Sago plum pudding

Robbie Howard's sago plum pudding.
Robbie Howard's sago plum pudding. Photo: Alan Howard

This is my version a great old-fashioned steamed pudding that I have made many times,  originally from the Country Women's Association, NSW.

It is much lighter than the traditional plum pudding and it is suitable to serve on festive occasions or simply with friends for dinner. This pudding has the added bonus of being cheaper and easier to make and takes less time than the traditional plum pudding.

I love the simplicity of the recipe.

Sago plum pudding

55g  sago

250ml  milk

210g sultanas

brandy (optional)

80g caster sugar


1 large cup fresh breadcrumbs - use sliced white or wholemeal bread; soughdough makes a much heavier pudding and I prefer white sliced

1 tbsp melted butter

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 whole egg, beaten

grated rind of 1 lemon (optional)

Mix the sago and the milk and microwave for a minute on high. Stir again, then leave overnight in the fridge.

Perhaps when this recipe began the sago and milk sat on top of the Aga stove in a warm spot to soften. I find when soaked in cold milk the end product is full of small white hard seeds, so it is better to cook it and warm the milk. When the pudding is cooked the sago should be translucent.

If you're using brandy, soak the sultanas in it overnight.

Generously butter a one-litre pudding basin.

In a large mixing bowl, add the sago and milk mix, sultanas in brandy, sugar, breadcrumbs, butter, baking soda, egg and lemon rind. Mix it all together with your hands.

Place the mixture into the greased pudding basin and cover tightly with tin foil. Secure tightly with string. Place the pudding on a wire rack at the bottom of a saucepan filled with water to two-thirds of the way up the basin. Boil for three hours with the lid on. Turn out to serve.