Sunday isn’t just Sunday this weekend, it’s ‘Stir Up Sunday’, the Sunday before advent begins, which is traditionally the day UK families would make their Christmas pudding.
So if you fancy giving a homemade Christmas pud a crack this year, here’s what you ought to know before you get started.
Top tips for creating the ultimate Christmas pudding:
1. Each family member should take turns stirring the mix, making a Christmas wish as they do.
2. Don’t forget to put a silver coin in your pudding before you leave it to mature – its good luck for whoever finds it on Christmas day! Just mind your teeth.
3. Don’t skip soaking your pudding – to achieve a fuller flavour, soaking your mix overnight makes all the difference
4. Replace the usual caster sugar with dark or brown sugars like Muscovado to give your Christmas pudding a richer flavour of caramel.
5. Make sure the eggs you use are at room temperature rather than fresh out of the fridge, to avoid curdling.
6. After your pudding has been steamed store, for at least four weeks although longer is better.
7. If you want to be really traditional, store your maturing Christmas pud under the bed – the perfect cool, dry place.
8. Gently warm the brandy to serve so you don’t burn all of the alcohol away…
How to make the perfect Christmas pudding
- Large bowl
- Large pan
- 120 g plain flour
- 60 g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
- 120 g shredded vegetable suet
- 120 g brown sugar
- 120 g grated Bramley apple
- 120 g glace cherries halved
- 120 g currants
- 350 g raisins
- 120 g sultanas
- 120 g chopped dried apricots
- 2 tbsp chopped stem ginger in syrup
- 2 tbsp Dr. Oetker Valencian Orange Extract
- 2 sachets Dr. Oetker Ready Lemon Zest (or the zest of 1 fresh lemon)
- 2 tbsp black treacle
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 large eggs
- 175 ml brandy
- Mix all ingredients together in one large bowl. Stir well and leave to mature overnight in the fridge.
- The next day, fill your pudding basin with the mix, pressing down to level out the top. Cover with a piece of baking parchment and foil and tie securely and tightly over the top of the basin with string.
- Place the pudding in a large pan and fill with boiling water, the water should come around three quarters of the way up the pudding basin.
- Simmer for eight hours, keeping an eye on the water and topping up the level at regular intervals.
- Once cooked, cool and add fresh parchment and foil to the basin, tie and store until eating on Christmas day
- When ready to eat, heat by simmering for a minimum of two hours.
- To serve, pour a generous glug of warmed brandy all over the pudding and set alight.