It's not really Christmas without a Christmas pudding now is it? The traditional dessert – that usually comes out, somewhat successfully flambé when everyone is still a little bit too full after Christmas dinner – really is the epitome of festive spirit.
The Real Homes team got ahead on Stir-up Sunday – despite many of us not even liking raisins – and even though it's recommended to make a start then, you can still make Christmas pudding, right up until Christmas Eve.
The only difference between a last minute Christmas pudding and one prepared in advance, is that the latter will have more depth of flavour to it following the brandy feeding – lucky pudding.
So, if you like Christmas pudding, and a little brandy, find your best apron and just keep scrolling for this wonderful Christmas recipe.
When and what is Stir-up Sunday?
Stir-up Sunday marks the final Sunday before the beginning of advent with is Sunday 29th November this year. And it's traditionally spent, wearing your most festive apron and stirring up your Christmas pud! This year, Stir-up Sunday 2020 is Sunday 22nd November.
- With special thanks to Waitrose and Partners for this delicious recipe.
- 250g vine fruit mix
- 125g flame raisins and 75g currants
- 175ml brandy, plus a little extra for the flambé
- 3 free range eggs
- 125g regular or vegetable suet
- 175g dark muscovado sugar
- 125g breadcrumbs
- 125g self-raising flour
- 2 tbsp black treacle
- 1 grated eating apple (sans core)
- 1 tsp mixed spice
1. Start by mixing the dried fruits and brandy together in a bowl. Cover and let it soak for a minimum of 6 hours (preferably overnight) so that the dried fruit becomes plump.
2. Grease a heatproof 1.5-litre pudding basin with butter (we recommend one with a lid) and line it with a small disk of parchment paper in the middle. Set aside.
3. Find a saucepan large enough to hold the basin and half fill it with water, bringing it to the boil, and then down to a simmer with the lid on. You could also use a steamer.
4. Stir-up (Sunday) – sorry – the remaining ingredients together in a separate bowl, adding in the soaked fruit with as much of the brandy from the bowl. Combine well.
5. You now have your pudding mixture which you can scoop into your pre-prepared basin. Securing it with the lid.
6. Then wrap the entire basin in foil, and place it carefully into your pan of simmering water, or into your steamer and simmer it for 4 hours. Quick tip: if you don’t have a lid for your basin you can simply cover the top with a second layer of buttered foil.
7. Be sure to top up the water level every once in a while to stop the pan boiling dry.
8. Once steamed, carefully remove the pudding from the pan and unwrap it.
9. Wrap it in clean foil, then you should store your pudding in a cool, dark place until you're ready to eat it.
10. Last but not least, feeding your Christmas pudding is mighty important, much like you do with a Christmas cake – so drizzle it with a tablespoon or so of brandy every couple of weeks.
Serving advice: To warm your pudding for serving on Christmas (or any other) Day, you can either steam it for a further 1½ hours, or pop it in the microwave on a low heat (our method of choice) for about 10-15 minutes or until piping hot throughout.
Turn the pudding out onto a gorgeous and large enough serving plate with a rim. Light your Christmas pud using our method below and serve with, may we suggest, brandy butter, while cream or good ol' custard will also be just as delicious.
How to light a Christmas pudding?
Gently heat some brandy in a small saucepan, until very hot but not boiling. Pour this over your pudding and immediately (but very carefully) light the pudding to flambé.
This is one of the best parts of making a traditional Christmas pudding. But, do be careful with the flame to enjoy a gorgeous, seasonal display in complete safety.
How long will Christmas pudding keep?
A Christmas pudding will keep for about 2 months, and the flavour will improve over time. Win.