Stir-up Sunday

Christmas Pudding with Guinness, Port and Walnuts

Stir-up Sunday is an informal term in Anglican churches for the last Sunday before the season of Advent. The British tradition of the Christmas pudding is said to have been introduced to the Victorians by Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert in the late 1800's. However, the meat-less version was introduced from Germany over 100 years earlier by George I in 1714.

Placing a flaming Christmas pudding on your table at the end of your Turkey roast can be a bit like putting a jar of Marmite out, in that most people feel have strong feelings. They either love it or hate it. But, we think a real pud, made from scratch, left to mature before gently steaming whilst fighting over the sprouts, is truly a thing of beauty.

This wonderful Christmas pudding recipe from Delia Smith is easy to follow and gives simple conversions for making several smaller puddings from the same batch of mix.

Like our Christmas cake, the fruit (sultanas, currants, raisins, mixed peel and glacé cherries) and the liquids (Guinness Extra Stout and Port) get left to mingle overnight. Folding in the flour completes the mix then simply spoon into pudding basins of your choosing. We've opted for smaller puddings as there are only a few pudding lovers at our table. The others will keep for another day or make lovely gifts of wrapped up well.

Before getting their first steam the puddings need to be covered with baking parchment and foil (with a pleat for expansion) to keep the water out. 3 hours should do for the small basins, but a full size pudding could take up to 8 hours.

nce cooled and wrapped, leave somewhere cool to mature. On the day of serving, steam for another hour then serve with your favourite accompaniment. Cream? Custard? Brandy butter? Or maybe all three!

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