How To: Replicate the Famous Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding by Heston

Replicate the Famous Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding by Heston

No, not Charlton Heston. The only pudding he ever made was steak and kidney.

I'm talking about Heston Blumenthal, world famous chef and pudding lover, and the man behind the "Heston"— a plum pudding with an orange hidden within, brought to you by Waitrose (see video below).

As of right now, the Waitrose supermarket in the United Kingdom is completely sold out of their notorious Hidden Orange Christmas Puddings— all 25,000 of them.

Those who've come to love the Heston Christmas pudding are out of luck. Waitrose won't have anymore anytime soon because of the seven weeks it takes to hide the whole orange at the center of the plum pudding. But there are ways to get your hands on a box…

If you can believe it, those lucky enough to have grabbed a few are not going to be selfishly digging into its exquisiteness this holiday season, they'll be selfishly digging into your pocketbook. And where does one go to get your hard-earned money?


The Heston has a regular retail cost of £13.99 (~$22), but the lowest price found on eBay right now is around £60 (~$95). Some Buy-It-Now prices are as much as £300 (~$475) and one was being auctioned off in the name of charity for £1,000,000 (~$1,585,800). And don't forget shipping.

But wait... there's still hope for all of you pudding lovers yet.

Make it yourself! Rose Prince, Telegraph Food Writer, tackles the secret recipe in her own kitchen and shares with us the recipe for the infamous Christmas pudding with a hidden candied whole orange. If you've tinkered around with pudding before in the past, you should have no problem recreating this elegant dessert.

Actually, it's not exactly the Heston, but it's close enough. Close enough to save £1,000,000.

Rose used her favorite pudding recipe, along with some instructions she hunted down for candied whole oranges, to make this delicious version.

"Candying fruit is the alchemy of southern European confisseries; my take was to boil the orange in a spiced syrup for 1 hours, cool on a rack then boil for another 30 minutes. By the end I had a satisfyingly soft, sticky orb. I squished it into the middle of the raw pudding mix in the basin then steamed the whole thing for 7 hours."

Check out the video below, then full recipe after that!

Recipe Video for Heston's Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding

Step 1: Ingredients

Serves 10 – have ready a buttered 1 litre/2 pint pudding basin, baking paper, foil and string

Preparation time – 2 days

For the candied orange:

1 orange
1 litre of water
1 kg white sugar
½ cinnamon stick
1 tbsp marmalade

For the pudding:

550 mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants and mixed peel)
1 grated carrot
1 grated Bramley apple
100ml ale
3 eggs
1 tbsp black treacle
115g dark brown sugar
115g plain flour (sifted)
1 ½ tsp mixed spice
115 g ground almonds
115g suet

Step 2: Recipe

To candy the orange, pierce it several times with a skewer then boil it in the water for 30 minutes to soften. Remove from the water, add the sugar, cinnamon and marmalade and bring to the boil. Add back the orange and cook over a medium heat for about 45 minutes. Cover with a lid for part of the time so the orange cooks evenly. Remove it from the syrup. Dry it overnight on a rack then give it a second 30 minute boiling the following day. Remove and allow it to dry again; the orange is now ready to use.

To make the pudding, put the fruit, carrot and apple in a large mixing bowl and leave to steep for 20 minutes. Add the eggs, black treacle and sugar and mix well. Add the flour,spice, ground almonds and suet and mix well again. Make sure there are no clods of dry flour.

Butter the pudding basin, and half fill with pudding mixture. Place the candied orange in the centre of the bowl and add the remaining pudding mixture so it is buried inside. Cover with a disc of baking paper, then take a large sheet of each baking paper and foil. Fold in half then make a pleat. Place the sheet over the bowl and secure with string.

Place in a pan to steam with 4 cm depth of simmering water. Cover and steam for 7 hours. You can then store the pudding for several weeks – before steaming again for 3 hours for the Christmas meal. Serve with buttercream flavored with Grand Marnier, or clotted cream.

Click through to see the original recipe.

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1 Comment

After boiling the orange for the first time, the recipe should have said retain the syrup for boiling the orange again the next day.

This really looks worth trying.

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