October is the time to make a traditional steamed Christmas pudding—it needs several weeks to mellow before the big feast. If you’ve never made one, the thought of steaming one in makeshift equipment can seem daunting. Relax, says Chowhound PhilD, “British steamed puddings are basic and simple.” His method calls for steaming in an ovenproof glass bowl, preferably with a lip, inside a large pot or steamer. Start by greasing the bowl with butter, then add the pudding mixture and cover with parchment paper and foil (pleat the paper to allow for expansion). Tie the paper on with string; make sure you include a loop to use as a handle when it’s time to lift the bowl out of the water bath.

Chowhound tim irvine steams Christmas puddings in a big canning kettle: He stacks soufflé dishes three deep and covers the kettle with foil. He thinks ceramic pudding dishes release more easily than metal. And while pretty pudding dishes with fluted sides are nice, you don’t really need special equipment. “I’ve thought for the longest time that I [needed] special tools,” cteavin says, but “it seems I have everything in my own kitchen.”

Discuss: Pudding Steamers: What to look for?

Photo of Christmas pudding from Shutterstock

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