Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Advent Sunday - Stir Up Sunday - Time to make the Christmas Puddings

The First day of Advent this year is Sunday 24 November 2013 this coming Sunday.  The day when the first Advent candle is traditionally lit, we are all familiar with the Advent Wreath with four candles in situ, but it is also the day when traditionally the housewife makes her Christmas puddings or in this modern age many people go and buy them. I grew up with my family making the puddings on Stir Up Sunday and also with the tradition of every family member having a stir (then making a wish) each taking their turn of stirring the pudding a ritual that happened every year.  There was also the silver threpenny bits.  At first my Nan used to pop them into the pudding and leave them in.  In later years however she used to slip a couple into the pudding before serving. and the recipient of the silver threpenny bit was said to have luck for the coming year.  Each year the threpenny bits were recycled.  One of the charming Christmas customs that has been practiced for time immemorial.

Christmas puddings are however relatively easy to make the time consuming bit is the cooking.  I use my pressure cookers to do these as it cooks and darkens the puddings a lot quicker and is economical on the fuel for cooking.

So if you want to have a go at making your own Christmas Pudding then get together your ingredients for making the pudding or puddings this Sunday.  However you will have to start the process on Saturday as the mixture will need to stand overnight to be completed on the Sunday.  I use the Delia Recipe but I do fiddle with the ingredients and use what I have to hand.  There are other recipes available but for one large 2 pint bowl pudding or two smaller ones you will need the following ingredients:

4oz shredded suet (My mum has in the past used grated butter which makes for a softer pudding which does not always hold its shape but it tastes good)
2oz self raising flouir
4oz white breadcrumbs
1 level tablespooon of mixed spice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
A good pinch of ground cinnamon
8oz soft dark bron sugar
4oz sultanas
4oz raisins
10oz currants
1oz mixed candied peel finely chopped
1oz almonds blanched and skinned then chopped
1 small cooking apple peeled cored and finely chopped
grated zest of 1/2 a large orange
grated zest of 1/2 a large lemon
2 eggs size 1
2 1/2 fl oz of barley wine
2 1/2 fl oz of stout
2 tablespoons of rum

I also add one grated carrot

One 2 pint/1.2 litre pudding basin or two smaller ones lightly greased

If you do not have barley wine double up on the stout (Guinness is usually used to give the pudding a nice   or use cider instead.  Maybe even a ginger crabbies. Experiment its all about playing with the ingredients.

So go on have a go get your ingredients together and then on Friday evening this week I will post the balance of the recipe.

Catch you then if not before.




Sorry folks I seem to have got ahead of myself and got my weeks muddled up. (I have a few days off in the next few weeks or so and seem to have landed my dates in a right pickle.  The First Advent Sunday is December 1st.  Thank you Frugally Challenged for pointing this out.  I think the old adage applies less haste more speed.  I will still post the rest of the recipe at the end of the week so that you can plan a little more if you wish.

Take care




  1. The pud looks delicious but the first Sunday of Advent is 1st December and if you light your first candle you wil run out on Sunday 15th December! However the Stir Up collect is used this Sunday (the last before Advent).

  2. Now I really am confused River Cottage also says that 24 November is stir up Sunday but notably that it is the last Sunday before advent. Perhaps that's where I have become confused.



    1. Hi Patricia, you can trust me on this one - I'm a vicar!

    2. Thank you Frugally Challenged I wasn't doubting you for a moment but there was quite a bit of conflicting information to hand which completely confused me (I am easily confused). I like to get to the bottom of things and that's told me in the nicest posssible way! Mind you I did have a good chuckle to myself - you win hands down no argument. Brightened my evening immensely after a very busy cold day. Hope you will pop by again. Take care;



  3. When my mum was still alive, I always made my own Christmas puddings, but sadly I am the only one in the house who likes them, so I don't bother any more. your recipe sounds a good one.


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