Yesterday was ‘Stir Up Sunday’ which is traditionally the day that Christmas puddings are made, approximately five weeks before Christmas. It is the last Sunday before Advent begins.
Early Christmas puddings actually contained meat, together with spices, dried fruit and wine. It was Prince Albert who introduced the traditional Christmas pudding to the Victorians, which we know today.
Christmas would not be the same without a Christmas pudding to ‘light’ and serve after a hearty Christmas dinner. I have a lovely memory of my Grandad lighting a pudding one year when I was just a little girl and the memory has always stuck with me. When our daughters were young we too lit our Christmas pudding and now it’s a family tradition for us.
Christmas Pudding Traditions:
- A Christmas pudding is tradionally made with thirteen ingredients, to represent Jesus and his twelve disciples.
- A Christmas pudding is tradionally stirred from east to west in honour of the three wise men that visited baby Jesus.
- Each member of the family traditionally stirs the pudding mixture and makes a wish secretly.
- A silver coin was tradionally placed in the mixture and the person who finds it is supposed to find wealth. A ring was sometimes also placed in the mixture to foretell a marriage and a thimble for a lucky life.
The photo above shows the Christmas pudding I made last year using my eldest sister’s recipe, which you can find here. It really tastes lovely and it can be made anytime leading upto Christmas day.
This year I decided to have a change and make a pudding that needs time to mature as it contains alcohol. Here is the recipe:
475g dried mixed fruit with candied peel
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped small
Grated zest and juice of ½ an orange
Grated zest and juice of ½ a lemon
4 tablespoons of brandy, plus a further tablespoon for soaking at the end
55g self-raising flour
1 level teaspoon ground mixed spice
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
110g shredded suet
110g soft dark brown sugar
110g white fresh bread crumbs
25g flaked almonds
2 eggs lightly beaten.
Put the dried mixed fruit, apple, grated zest and juice of the orange and lemon, into a bowl.
Add the brandy and mix well.
Cover and leave to marinate overnight.
In the morning, lightly grease a 2 ½ pint pudding bowl.
In a separate large bowl, sift the flour, mixed spice and cinnamon together.
Add the suet, sugar, breadcrumbs and flaked almonds and stir together until they are well combined.
Add the marinated mixed fruit and stir again.
Stir the eggs into the mixture.
Call all your family together and take turns to stir the pudding mixture from East to West, making a secret wish as stir.
Spoon the mixture into your greased pudding bowl and press it down lightly with the back of a metal spoon.
Cut out two large circles of greaseproof paper, the size of a large dinner plate.
Cover the pudding with both pieces of the greaseproof paper and top these with foil. Tie them onto the dish with string.
Steam the pudding for 7 hours.
Remove the pudding from the steamer and let it cool completely.
Remove the paper and prick the pudding with a skewer and add a further tablespoon of brandy.
Cover with a new piece of greaseproof paper and tie it again with string. Then wrap it in foil to keep it fresh.
Store in a cool place until Christmas day.
On Christmas day, steam again for 1 hour.
Thank you for reading my blog today.
I will be back on Friday at my usual time.