The Tradition of Christmas Pudding

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CHEFTALK

 

 

 

The tradition of Christmas Pudding

 Christmas pudding

 

Christmas pudding is the traditional end to a delightful Christmas dinner, but Christmas pudding has not always been what it is nowadays.

 

Racing towards Christmas, our pace is reaching the gallop motion to get all the preparations done, shopping, wrapping presents, preparing Christmas dinner and all that, let’s take a quiet moment for this historical story.

 

History

 

Christmas pudding originated in the 14th century as porridge, made with beef, mutton and raisins, currants, wine and spices. People started to add eggs and bread to the porridge mix and by the late 16th century it had turned in a pudding, in the second half of the 17th century Christmas pudding was banned by puritans in the UK, who considered the concoction “a bad custom”.

 

King George the 1st of Britain enjoyed plum pudding a lot and re-installed the custom of Christmas pudding in the early 18th century.

Throughout history many superstitions have surrounded Christmas pudding, notable is the one that there should be 13 ingredients, representing Jesus and his 12 disciples and that each member of the family should take turns to stir the pudding from East to West in honor of the wise men who came from the East.

 

holly

Although Christmas pudding is eaten at Christmas, some details of the pudding are associated with Easter. The traditional sprig of holly on top is a reminder of the ‘crown of thorns’ Jesus wore when he was crucified.

When Christmas pudding is served, we pour brandy or another spirit over it and lit it at the table for some additional spectacle, this custom is said to represent Jesus’s love and power. The traditional holly decoration on top of the pudding originates from medieval times when people believed that holly brought luck and had healing powers.

flambe christmas  pudding

Hiding a silver coin in the pudding is another age old custom and it is said that good luck will bestow on the person who finds it.

The coins are sometimes replaced by different items to symbolize a prospected happening to the finder; a ring would make you rich and a promise to marriage for bachelors.

 

Recipe

 

If this little historical story has given you the idea of making one this Christmas, here is a recipe:

 

Christmas pudding is pretty easy to make, but takes time!!

 

Ingredients:

  •  7 oz currants
  • 7 oz sultanas
  • 7 oz raisins
  • 3 ½ oz mix peel
  • 7 oz breadcrumbs
  • 7 oz raw brown sugar (also called Demerara sugar)
  • 7 oz suet (beef or mutton fat)
  • Grated rind and juice of one lemon
  • 3 ½ oz ground or chopped almonds
  • 7 oz all- purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpin pie spice
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ pint stout

 

A ring or coin if you like good luck or you want somebody to get married (optional)

 

Method:

  1.  Combine the currants, sultanas and raisins with the breadcrumbs, sugar, suet, almonds and lemon rind in a large bowl.
  2. Combine the flour, salt and spices in a separate bowl. Beat the eggs and add the stout and lemon rind and juice, mix together with the fruit mixture. Leave overnight.

 

The next day:

  1. Grease a ceramic or steel mould and fill it with the pudding mixture.
  2. Cover the bowl with grease paper and secure with a string around the bowl.
  3. If you make one large pudding steam for 8 hours, if you make two smaller puddings steam for 6 hours.
  4. Allow cooling, and store refrigerated.
  5. Steam the pudding for two hours to reheat when you serve the pudding on Christmas day.
  6. Place the sprig of holly on top before serving.

Note: add the ring or coin before steaming.

This is the last post before Christmas, I wish all my readers a very Happy Christmas, God Bless, enjoy your celebrations and I will see you on the other side of Christmas with more ideas how to use your vacuum sealer.

 

By: Marinus Hoogendoorn

Christmas pudding

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