This Sunday is traditionally known as Stir Up Sunday. The Sunday before the beginning of Advent when plum puddings were made at home to allow enough time to be matured ready for Christmas. All the family members take it in turn to stir the pudding mixture whilst making a wish for the new year.
Plum pudding has lost favour over the years for the more favourite Christmas Pudding. This year I am in charge of bringing a Christmas Pudding to our family celebrations. I dusted off my Nanny’s Christmas Pudding recipe which has been well used and loved over the years. As you can see below there are ticks to make sure none of the ingredients is missed off and plenty of splashes of brandy on the pages.
I may have changed it slightly this year, I wanted to get as much flavour into the fruit as possible so may have added a touch more brandy than my Nanny’s two tablespoons of brandy or beer. I soaked the fruit overnight in a combination of alcohol’s, juice of an orange and the spices. It was hard not having little mouses sneaking little tastes of the fruit while it soaked. A change that my mum has made over the years is using ground almonds instead of fresh breadcrumbs which helps with the richness of the pudding.
I have my great grandmothers silver sixpence which I have planted one in the centre for Christmas day to bring the finder wealth and good luck in the year to come. Just hope no one clips a tooth!
- – 225g currents
- – 170g raisins
- – 225g sultanas
- – 55g mixed peel
- – 30g glace cherries, chopped
- – 30g prunes, chopped
- – juice and zest of 1 orange
- – 5tbsp Armagnac
- – 2tbsp Cointreau
- – 2tbsp Cassis
- – 5tbsp Brandy
- – 1 heaped tbsp mixed spice
- – 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- – 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- – 170g melted unsalted butter
- – 140g self raising flour
- – a pinch of salt
- – 140g ground almonds
- – 115g soft brown sugar
- – 3 large free range eggs
- Put the fruit, orange zest, juice, spices and alcohol in a bowl. Mix and cover to soak overnight.
- Next day, butter a large pudding basin (1.2 litre). Stir in the melted butter to the fruit to coat, then add the dry ingredients, making sure that it’s all mixed in and no flour pockets. Add the eggs in one at a time until well blended. Make sure you make a wish when stirring!
- Pour the mixture into the prepared basin. Cover with a layer of parchment paper with a pleat in the middle for the pudding to expand when being steamed, secure with a piece of string and cover with two layers of tin foil.
- Place the pudding in a large saucepan on top of a steam trivet or overturned saucer. Fill the pan halfway up with boiling water, bring back to the boil and reduce to a simmer and cover. Kep checking on the water levels throughout the cooking. Steam for 4 hours until a skewer in the middle of the pudding comes out clean with batter stuck to it.
- Allow to cool and remove the wet foil and parchment. Cover with fresh parchment and foil and once cool store in the fridge.
- Once a week, remove from the fridge and spoon over a couple of tablespoons of brandy to help the pudding mature.
- To serve on Christmas day, steam for 2 hours until piping hot. Turn out onto a plate and serve with plenty of brandy butter.
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