Are you looking for British Christmas Pudding Recipes? I have the best memories growing up in England and one of them was the feast we had for Christmas dinner, which always involved Christmas pudding! I’ve got some fantastic variations and more modern recipes with some other English fan favorites like Mince Pies and Sticky Pudding!
Christmas Day is not just about the presents and the twinkling lights; it’s about the sumptuous feast that brings families together. In the heart of every British household, there is a tradition that has been cherished for centuries – the making and serving of the illustrious plum pudding. This rich, fruity dessert takes center stage on Christmas Day, a culmination of the age-old practice of Stir-Up Sunday, observed on the last Sunday before Advent.
Check out The History of Plum Pudding
Here is the delightful process of crafting a classic British plum pudding, from mixing the dry ingredients to the final touch of icing sugar. As you embark on this journey, you’ll discover that preparing this delectable dessert is more than just a culinary endeavor; it’s a ritual infused with history, good luck, and family tradition.
It can be intimidating if it’s your first time making this pudding.
The Tradition of Plum Pudding:
The roots of plum pudding trace back to Stir-Up Sunday, a tradition that dates to the Victorian era. On this special day, families gather in their kitchens to prepare the Christmas pudding, following the command from the Book of Common Prayer: “Stir up, we beseech thee.” The act of stirring the pudding mixture is also accompanied by making a wish for the year ahead, imbuing the dessert with a sprinkle of good luck.
Gathering the Ingredients:
Creating a plum pudding begins with assembling the dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, combine a medley of dried fruits, such as raisins, currants, and sultanas (golden raisins), with breadcrumbs, suet, a blend of spices, and orange peel or zest. This amalgamation of flavors and textures is what gives plum pudding its signature richness.
Then you will gather the wet ingredients: lemon juice orange juice and more.
The Silver Coin Tradition:
One unique aspect of plum pudding is the inclusion of a silver coin, symbolizing good luck and prosperity. Carefully wrapped in parchment paper, the coin is placed within the mixture. Be sure to warn your guests about the coin’s presence to avoid any unwanted surprises!
Pudding Bowl and Preparation:
The next step involves selecting a suitable pudding bowl. Grease it well to ensure easy removal and place a circle of parchment paper at the bottom. This helps prevent the pudding from sticking and eases the release process.
Steaming the Pudding:
The heart of the plum pudding’s transformation lies in the steaming process. Once the mixture is ready, it’s transferred to the pudding bowl. The pudding basin is then covered with a piece of aluminum foil, ensuring it’s tightly sealed around the edges to prevent any water from entering. This is a crucial step in the process, as water can dilute the pudding.
The Steaming Ritual:
To steam the pudding, place the pudding bowl in a deep saucepan. Add water to the saucepan, ensuring it reaches about halfway up the side of the pudding bowl. Monitor the water level throughout the steaming process to prevent it from running dry. To avoid direct contact with the hot surface, you can place an upturned saucer or a jam jar lid at the bottom of the saucepan.
The Long Wait for the Christmas Pudding Recipe :
Once the steaming is complete, the plum pudding is removed and allowed to cool at room temperature. However, the journey is far from over. To truly develop its flavors and reach its peak, the pudding should be stored in a cool place for several weeks, or even months, maturing like a fine wine.
The Grand Unveiling of the British Christmas Pudding Recipe:
On Christmas Day, the moment of anticipation finally arrives. The plum pudding is gently reheated in a steam bath for a few hours to ensure it’s piping hot. Then, with bated breath, the pudding is inverted onto a serving plate. The top of the pudding is now the canvas for a final dusting of icing sugar, adding a touch of winter magic to this iconic Christmas dessert.
The classic British plum pudding is more than just a dessert; it’s a storied tradition, an embodiment of family rituals, and a symbol of good fortune. As you embark on the journey of making your own plum pudding, remember that each step carries with it a piece of history and a sprinkle of good luck.
Don’t forget the brandy butter!
Here are some items you may need”
- Large bowl – (mixing bowl)
- Small bowl
- Sprig of Holly
- Baking Powder
- Brandy Custard
- Fresh Suet
- Golden Syrup
- Butchers Twine
- Food Processor
Check Out These Christmas Pudding Recipes and More!
This Christmas, embrace the rich history and culinary legacy that is the plum pudding. Share this delightful treat with your loved ones, and pass on the traditions that have graced British tables for centuries. As you dust that final layer of icing sugar and present your masterpiece to your guests, may you be surrounded by the warmth of family and the joy of the holiday season. A very Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones, and may your plum pudding be the crowning jewel of your festive feast!