I believe Christmas pudding in its current form is a Victorian invention like most of our Christmas traditions. But its origins go back to the middle ages when a thing called “frumenty” was eaten at Christmas, which was a sloppy mixture of beef suet, mutton, fruit, wine and spices.
Last Sunday was Stir Up Sunday when one is supposed to make the Christmas pudding. All the family stir the pudding and make a wish which is a tradition my kids still insist on.
I think most people buy a pudding these days and some don’t like Christmas pudding at all but it is very popular in my house, really easy to make and the women in my family have always made our own. This is the recipe I use based on the ingredients we like best.
Put the following ingredients into a big bowl:
110g shredded suet
110g white breadcrumbs
1 level teaspoon ground mixed spice
pinch freshly grated nutmeg good pinch ground cinnamon
225g soft dark brown sugar
500g dried fruit (I use a mixture of raisins, sultanas, cranberries and chopped prunes)
a handful of chopped nuts, if liked
a finely chopped cooking apple or a quince if you can get hold of one
grated zest of an orange
2 tbs brandy
150ml Guinness (put the rest of the bottle in a casserole or down your throat!)
Mix all the above together, cover the bowl and leave for a few hours before adding:
2 large eggs
50 grams self raising flour
Now you get everyone in the house to stir the mixture and make a wish before packing it into a greased 2 pint pudding basin. Cover the basin with a double layer of pleated baking parchment tied tightly round the rim of the basin with string. Now steam the pudding for 8 hours making sure the water doesn’t boil dry. When it is cooked, replace the baking parchment with fresh and store the pudding in a cool dry place until Christmas day when it’ll need steaming for a further 3 hours.