5 weeks before Christmas 'Stir up Sunday' is the last Sunday before the start of advent and the day when traditionally people make their Christmas puddings. This gives plenty of time for lovely boozy flavours to develop over the weeks leading up to Christmas.
The tradition started way back in the 14th Century. The Christmas pud we know so well actually started life as a savoury dish, consisting of beef and mutton with prunes, wine and spices, eaten as a last big meal before people fasted ahead of Christmas feasting.
These days it's been transformed into a sweet dish made with eggs, breadcrumbs and dried fruit, earning the name 'plum pudding' despite not having any plums in it at all (it's just what the Victorian's called raisins).
Why not make this year your tastiest yet by trying our recipe for a cracking Christmas pud? It's the perfect time to get together as a family and start your Christmas preparations with a spot of good fortune! Take turns stirring a homemade Christmas pudding, whilst making a wish for good luck. A sixpence is added to the mixture at the time of stirring and the lucky diner who finds the penny on Christmas day in their dish is believed to receive good luck and wealth in the coming year.
Enjoy our recipe featured in the Craven Herald.
What you’ll need:
450g dried mixed fruit – golden raisins/sultanas/raisins/ currants
110g shredded suet (vegetarian and wheat)
110g soft, dark brown sugar
55g self-raising flour
25g whole shelled almonds
25g mixed candied peel, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 small, peeled, cored, grated bramley apple
1 lemon, ½ juiced and zest grated
1 orange, ½ juiced and zest grated
110g fresh white breadcrumbs
2 large, fresh free range eggs
Optional extras to make it even nicer:
6 tablespoons of brandy, plus a little extra for soaking at the end
- Lightly butter a 2 ½ pint pudding basin
- Place the dried fruits and candied peel together with an apple, orange and juice of half a lemon and orange zest in a very large mixing bowl. Add brandy and stir well. Cover the bowl and leave to marinate for a few hours
- Mix together flour, mixed spice, cinnamon, the suet, sugar, nuts, along with breadcrumbs and lemon and orange zest in a very large mixing bowl, until all the ingredients are well mixed. Finally add marinated dried fruits and stir again.
- Beat the eggs in a small bowl then stir quickly into the dry ingredients. The mixture should have fairly soft consistency
- Take turns with the family to add coins and stir
- Spoon the mixture in a greased pudding basin, gently pressing the mixture down with the back of the spoon. Cover with a double layer of greaseproof paper and baking parchment, then a layer of foil and secure it with string
- Place the pudding in a steamer set over a saucepan of simmering water and steam for 7 hours. Make sure the water doesn’t boil dry. It should be a deep brown colour when cooked.
- Remove the pudding from the steamer and let it cool. Remove the paper, prick it and pour a little brandy. Cover with greaseproof paper and leave it till Christmas day!