
1 cup (150 g) plain flour
1 cup (150 g) self-raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon ground pepperberry leaf
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon myrtle
½ teaspoon ground anise myrtle
2 teaspoons ground lemon myrtle
1 tablespoon ground wattleseed
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
250g (9 oz) brown sugar
3 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten
100ml (3½ fl oz) Økar amaro, or orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau
Cream and custard, to serve


Grease a 2-litre (8 cup) pudding bowl with butter.

Combine dried and candied fruit, apple, riberries, muntries, macadamia nuts, orange and lemon juice and finger lime pearls in a large saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until fruit softens.

Sift flours and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl, add spices and stir to combine. Add fruit mixture, melted butter, brown sugar, eggs and liqueur and stir until well combined.

Gently spoon pudding mixture into bowl, smooth the top, then cover the top tightly with buttered baking paper then foil, sealing it tightly with string. Place pudding in a large saucepan filled with enough simmering water to come halfway up the sides of the bowl. Steam, covered with a lid for 4–5 hours, topping up with extra boiling water as necessary. Remove pudding from pan (it’s hot, so use mitts), allow to dry and cool completely, then store in the fridge for up to 3 months.

To reheat, place pudding bowl in a large saucepan filled with enough simmering water to come halfway up the sides and simmer for 45 minutes. Allow to cool for 5–10 minutes before unwrapping and serving with lashings of cream and custard.

This is an edited extract from First Nations Food Companion by Damien Coulthard and Rebecca Sullivan, photography by Josh Geelen, Murdoch Books, $49.99. 

Substitution Options:

Quandongs → Dried Apricots

Finger Limes  Lime Juice

Muntries  Granny Smith Apples

Cinnamon Myrtle  Ground Cinnamon

Anise Myrtle  Fennel Seeds

Lemon Myrtle  Lemon Zest

Wattleseed  Ground Coffee