Stir Up Sunday is the traditional day to begin maturing your Christmas pudding, and it’s the perfect way to spend time with your family. 23rd November is this year’s date to mix up all those lovely fruits and spices with a dash of alcohol, and make a Christmas pudding worth remembering!
Serves 10-12 people.
- 110g shredded suet
- 110g white breadcrumbs
- 1 level teaspoon ground mixed spice
- ¼ level teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- good pinch ground cinnamon
- 225g soft dark brown sugar
- 110g sultanas
- 110g raisins
- 275g currants
- 25g whole candied peel, finely chopped
- 25g whole almonds
- 1 small cooking apple cored and finely chopped
- grated zest ½ large navel orange
- grated zest ½ large lemon
- 2 tablespoons rum
- 75ml barley wine
- 75ml stout
- 2 large eggs
- 50g self-raising flour, sifted
- 2 pint (1.2 litre) pudding basin, lightly greased
- Baking parchment
- A traditional or fan-type steamer
1. Begin the day before you want to steam the pudding. Using the largest mixing bowl you have, mix the suet and breadcrumbs, spices and sugar together thoroughly, and then gradually mix in all the dried fruit, peel and nuts. Add the apple and the grated orange and lemon zests.
2. In a smaller bowl, measure out the rum, barley wine and stout, then add the eggs. Beat these thoroughly together. Pour this liquid over the ingredients from Step 1, and mix very thoroughly. (At this stage it’s traditional to gather the family round and say ‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works’ whilst stirring). The mixture should now have a sloppy consistency – if not, add more stout. Cover the bowl and leave overnight.
3. The next day, thoroughly stir in the sifted flour, and then pack the mixture into the lightly greased bowl. Cover it with a double layer of baking parchment and a sheet of foil, then tie it securely with string. For easy lifting when steaming, also tie a piece of string across the top to make a handle.
4. To steam the pudding, fill a saucepan almost to the top with boiling water, and heat until the water boils. Place the mixture inside a steamer, attach the lid and lower into the saucepan. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and steam for 8 hours. Keep a regular eye on the water underneath; you’ll need to top it up with boiling water around 4 hours in. Once the pudding has steamed, allow it to cool before replacing the baking parchment and foil with some fresh ones (using the same method from Step 3). Keep in a cool place away from the light. Your delicious pudding is now ready to mature for Christmas!
5. For the finishing touches on the big day, slide a palette knife all around the pudding and turn it out on to a warmed plate. Pour a ladleful of hot brandy on top and decorate with a sprig of holly. Before serving, carefully light the brandy for a spectacular show of colours! For extra tastiness, serve the pudding with rum sauce or brandy butter.
We hope you enjoy tucking into your yummy Christmas pudding! And don’t worry about leftovers, as they can be wrapped in foil and reheated in the oven for a Boxing Day treat!
Recipe source: Delia Online