“Stir Up Sunday” is the last Sunday before Advent and is the traditional day for making a Christmas pudding so that it has time to mature, and therefore the flavours to develop, before eating it on Christmas Day. Apparently the term dates from Victorian times, but of course a pudding may be made at any time and will still taste good. There’s still plenty of time left before Christmas should you like to try making one!
This recipe is the only one I’ve ever used and has always worked out well. I cook mine in the pressure cooker but of course the pudding may be steamed instead. A couple of years ago I decided to kick over the traces and buy a pudding instead of making one and of course that’s always an option. There’s a bewildering selection to suit all pockets available in the shops, but bear in mind that some of the cheaper ones are often better than the pricey ones!
My recipe will make 1 x 2lb pudding or 2 x 1lb, but adjust the quantities should you require a larger pudding!
50g of currants
100g of raisins
100g of sultanas
100g of mixed peel
50g of chopped almonds
50g of self raising flour
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
a pinch of salt
100g of breadcrumbs
100g of soft brown sugar
75g of shredded suet
the grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large free range eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons of brandy
a little milk to adjust the consistency
- wash and dry the fruit, then stir in the almonds
- sieve together the flour, mixed spice and salt
- add the flour mixture, breadcrumbs, sugar, suet and lemon zest to the fruit
- beat in the eggs, brandy and a little milk if necessary and mix until the consistency is smooth
- put into one or two basins and cover with a double thickness of greaseproof paper tied on with string
- cook one at a time
To cook in a pressure cooker:
- Place 1¼ litres (2¼pints) of water, plus the trivet, into the cooker
- Pre-steam the pudding for 20 minutes (ie. without weights)
- Bring up to pressure and cook the pudding for 1¾ hours
- Release the steam slowly
n.b. these times give a dark pudding, so if you prefer a lighter colour reduce the cooking time by 30 minutes
*To reheat the pudding for serving, pressure cook as before for about 40 minutes.
- Put the pudding basin into a steamer or a saucepan of simmering water, making sure that the water comes halfway up the side of the basin
- Cover the pan or steamer and cook the pudding for about 6 hours
- Keep an eye on the water level during the cooking process so that the pan/steamer does not boil dry. Keep the water level topped up throughout.
*To reheat the pudding for serving, steam as before for 2-3 hours
Everyone has their favourite accompaniment for Christmas pudding but personally I’m rather partial to a generous blob of thick cream with the addition of a bit of Cointreau!