Tis the season to bake – Christmas pudding that is

 

 

 

 

holly & Ivy

This Sunday is the last Sunday before the Christmas countdown, planning and panic sets in – more traditionally know as Advent. Fondly know as “Stir Up Sunday” it is a day where families across the world make their Christmas cakes and puddings in anticipation of Advent and Saint Nic.

Stir Up Sunday, as Waitrose website quotes is “A tradition the whole family can get involved with, the idea is that everyone should get a turn to mix, and make a wish while they do it. Some households put coins in the mix, with the finder promised wealth, health and happiness for the coming year.”

The humble Christmas pudding is said to have originated hundreds of years ago; it was first mentioned in 1858 and made popular in the 19th Century by Prince Albert when he announced his love for this rich fruity delight. In the Middle Ages, a Christmas porridge called Frumenty was apparently the savoury ancestor of the Christmas pudding which developed into a plum based pudding containing dried fruits, eggs, breadcrumbs and of course spirits to preserve and enhance it.

Should you wish to delve into the traditions of “Stir Up Sunday” and make your own there are a vast range of recipies available to inspire, from Waitrose “Plum n Rum Christmas Pudding” to good old Delia’s traditional Christmas pudding and brandy sauce and the exotic Mauritian inspired tropical fruit and vanilla Christmas pudding from the Telegraph.

Should you wish to buy your pudding each year to avoid the hours of soaking,boiling and feeding that ensues with caring for your pudding the battle of the pud is fought out in many a blind test by magazines, newspapers and television shows, with shops fighting it out to be declared the best in taste/budget/booziness/fruitiness etc. All with seemingly completely different outcomes (apart from the well know Aldi who seems to shine in all!)

For some review before you buy have a look at these polls:

Good housekeeping – http://www.goodhousekeeping.co.uk/christmas/christmas-tried-and-tested/christmas-puddings-2014

Telegraph – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/christmas/11241034/Surprise-winner-in-best-Christmas-pudding-poll.html

The Independent – http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/christmasgifts/best-christmas-puddings-9912908.html

 

Whether you decide to boil up a pud or two and keep it safe “underneath your bed in a cool room” as Delia suggests or buy one from a shop and sling it in the cupboard until its debut when you think you simply cannot eat another thing – lighting it is most definitely compulsory.