Want to try your hand at making a traditional Christmas pudding this year? Now’s the time to prepare. The pudding ingredients are stirred together and set to rest for several weeks to let the flavors blend before serving at the holiday. It’s more fun if a family or group of friends do the stirring (there’s a lot involved), making the work more meaningful.
Unlike last year, we won’t be sharing a food post every day in Advent, but we will add some new delicacies and re-post favorites like this one throughout the season.
Since this Sunday marks the last of the Pentecost season, it’s time to start the mixture. As long as you’re shopping for your Thanksgiving meal, you may want to stock up on what you’ll need to make your pudding. And give thanks for good food, the loving hands that prepare it, and wonderful, rich traditions like our stir-up pudding.
The Rev. Canon Dr. Ellen Loudon’s Christmas Pudding
Makes two 2-pint puddings
- 2 cups or 1 220g package suet (in the US, ask your grocery store butcher if suet is available; suet may also be purchased online)
- 1 heaping teaspoon of mixed spice (make your own or use a mix like pumpkin pie spice)
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup self-rising flour
- 1 ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 ¼ white breadcrumbs grated from stale loaf (about 1 1/3 slices of bread)
- 1 ½ cups raisins
- 1 ½ cups sultanas (in the US, can be purchased online, or substitute dried cranberries)
- 4 cups dried cherries
- 1/3 cup chopped almonds
- 1/3 cup candied citrus peel finely chopped whole
- The grated rind of 1 lemon
- The grated rind of 1 orange
- 1 apple peeled, cored and finely chopped
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup of a strong ale (personal preference)
- ½ cup stout (Ellen uses Guinness but, again, personal preference)
- 4 tbsp rum
Other Needs: Baking string, pudding basins, baking paper/parchment, aluminum foil
Put suet, flour, breadcrumbs, and spices in a bowl, mixing in each ingredient thoroughly before adding the next.
Gradually mix in all fruit, peel, and nuts, and follow these with the apple, orange, and lemon peel.
In a different bowl beat up eggs, and mix in the rum, ale, and stout.
Empty all of this over the dry ingredients, and then stir very hard. (This mixing is vital, so recruit some help!) You may find you need more stout; it’s difficult to be exact with liquid quantities, but the mixture should be dropping consistency, that is, it should fall from the spoon when tapped sharply against the side of the bowl.
After mixing, cover with a cloth. Leave mixture over night.
Grease two 2-pint basins, and pack mixture tightly to the top.
Cover each with one sheet of aluminum foil with baking paper/parchment inside. From the inside make a pleat in paper and foil to allow the pudding to rise. Tie the foil and paper tops around the basin with sting, cutting away some excess and tucking the rest underneath the string. You can tie another few pieces of string on the ends to make a handle.
Place pudding on top of a heat safe plate in a large pot and fill with water. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid, and steam for 8 hours. Be sure to keep an eye on the water now and then to make sure it doesn’t boil away.
When cooked and cooled, remove foil and paper and replace with fresh foil and paper.
Traditionally, the pudding is stored in cool, dry, dark place throughout Advent (3-4 weeks).
Before serving, steam for 2 hours.
Submitted by: Emily Kirk (Diocese of East Tennessee ) and Kate Jewett-Williams (Diocese of Dallas and Diocese of Oklahoma), Young Adult Service Corps Members serving in Liverpool, UK
For a downloadable/printable version of this recipe, visit: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/files/documents/traditional_christmas_pudding.pdf
One thought on “It’s Time to Stir-up the Christmas Pudding!”
On Britain’s Best Bakers contest show they said there is available ‘vegetarian suet’ – I am going to track that down so my veghead daughter and son in law can enjoy this too!