22 Nov 2020



Today is the day you make your Christmas pudding.  This tradition dates back to an informal term in Anglican Churches for the last Sunday before the season of Advent.  Stir it up Sunday gets it’s name from the beginning of the collect for the day in the Book of Common Prayer, which begins with the words “Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people.

The pudding is traditionally stirred East to West once by every member of the household and family, then you add the sixpence and give one more stir.


This is my top favourite family Christmas tradition because my awesome son, Oscar, now a grown up man is in charge of making the family Christmas pudding.  We start with soaking all the fruit the night before in a bottle, yes a whole bottle of brandy and then once Oscar has assembled all the magical ingredients in the bowl, he then stirs the pudding East to West following the direction of the thee wise men, then every member of the family gives the pudding a stir for good luck, then Oscar adds his sixpence that he got from the Royal Mint into the pudding, this makes our Christmas pudding really magical or a choking hazard waiting to happen!  On Christmas Day the added anticipation on who will find the sixpence and have good luck all the New Year through is a great memory to have all year.


225g currents
225g raisins
175g sultanas
50g mixed peel
175g butter
1 bottle brandy 
Chopped almonds
Chopped hazelnuts
Chopped Brazil nuts
Juice and zest of 1 Orange 
3tbsp milk
150g self raising flour
1tbsp mixed spice
1 tsp grated nutmeg
150g breadcrumbs
Golden syrup
Black treacle
3 medium eggs beaten
200g dark muscovado sugar

A sixpence 
(We were able to find a 1944 sixpence from the Royal Mint which is grandad's birth year)

The night before place all the dried fruit in a bowl and add the whole bottle of brandy! cover and leave to steep overnight.  In the morning drain off the excess brandy and reserve in a jam jar for topping up the puddings later in the month.

Pre heat your oven 170 degrees C, in a large bowl place all the soaked fruit, peel, zest and juice, and milk, mix well.   Add the flour, spices a pinch of salt, to be traditional resist the temptation to stir!  Melt the butter and add to the bowl along with breadcrumbs, eggs and muscovado sugar.

Now the pudding is ready to be stirred East to West by every member of the household and family, then add the sixpence and give one more stir.

Grease your pudding basin or tin, then this is important, line the base of your tin with a circle of grease proof paper, this will ensure that your pudding does not stick and tear when you remove it.

Take a deep saucepan and place a trivet in the bottom.  To cover your basin take a sheet of foil and fold a pleat in the centre, then cover the pudding basin with the folded pleat in the centre, this is so that the peat can unfold as the pudding expands.  Place the foil over the basin and then with the some string tie it around the rim, to make handles loop over and tie back to the other side to made the handle, not essential but handy.   


Place the pudding basin in the deep saucepan on the trivit, fill with water 3/4 of the way up and cover with a lid  then bring to a simmer, place on the lid and simmer for 4 hours.  

Once cooked take out leave to cool a little and then turn out and wrap in baking paper, then store in a air tight container.  Every so and now give the pudding a drink with the left over brandy.  

To serve on the big day place the pudding back into the basin and steam just the way you cooked it, approx 1 hour and  serve with a sprig of holly and pour over some brandy.


Once the pudding is in place ready to serve, take a ladle of warm brandy and light it so that it is flaming, then pour the flaming ladle of brandy over the pudding, this will ensure you have a successful flaming pudding in the day.  In my home we all have to sign the figgy pudding song and make a big song and dance about Oscars Christmas pudding!!! 

(Serves 6)
500ml double cream
250ml jersey gold top milk
100g un-refined sugar
3 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
300g Christmas pudding

Place the cream, milk and sugar in a pan and scald, (this means bring up to heat but do not boil).  Take off the heat and leave to cool for a couple of minutes.  Whisk the egg yolks with the salt.  Pour the slightly cooled milk on to the eggs whisking all the time, return the custard back to the pan and on a low heat cook until the mixture thickens slightly and covers the back of a spoon, don't be tempted to rush this stage, it will take approx 4 minutes, and if you turn your heat up to high you risk turing the custard into scrrambled eggs.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool for approx 1 hour.

Pour your custard into your ice cream maker and churn for 20-30 minutes until soft firm peaks.  Crumble in your Christmas pudding and mix well, pour into a tub and place in the freezer to finish setting, this will take a couple of hours.  Enjoy with a warm christmas pudding, mince pies or on it's own.

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