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Sago Plum Pudding

A light and fruity plum pudding with no added sugar
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or scroll for tips (and a little nostalgia).

sago plum pudding

This Sago Plum Pudding is light and delicious.

With no added sugar, it’s a less sweet version of a traditional Plum Pudding – but still has all those wonderful spicy and fruity flavours!

You can use sago or tapiaco pearls in the recipe, and while these ingredients are a bit harder to find these days, you should get lucky at larger supermarkets or specialty food shops.

sago plum pudding

The recipe for Sago Plum Pudding

This is another one of those recipes that my Mum, who was a pastry cook in various Hunter Valley bakeries over the years, used in her work.

A dietician from Kurri Kurri Hospital passed it on to the bakery my mum was working at as an option for people who wanted Christmas treats with less sugar.

That was at least 30 years ago, according to my mum, but she still remembers how popular these puddings were and they would always have a long list of orders from customers who’d return each year for this lovely Christmas dessert.

Sago Plum Puddings were popular long before that, too.

I found recipes dating back to as early as 1908 in Australian newspapers.

sago plum pudding recipe
Recipes from The Sunday Times, February 1908 (top) and The Prahran Telegraph, October 1929 (bottom).

These recipes have some similarities to my mum’s recipes, but keep scrolling for the recipe that I’ve tested and cooked up.

Ingredients for Sago Plum Pudding

Okay, so the first thing you’ll need to find is the sago.

It is hard to find this ingredient, but you can also use Tapioca Pearls which are similar and easier to find these days.

I sourced tapioca pearls at a large supermarket. The smaller supermarket near me did not, however, stock this product. So you might have to ask around or call around to find a supermarket which stocks tapioca tearls.

tapioca pearls 1

Here is the complete ingredient list for this recipe:

  • 1/2 cup wholemeal/brown breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten well
  • 3 tablespoons SR flour (or 3 tablespoons plain/all purpose flour + 1/4 teaspoon baking powder)
  • 3 teaspoons sago or tapioca pearls
  • 1 tablespoon butter (20 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 3/4 cup mixed fruit
  • 1/2 apple, finely grated
  • 1 orange (juice + finely grated rind)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 small carrot, finely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
  • pinch nutmeg and cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
ingredients for sago pudding

Equipment for making Sago Plum Pudding

This is a steamed pudding that is made in a pudding basin.

You’ll need a 1 litre pudding basin along with a saucepan large enough to contain the pudding basin.

I recommend a pudding basin similar to this one by Mason Cash.

pudding basin sago pudding

The advantage of having a pudding basin is that they are designed with a protruding rim to allow a lid to be secured and maintained throughout the steaming process. This one is made in the UK and also has a vented base that allows trapped pockets of air to escape easily when steaming.

You can purchase the basin above or another good place to find these is at op shops!

You can also use a pyrex bowl in a pinch.

I do not recommend using a metal basin as these seem to make it harder to release the pudding once it’s cooked.

Making Sago Plum Pudding

You’ll need to soak the breadcrumbs and sago/tapioca pearls in the milk and brandy for at least 1-2 hours, although ideally overnight.

soaking sago

Once this process is complete and you’re ready to make the pudding, prepare your pudding basin by greasing well with butter. You’ll also need to get that large saucepan ready – you’ll need one that the basin fits inside of.

Next, rub the butter into the sifted flour, spices, salt and bicarb soda.

Now, mix all ingredients together and stir well to combine.

The mixture is quite runny compared to, say, cake batter.

Pour the mixture into the greased pudding basin and cover top securely with aluminium foil (or secure lid if your pudding basin has one).

Place basin inside of the saucepan and fill with water half way up the sides of the pudding basin.

Place the lid on the saucepan and bring water to the boil.

steaming pudding

Allow to simmer for 2 hours, checking to make sure water levels remain half way up the side of the basin. Top up with boiling water if necessary during the process.

Carefully remove the pudding basin once the cooking time has elapsed.

Sit for a few minutes and then carefully remove aluminium foil, taking care to avoid being burnt by any steam.

Allow to cool for a further 10 minutes and then gently ease the pudding from the basin and invert onto a plate. Ease sides away using a butter knife if necessary.

Serve warm with custard.

sago plum pudding 1

Sago Plum Pudding: storage and re-heating

It’s important to store your Sago Plum Pudding in the fridge and re-heat once you’re ready to serve.

Unlike a traditional plum pudding, this pudding will NOT keep outside of the fridge.

It should last in the fridge for a couple of weeks or freeze it for up to a couple of months.

To reheat, slice and warm in a microwave OR re-heat the whole pudding by placing it back in the basin and steaming again for about half an hour.

Other pudding recipes

The recipe card for Sago Plum Pudding is just below. But if you want more pudding recipes, why not check out:

sago plum pudding

Sago Plum Pudding

A light and fruity plum pudding with no added sugar
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Australian
Keyword: sago plum pudding
Prep Time: 27 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 3 minutes
Resting time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 29 minutes
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 36kcal

Equipment

  • pudding basin (approx 1 litre) (
  • large saucepan

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup wholemeal/brown breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten well
  • 3 tablespoons SR flour (or 3 tablespoons plain/all purpose flour + 1/4 teaspoon baking powder)
  • 3 teaspoons sago or tapioca pearls
  • 1 tablespoon butter (20 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 3/4 cup mixed fruit
  • 1/2 apple, finely grated
  • 1 orange (juice + finely grated rind)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 small carrot, finely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
  • pinch nutmeg and cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons brandy

Instructions

  • Prepare a pudding basin (approx 1 L capacity) by greasing well with butter. You'll also need a large saucepan that the basin fits inside of.
  • Soak breadcrumbs and sago/tapioca pearls in milk and brandy for at least 1-2 hours, ideally overnight.
  • Rub butter into sifted flour, spices, salt and bicarb soda.
  • Mix all ingredients together and stir well to combine.
  • Pour mixture (it will be quite runny) into the greased pudding basin and cover top securely with aluminium foil (or secure lid if your pudding basin has one).
  • Place basin inside of saucepan and fill with water half way up sides of pudding basin.
  • Place lid on saucepan and bring water to the boil. Allow to simmer for 2 hours, checking to make sure water levels remain half way up the side of the basin. Top up with boiling water if necessary during the process.
  • Carefully remove the pudding basin once the cooking time has elapsed.
  • Sit for a few minutes and then carefully remove aluminium foil, taking care to avoid being burnt by any steam.
  • Allow to cool for a further 10 minutes and then gently ease the pudding from the basin and invert onto a plate. Ease sides away with a butter knife if necessary.
  • Serve warm with custard.

Notes

Tips:
  1. This pudding is best cooked in a 1 litre ceramic or glass pudding basin (or bowl).
  2. Sago Plum Pudding should be stored in the fridge once cooked and cooled and then re-heated once you’re ready to serve.
  3. It should last in the fridge for a couple of weeks or freeze it for up to a couple of months.
  4. To reheat, slice and warm in a microwave OR re-heat the whole pudding by placing it back in the basin and steaming again for about half an hour.

Nutrition

Calories: 36kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 70mg | Potassium: 39mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 500IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Recipe Rating




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