Kirsten Lawson

Pudding with custard.
Pudding with custard. Photo: Darren Howe

A new Choice taste test has found, unsurprisingly, that it’s worth spending at the higher end when it comes to Christmas puddings. The four best-tasting puddings of the 14 tested were all more than $3.60 for 100 grams (more than $36 for a one-kilogram pudding). But, as Choice points out, if you’ve made your own you’ll know they’re not cheap – heavy in dried fruit, butter and alcohol. Puddings tested were those that were available in major supermarkets in October, as well as a number of smaller boutique brands that are readily available online or through distributors nationally. Top pud was Itha’s Traditional (ithaspuddings.com.au) at $4.30 per 100 grams. The next three were Pud for All Seasons Traditional (pudforallseasons.com.au, $3.62); Pudding Lady Traditional (puddinglady.com.au, $4.30); and Crooked Creek Authentic English (crookedcreek.com.au, $5.50). If you’re after a budget pudding, the panel judges Woolworths Gold Vintage Christmas Pudding ($1.98 per 100 grams) the best at this end. ‘‘Puddings that didn’t rate as well had cheaper ingredients and had a gluggy consistency,’’ Choice says. ‘‘They were crumbly when cut and had a poor balance of spice, alcohol, sweet and nuts. Make your own, we say. Choice has a recipe from the Women’s Weekly’s  Pamela Clark on its website, and we’ve got one today.