The only pudding that says Its Christmas.


There is really nothing quite like it. You’re full of Turkey or Goose and the trimmings. You’ve had too many roast spuds and parsnips; don’t even mention the sprouts when some says “Right! Time for the pudding” and suddenly a great big pile of alcohol laced dried fruit, suet with sweet spices is brought out. This is then covered in more brandy and set on fire. There aren’t many if any puddings around that you flambé and even though this one is already cooked, and your mum has been putting brandy into it since September (and your Dad’s been adding stout and porter as well) it needs that last tot to complete the picture. It’s the traditional Christmas pudding. Homes and restaurants across the country prepare their puddings in plenty of time for Christmas Day. The recipes are usually the same and the only difference is the 4 Burner Gas Oven from that the restaurants use.

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The pudding is one of the few foods that we eat that can truly say has its roots in Britain. It’s been a staple of the Yuletide feast since the middle ages. When you dine on it you are recreating a bit of history and join with our medieval ancestors as they would have enjoyed the same thing at Christmas to. The great thing about the pudding is that each household has its own version of it. Its recipe is a mixture of ingredients passed down through the generations. You do need the dried fruit, suet, black treacle, brandy or dark beers. You can also add the peel of citrus fruits as well. This heady batter is stirred and mixed then left to age.

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The original medieval way was to boil it in a special cloth. Some maintain that this is the only way to properly cook one and there should be none of this modern Victorian style of steaming it in a basin. Don’t even suggest using a microwave, that’s just a disgrace to the memory of the pudding.

The roots of the pudding are quite religious. They should be started on the 25th Sunday after Trinity and should have thirteen ingredients in it. This is the same number as the apostles, strangely including Judas as well for once. Everyone in the family gets involved as it needs to be stirred from East to West as symbolic of the journey of the three wise men. It even has a prayer to say over it on Stir up Sunday.

Serve it with Custard, brandy butter or Ice Cream. A very Merry Christmas indeed.

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