Create something special on Stir-Up Sunday
with this traditional pudding recipe
Contact: wellseasoned.co.uk creativeaboutcuisine.com
November often catches us slightly by surprise. October can be pleasantly bright and mild, but a mere four weeks later it’s 10 degrees colder outside and dark at five o’clock. Quite a contrast. As we say goodbye to the very last of the warm weather, we can start to look forward to the frosts and snow of winter and, of course, Christmas.
I don’t honestly know the origins of this Christmas pudding recipe but I do have a tatty, grease-spattered recipe book that contains many of the recipes my Mum used to make, including this one.
‘Stir-up Sunday’ (the last Sunday before Advent, which is 25 November this year) is the traditional time to make your Christmas pudding. It is also the ideal opportunity to raise a glass to all those who taught us to cook, those who encouraged us and shared their passion and their tables with us.
SUE BROWN’S CHRISTMAS PUDDING
You need to start this recipe 24 hours ahead to allow the fruit to soak. This makes a 1.2kg pudding.
2 tbsp sherry
2 tbsp brandy
20g black treacle
1 lemon, zest and juice
50g dates, chopped
50g dried apricots, chopped 1½ large, free-range eggs (100g)
60g plain flour
1 tsp Maldon sea salt, finely ground
2 tbsp mixed spice
120g fresh breadcrumbs 45g suet
90g Bramley apple, grated 50g carrot, grated
100g dark muscovado sugar 150g soft dark brown sugar
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sherry, brandy, treacle, lemon juice and zest. Add all the dried fruit and mix well. Cover and leave to steep overnight. The following day, mix in the egg and then sift the flour, salt and mixed spice on top. Mix thoroughly and then stir in the remaining ingredients.
2. Put the mix into a 16–17cm pudding basin, packing it down well. If using a plastic basin, snap on a plastic lid; otherwise use a sheet of baking parchment topped with a sheet of foil. Lay the foil on the parchment and make a pleat in the centre to allow for some expansion, and then tie around the basin’s rim with string. Place in a large pan of boiling water with the water coming halfway up the basin. Cover the pan with foil or place a lid on. Steam for 6 hours, checking the water level frequently. Top up with boiling water as necessary.
3. Once the pudding is cooked, remove from the pan and allow it to cool completely before wrapping up in foil and storing somewhere cool until required. If you have used a traditional pudding basin, replace the baking parchment and foil while the pudding is hot and then wrap tightly in cling film when completely cold.
4. To reheat, steam again for 2 hours or the pudding can be heated in a microwave.
‘Stir-up Sunday is the traditional time to make your Christmas pudding’Sue Brown’s Christmas pudding