PUDDING REPORT: Christmas Pudding 2012 is underway!

Things are underway on this “Stir Up Sunday”, the Last Sunday after Pentecost. “Stir Up” comes from the first words of the Collect for Holy Mass in the Usus Antiquior.

I decided that for this round I would use the recipe I tried last year, by “Delia“.

It calls for “self-rising” flour. I don’t have any, so I made some, by sifting regular flour together with baking powder and salt.


In go the breadcrumbs.



I didn’t have “mixed spice” which is sort of like Pumpkin Pie spice, and the grocer was entirely cleaned out of that, so I concocted some.


After blending well the flour, crumbs and spices, I start adding the fruits and nuts, without lay and clerical associations of dissenters or readers of the Fishwrap.


Now zests of citrus.


Time for the liquid.

For this we have eggs and rum and stout and barleywine.  I was lucky to find some barleywine, since it usually comes a little later.  Note the graduated cylinder.  I prefer to do my measuring in grams and milleliters.  So much easier.

The stout is Kalamazoo and the barleywine is Whole Hog, both more or less local.




It will get pretty goopy, which is about right.


Once it was concocted (late last night), it was to set over night.

In the meantime, this morning I sang a TLM at Holy Redeemer in downtown Madison.

Pretty church.



After Mass I came home and sat straight down and banged out a PODCAzT, on a lark.

Laster, I will have to steam the pudding… using a hot plate. We shall how that goes.

More later.


Okay… here is the steaming set up.

I tied a string around the base and top at right angles to make a handle by which I could extract the basin more easily.


Into the big stock pot and onto the hot plate.


Steam… steam… steam… for what worked out to about 10 hours (I went out for a while) to go eat Sole meunière at the invitation of some friends.


I decided to dress it out myself. Fun and delicious.

Back home…


Ready to sit for a while.

I’ll probably make a couple smaller ones, too, as gifts.

That’s the Christmas Pudding Report 2012 so far.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. lucy says:

    It looks great thus far. You inspire me to some day try this.

    Love your cooking posts…

  2. dnicoll says:

    Waaaay too late to be making Christmas Pudding, Father. It’ll have no time to mature. Ours get made in February and you get a much better result.

  3. VexillaRegis says:

    Never liked Christmas/ plum pudding, brr. But what a beautiful church! Does it have a decent organ? If so, I heading for the US straight away :-) !

  4. acardnal says:

    Fr. Z, I had the pleasure of attending the Mass in Madison this a.m. I want to complement you on the wonderful voice God gave you for chant.

  5. Supertradmum says:

    dnicoll , I wrote last year, here, that August was the time to stir up, but these young uns never listen!

  6. LisaP. says:

    What keeps the egg? The alcohol? The steaming?

  7. Muv says:

    Bravo bravo! Parson Woodforde would be proud of you.

    Don’t worry if you don’t get round to eating it this year (fat chance), it will keep until next.

  8. Elizabeth D says:

    That was, inevitably exactly what I was thinking about as I followed along with the Collect in my missal (that you would make Christmas pudding later): “Stir up the wills of thy faithful people…”

    Exactly as someone else commented on my blog post: “His preaching was excellent, and his singing even better than I was expecting.”

  9. benedetta says:

    Looks great Fr. Z and remembering the hilarious cartoon of Max doing his stir up and service of the pudding! Am using a dark Trappist ale in my recipe this year.

  10. Pingback: Fr Z at Holy Redeemer | Uncategorized |

  11. PJ says:

    Nice one, Father.

    Delia rocks.

    We made our puddings a little early this year (last week). We make two and save one for a bit later (e.g. someone’s birthday in Jan/Feb, or even perhaps Easter). That way you get the best of both worlds – a nice and surprisingly light pudding at Christmas (which is what you need after an enormous meal), and a slightly more mature and chunkier one later down the line.

    Instead, I spent today making the fruit cake (whoops… should probably have done this a little sooner). I had soaked the fruit overnight in copious amounts of brandy (I tend to use 3-4x more than Delia suggests, yet it gets completely soaked up no probs – this always amazes me).

    I will now make a few “feeding holes” on the bottom of the cake before I go to bed to enable me to feed it with some more brandy between now and the big day. Hopefully it’ll be LOVELY.

  12. kallman says:

    Delia’s recipe is foolproof pretty much. I don’t like it though as using the beer and the barley wine gives too much of a malt taste in the pudding which gives it a burnt character. I prefer recipes using spirits such a rum/brandy rather than bear/barley wine. Also basin puddings don’t develop the crusty skin you get if you boil it in a muslin cloth. Both are matters of personal preference. It is still November so the thing will have time to settle down a bit before Christmas but will not be quite as good as one made earlier.

  13. dmreed says:

    Stir it up Sunday??? I prefer my pastor’s name for the day. He said during his homily yesterday, tongue and cheek, that it is “Abomination of Desolation” Sunday. ( a reference to the day’s Gospel reading)

  14. eyeclinic says:

    Whoa there Fr.! If I’m not mistaken that “Stout” is from Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo,MI, not exactly a local brew unless you have moved! A great choice nonetheless.(Or is that what you meant by “more or less local”?)

  15. Agellius says:

    I did my first Christmas pudding this year, a couple weeks ago. I’ve never even tasted it, let alone made it, but the recipe looks pretty much the same as yours. If anyone has doubts about his ability to pull it off, it was surprisingly easy.

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