This Sunday is stir up Sunday and is the day that traditionally people make their Christmas pudding to give the flavour time to mature by Christmas day.
Falling on the last Sunday before advent for me it is the day that I really start to think about Christmas or more specifically what foods I might like to cook this year, which favourites stay on the menu, and which new ones to add. – I always like to try a few new recipes each year.
Being a bit of a traditionalist, I also like to make my Christmas pudding on Stir up Sunday if I can, but this year I have made it a week early so that I can share the recipe with you. A couple of tips I would share with you. When you have a long list of ingredients, it is a good idea to get all the ingredients out and weigh them before you start. That way you are less likely to miss any out. Remember to check the water levels frequently when cooking to ensure the pan does not boil dry. Now, perhaps I should be clearer, what I really mean is I mix up the pudding on the Saturday and steam it on the Sunday. Leaving it stand overnight to allow the flavours to blend then on the Sunday there is plenty of time to give it one final mix. Inviting the family to give the pudding a stir and make a wish – it’s been a few years since they last did that though, them being all grown up and that! But I’m still happy to carry on the tradition.
Then it’s time to pack them into pudding basins and steam them for at least 6 hours. See here for how to cover and cook your the puddings. By the end of that time the house is warm, cosy, and filled with the smell of sugar and spice and all things nice.
This mixture is enough to make one large and one small pudding. If you don’t need two pudding why not wrap one up in muslin, tie with a pretty ribbon and give it to a friend. Some years I make several individual puddings by steaming them in tea cups, once cold they are turned out and wrapped in cling film then muslin. Perfects gifts for those who might otherwise miss out on home-made pud.
But don’t worry if you don’t have time to make it this weekend or you are running a little late. I can assure you it will still taste delicious, I know because we had family visiting from Canada yesterday and we had the smaller pudding for dessert and it was indeed very yummy. But, don’t just take me word for it, try it yourself.
- 125 g white breadcrumbs
- 50 g plain flour
- 125 g vegetable suet
- 225 g dark muscovado sugar
- 125 g sultanas
- 125 g raisins
- 50 g currants
- 150 g dried figs chopped
- 150 g dried dates chopped
- 50 g diced mixed peel
- 50 g glacé cherries halved or quartered
- 50 g almonds chopped
- 1 small cooking apple peeled cored and grated
- finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp black treacle
- 1 tsp ground mixed spice
- ½ tsp grated nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- 175 ml sweet white wine or stout
- butter for greasing
- rum or brandy to serve
Place the breadcrumbs, flour, suet and sugar in a large mixing bowl and stir until well blended.
Stir in the sultanas, raisins, currants, figs, dates, mixed peel, cherries and almonds and mix well.
Add all the remaining ingredients and stir again. Cover the bowl and leave overnight to allow the flavours time to blend.
Spoon into one 1.2litre and one 600ml well greased basins and press down well. Cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper or baking parchment. Then cover with foil and tie securely with string. Steam the pudding for 6 – 8 hours, topping up the water as required.
Once cooked remove from the steamer or pan and remove the covers. Allow to cool completely then cover again with fresh parchment and foil. Store in a cool dry place until Christmas.
To serve. Steam the puddings for another 2–3 hours. Turn out onto a warm plate. Heat a little brandy or rum in a ladle or small saucepan. ignite and pour over the pudding. Allow the flames to subside before serving.
Use the longer cooking times for the larger pudding and the shorter cooking times for the smaller pudding.
Remember to keep an eye on the water level in the pan and top up as required to ensure the pan does not boil dry.