Stir-up Sunday: t minus six days

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It’s Stir Up Sunday next week, the day that we’re all supposed to be making our Christmas Puddings. The problem is, though, that if I spend the day making the pudding and then another day or so to write it up, you’d have missed Stir Up Sunday and the ‘proper’ day to make your pudding if you were waiting for my instructions. And if I were to do it before then, then I wouldn’t be doing it on the proper day. Tricky, eh?

This might be a good time to admit that I don’t think anyone at all, apart from me, has made anything from the Mary Bradley notebook yet, so it’s possible that I’m worrying about the logistics of this a little too much.

I can think of lots of days in the year when eating baked items is traditional, but this is the only actual baking traditional day I know of – are there any others? So it seems a shame not to do the baking on that day. Here’s the plan, then: the ingredients I’m going to use for my pudding are listed below. I’ll write up and post my progress through the recipe as I go along rather than waiting till the end, just like The Guardian were live-blogging a Christmas Pudding. And I’m sure they will, if they haven’t already.

The calculations that I needed to bring this down to a reasonable size were so tricky that I needed to rope in my brother for help – he’s pretty darned sciencey – so I think that it should give you the quantity I suggest below, but as I haven’t cooked this yet I can’t guarantee it. So if you want to have a Very Mary Bradley Christmas, you’ll need:

Ingredients

(To make 2 2-pint puddings or 4 1-pint puddings)

    320g suet
    320g raisins
    320g sultanas
    320g currants
    320g breadcrumbs
    320g dark muscovado sugar
    160g mixed peel
    80g plain flour
    160g diced Bramley apple
    20g mixed spice
    2 eggs
    some rum or brandy to soak the fruit in.

You will also need:

    A big mixing bowl
    pudding moulds to a total of 4 pints volume
    something to steam the puddings in.

So these look like pretty standard Christmas pudding ingredients?

Indeed they do. I want to give this pudding the very best chance it can have in life so I’ve made the following tweaks from Mary’s ingredients:

– She does not suggest soaking the fruit in alcohol overnight before starting, I think it’s probably a good idea though.

– Mary doesn’t specify the type of apple or the type of sugar – these are my suggestions.

– I made some candied peel because I’m not really keen on the stuff that you get in the little tubs, and I think it might make a bit of difference. You could do the same, but pretty much only if you have the rest of today or Tuesday free, and don’t mind spending a lot of it staring at boiling pans of peel. Here’s the recipe I used. Or you could try to find whole candied peel and cut it up yourself.

I’ve always been confused about the whole currant/sultana/raisin group…

Me too, and it looks like we’re not alone. Here’s Kew Gardens to tell us the difference.

Do you have a schedule for next weekend?

A very vague one: the post will open on Saturday evening to cover the soaking and the cutting up of peel, the stirring and so on will happen on Sunday morning, and the 6 hours of boiling will start on Sunday afternoon.

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One thought on “Stir-up Sunday: t minus six days

  1. Pingback: We all want some figgy pudding: Christmas Pudding No 2 | Nikki flippin' Coates

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