Folk Recipe – Scotland

Scottish Bread Pudding


  • Suet, 4 oz (110 g), you’ll need to order at least 175g, use a grater (watch those fingers!)
  • Self-raising flour, 2 oz (50 g) sifted
  • White bread crumbs, 4 oz (110 g) from the Bakery, not the Supermarket
  • Salt 1/2 teaspoon
  • Nutmeg (freshly grated) 11/2 teaspoons (you must grate this just before mixing)
  • Cinnamon, 11/2 teaspoons of freshly ground (buy a cinnamon stick/quill and grate this just before mixing)
  • Ground ginger, 1/3 of a teaspoon
  • Ground Cloves 1/2 of a teaspoon
  • Soft dark brown Sugar 8 oz (225 g)
  • Currants 10 oz (275 g)
  • Sultanas 4 oz (110 g)
  • Raisins 4 oz (110 g)
  • Dates (dried or fresh) or Prunes 4 oz (110 g) cut into pieces, removing the stones.
  • Peel, mixed & candied 1 oz (25 g) chop finely (buy whole candied peel if possible, then chop it yourself)
  • Almonds 1 oz (25 g), skinned and chopped (packet bought is OK)
  • Pear or Apple, 1 small, peeled and grated (remove core)
  • Lemon, 1 LARGE, grate the skin (zest) only the yellow surface layer, not the white bit!
  • Eggs, 2, size 1 (large)
  • Guinness 5 fl oz (150 ml) you may use any dark beer. (you MAY substitute the same amount of Milk)
  • Muscat 2 Tablespoons (fortified wine, similar to but not the same as Tokay, but Port will substitute)
  • 6 silver coins and 3-Penny pieces (be very aware of the danger of choking, add these at your own risk, and warn diners!)

Every Christmas My mom’s Aunt Mary, who was my dad’s older sister, would make Christmas putting which was like bread putting. This was always done at the end of Christmas day dinner. Her and her 26 cousins would participate in this. In it she would put all these coins wrapped in foil. The coins that she used were nickels, dimes, and quarters, and then she would put a special coin like a half dollar in the mix. When my mom was around 5 years old and the year was 1965. The Christmas pudding was the culmination of the Christmas dinner. My mom told me that for the kids it was a very exciting time. Everyone would eat through it very quickly to see if they got any money. If you got money it meant good fortune but if you got the silver dollar it meant that you got a wish. None of the kids really liked the bread pudding but would eat through it anyway in search of money. My mother told me that it was very competitive. My mom never got the silver dollar but remembers getting nickels and dimes. Money was scarce and when they got money it was a big deal. This tradition was a very big part of Christmas and the traditional bread pudding finish characterized the dinner.

From what I can remember, I cannot recall the last time that we made the traditional bread pudding with coins at Christmas dinner. When I questioned my mother, she told me that we used to when my siblings and I were younger, however the game has lost its appeal now that we are older. Part of this reason is because I think that we realize that finding coins in your desert does not guarantee good fortune or a wish. I also think that it is because small amounts of change are not considered a large amount of money any more. One cannot purchase much with anything less than a dollar.

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