Dorset - - Well Seasoned -

Cre­ate some­thing spe­cial on Stir-Up Sun­day

with this tra­di­tional pud­ding recipe

Con­tact: wellsea­ cre­ative­aboutcui­

@sea­son­al­food @Rus­sel­lBCaC

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.


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

100g sul­tanas

150g raisins

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

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