Photo Credit Christmas pudding being flamed after brandy has been poured over it.
Tradition Christmas Pudding
Traditionally puddings were made on or immediately after the Sunday “next before Advent“, i.e. four to five weeks before Christmas. They mature, bringing the flavor more intense and keep very well, in fact, many families keep one back from Christmas to be eaten at another celebration later in the year, often at Easter.
Christmas pudding is a dessert traditionally served on Christmas Day (December 25). My mother always made a Christmas pudding every year, after getting married I continued making them, actually the year she died she enjoyed her last Christmas in my home using her recipe.
I have been making Christmas puddings for 50 years for my family, so here I am, after that many Christmas puddings, I must be an expert, and I have never had my family refuse to eat them yet.
Helping mother with Christmas pudding preparations
In my early years as a teenager, I would always help my mother prepare the Christmas Pudding, and my mother believed, that as tradition everyone in the household, or at least, every child, give the mixture a stir and made a wish while doing so. I know I had more than one stir while mixing it, maybe that is why my wishes never seem to come true. We always included small silver coins in the pudding mixture, which could be kept by the person whose serving included them. The usual choice was a silver threepence or a sixpence piece. The coin was believed to bring wealth in the coming year.
It is only in the last five years that I have stopped putting coins in the Christmas pudding, I know coins pose a choking hazard, but I never had anyone choke, because they all knew there were coins in it, but they took them out with their spoon and never swallowed them, because no real silver coins are available, no one ever got sick for eating Christmas pudding that had coins in it.
Every year I would search through the house looking for threepenny or sixpenny coins. There wasn’t a money box, drawer or handbag that wasn’t searched. They were all boiled up and added to the family pudding. The family used to see which one of them would get the most coins.
Once we changed to cents and dollars, there seemed to be ten and twenty cents added. Yes, and father never got any money in his, even when I made sure he had a coin as he would pass it over to someone else’s plate when they were not looking. At the end of the meal, everyone would take their money wash it, count it up, to see who got the most.
It was really great fun which the whole family joined in and the grandchildren loved it, it was the highlight of their Christmas dinner, which they looked forward to every year.
Traditional Christmas Pudding Recipe
- 1 cup sultanas
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup currants
- 1 cup shredded suet
- 1 cup standard plain flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups soft breadcrumbs
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- Put sultanas, raisins, currants into a large bowl.
- Add suet, mixing to combine.
- Sift flour, baking powder, mixed spice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt into the fruit mixture.
- Mix well.
- Add breadcrumbs and mix through.
- In a separate bowl, beat brown sugar, eggs, and milk together.
- Add to the fruit mixture, mixing thoroughly to combine.
- Stir in brandy.
- Spoon mixture into a well greased six cup capacity pudding basin.
- Cover with pleated greaseproof paper or foil.
- Secure with string. leaving a loop to lift the pudding when cooked.
- Place a trivet or old saucer in the bottom of a large saucepan half-filled with boiling water.
- Carefully lower pudding into the saucepan, making sure the water comes two-thirds of the way up the sides of the basin.
- Cover and cook for 5 hours, making sure water is constantly bubbling.
- Check water level from time to time.
- Remove from saucepan when cooked.
- Leave until cold.
- Wrap well and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Steam for a further 2 hours before serving.
Christmas is a very special time of the year, a time to celebrate in joyful wonder, a time to embrace longstanding traditions and establish new ones. What better treat than baking a Christmas pudding which is really the making of a special Christmas bring the cheer to all.
How To Make The Perfect Christmas Puddin
Did you have coins or other tokens such as a tiny wishbone (to bring good luck), a silver thimble (for thrift), or an anchor (to symbolize safe harbor) in your Christmas Pudding? Love to know – Please leave an answer in the comments
Of course, you cannot have a Christmas Pudding without the Brandy Sauce, this is what my family loves.
I usually double the recipe, if there is any left over, it is nice to eat cold like custard.
Can be heated up for next day if you have any Christmas pudding over.
Brandy Sauce Ingredients
- 55 grams butter
- 55 grams corn flour
- 570 ml milk
- 55 grams fine caster sugar
- 5 tbsp Brandy
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.
- Add the cornflour and stir to create a thick paste.
- Cook for 1 minute taking care not to burn.
- Using a hand whisk, slowly add the milk, stirring vigorously.
- Continue whisking until thick smooth sauce is formed (about 5 minutes).
- Do not have the heat too high or the base of the sauce may burn.
- Add the sugar and whisk until dissolved.
- Lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes stirring from time to time.
- Finally add the brandy, taste for desired flavored.
- Serve with the Christmas pudding.
How to make brandy sauce