For the last two years I made my own English-style Christmas Pudding. Delicious. A whole different theory of cooking. The flavors are amazing.
This year I am going to pay attention to Stir Up Sunday. 25 November is “Stir Up Sunday”, the Last Sunday after Pentecost.
NEXT SUNDAY Already!?!
Why is it called “Stir Up Sunday”? Because of the Collect prayer at Sunday Mass:
Excita, quaesumus. Dómine, tuórum fidélium voluntátes: ut, divíni óperis fructum propénsius exsequéntes; pietátis tuæ remédia maióra percípiant.
Also, because you stir up the ingredients for your Christmas pudding on Stir Up Sunday, and steam it, so that it has adequate time to set before the big day.
I must add a pudding basin or two to my wish list.
For various reasons I will have many more challenges in my preparation of the Christmas Pudding. But I located one basin, which was a gift from one of you readers from my wishlist, long ago. Also, since I am now using a different grocery store, I scoped out most of the ingredients. Rats… I forget to check if they had suet.
Will I use the recipe that included barleywine this year? If I can find a store that has it in the next few days, I will perhaps use that recipe again. It was really good.
Otherwise… a new recipe? There is a good one in the Patrick O’Brian series recipe book Lobscouse and Spotted Dog: Which It’s a Gastronomic Companion to the Aubrey/Maturin Novels. A reader gave me that as well.
You can help me with the ingredients and win my gratitude as well as remembrance among the benefactors I pray for at Mass.
Finally, animi caussa…
Any resemblance to Basil, the hamster on sidebar, is entirely intentional.
My husband and I make a traditional English Christmas Cake every year, but this is not your grandmother’s icky fruit cake. We modify the BBC recipe slightly to omit the candied peel, and instead use dried apricot and dried Michigan cherries (along with a ton of raisins, figs, sultanas, prunes, currents). We soak the fruit in about three cups of brandy for about a month. Once our Knights of Columbus are selling their yearly cans of nuts, we will use mixed “Knights Nuts” instead of just one type of nut.
In a few weeks we will bake the cake, and then poke it full of holes and soak it in more brandy. Then the whole thing gets a layer of apricot jam to hold on the layer of marzipan. Then – layer after layer of royal icing to completely seal in all the wonderful goodness!!!
Served with a slice of Wensleydale cheese – it’s just simply amazing.
(Would love to send you some Fr. Z if you would like! Just let me know how to get it to you!)
My husband (English immigrant) loves homemade pudding, but I just can’t get on board with it. I’m not a big fan of raisins to begin with, and brandy-soaked is worse. There are precious few British afters that I really enjoy (mmmm Bakewell Tart!). He usually makes himself either a pudding or a Christmas Cake, though. Sometimes his parents send over a storebought pudding.
My wife got me Lobscouse and Spotted Dog for Christmas last year. This year I am putting it to use and making a Christmas pudding using the book’s recipe. I have already told my wife to stand by, because November 25 is Stir Up Sunday in the Dailey household.
I would like to try the Portuguese “King’s Cake”…
I intend to try my hand at a Christmas pudding for the first time. I’m already looking forward to Stir-Up Sunday!
I mostly use dried cranberries in place of raisins when raisins are in a recipe. I’ll eat them, but don’t actually like them.
The 25th is the Solemnity of Christ the King in the OF. I plan to make a New Orleans style King Cake. Christmas Pud is off the radar this year. Expensive ingredients, lots of time and no one but me will like it. Sigh. Some year….
Like Lizanne- fruitcake, no candied fruits. But- have never soaked my dried fruits in spirits, so may try that. I will be using only pecans- we’re Texans. I use my grandmother’s applesauce cake recipe for the batter. It’s lighter than traditional fruitcake. I bake a lot of these in gem pans, so they’re kind of a two-bite fruitcake. My favorite Christmas cookie.
Safety tip: Put the cigar down before dousing the pudding. :D
It all looks and sounds so wonderful. Despite numerous trips to the UK I was never there around Christmas and have, alas, never tasted a real English pudding. I already see that there seem to be as many ways to makethis delightful creation as there are people who make them. Yet i wonder in these busy days what the percentage is now between people who purchase a ready made pudding and make their own, sort of like what’s happened to panettone in Italy.
I love the term “afters”, although like mamjen, I’m not a big fan of British desserts. My friends call all their desserts ” pudding”, as well, no matter what is served.
You sound so excited, Father, and I wish you all the best in this endeavor. ( or should that be endeavour?) I have a strong feeling this will yield marvelous results and wish there were a way I could at least smell through the computer! Best of luck to all of you this “Stir Up Sunday”!
I have to confess. We made our Christmas puddings over three days in early October and enough of them to last three years, though the 8-hr boiling, topping up and and being trapped in a kitchen filled with steam did get rather irksome. The Delia Smith recipe is the closest to our mom’s original. We tipped in barley wine (a strong pale ale), Irish stout and rum, purely as preservatives, of course. In the UK you can buy packs of beef suet which is shredded to the size of grains of rice, very handy for easy mixing.
The aroma of the uncooked pudding mixture after steeping overnight made it almost good enough to eat there and then, but we resisted the temptation. The puds have come out almost black. Now we just wait for the cheers when, after another two hours simmering, the pud is brought to the table, smothered in rum or brandy and set alight.
Did you try the off-license next to SA Mart in Loring Park? I thought I saw it there.
FWIW, it’s also the Sunday to infuse vodka for Christmas. Honey vodka, baccalia vodka (nuts, figs, rasins, prunes and dates), etc.
Steep the ingredients for the entire Advent, then enjoy on Christmas Eve….