It wouldn’t be Christmas without a Christmas pudding. When you think of Christmas pudding, who doesn’t think of that indulgent, igloo-shaped pudding that takes center stage on our Christmas tables, doused in brandy and with a lit match darting towards it… The excitement of the pudding going up in flames brings delight to everyone, young and old alike!
These days it is easy to pop to the shops and pick up a Christmas pudding for a small price tag, but the joy of making your own Christmas pudding stretches further than the compliments you receive on Christmas day. It starts with the afternoon spent making the pudding mix itself, with festive songs playing and a glass of mulled wine in-hand, ideally 3-5 weeks before Christmas so the mix has plenty of time to soak up the alcohol and flavours before it is cooked.
Stir-Up Sunday is the 26th of November...
On Stir-Up Sunday, families come together to mix the Christmas pudding. Each member of the family makes a wish whilst taking their turn to stir the mixture. Traditionally the pudding should be stirred from east to west, in honour of the Magi (Wise Men) who came from the east to visit the baby Jesus. Stir-Up Sunday is celebrated on the last Sunday before Advent, which is Sunday 26th November this year.
“On a silver dish the Christmas pudding reposed in its glory. A large football of a pudding, a piece of holly stuck in it like a triumphant flag and glorious flames of blue and red rising round it. There was a cheer and cries of 'Ooh-ah.'"
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding - Agatha Christie
We spoke to Alex, our head chef at Langton’s restaurant in Surrey, who also believes the time and effort spent making a Christmas pudding makes it better than buying one, so we asked him to share with us his tried and tested recipe for the Christmas classic. Would you like to try it? Of course you would!
- 115g self-raising flour
- 110g white breadcrumbs
- 110g suet
- 250g soft brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg, grated
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 50g nibbed almonds
- 90g dates, stones removed
- 125g raisins
- 125g sultanas
- 125g currants
- 25g mixed peel
- 1 Bramley apple, peeled and grated
- 1 orange, juiced and zested
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 3 eggs
- 75ml rum
- 75ml brandy
- 75ml Guinness
- 100g golden syrup
Method for the pudding mix:
- To prepare the pudding mix, sieve the flour into a bowl and combine with the breadcrumbs, suet, almonds, sugar and spices
- Remove the stones from the dates, chop the flesh and combine with the remaining fruits
- Add to the flour mixture and mix well
- Whisk the eggs together and add to the pudding mixture with the rum, brandy, Guinness and golden syrup. Stir thoroughly to combine
- Cover and leave the mix in the fridge for 1 week to develop its flavour. During this time, taste the mixture occasionally - more spices or alcohol can be added if required
Method to cook the pudding:
- To cook the pudding, butter and flour a pudding basin. Then fill it 3/4 of the way up the side with the mixture
- Place a circle of parchment paper on top of the mixture, cover the basin with tin foil and seal tightly
- Place in a steamer and steam the pudding for 4 hours
- Once cooked, allow to cool and store tightly wrapped in the fridge or a cool place until required
- To reheat the pudding, return to the steamer and steam for a further 2 hours. You can of course pop a portion in the microwave to serve it hot, although it's always best served freshly steamed
Find more recipes on Audley Stories, along with some top tips for a cosy Christmas together at home.