Christmas Pudding Recipe
By Gwen Kenny, Madeley
Don't opt for the shop-bought pud this year, make your own with our recipe. They get better with age, so why not make two, then you'll have a really mature one ready for next Christmas.
3lb currants, raisins and sultanas - mixed together
Sift the dry ingredients
Melt 1oz butter in a saucepan
The origins of the Christmas pudding go back to the 14th Century when a porridge called frumenty was made by stewing beef and lamb with dried fruit such as raisins, currants, prunes, wines and spices. This stew was served as a fasting dish in preparation for the Christmas festivities.
By the 17th Century frumenty was beginning to evolve into plum pudding - it was thickened with egg and breadcrumbs and alcoholic spirits were added to give the pudding richness.
Over the years it became the customary Christmas dessert. However, with the arrival of the Puritans in the later part of the 17th Century, it was banned as a lewd custom and its rich ingredients described as being 'unfit for God fearing people'.
It saw a revival in the 18th Century when plum pudding was restored to the Christmas table by George I, despite some objections by the Quakers.
A perfect Christmas pudding
It wasn't until the Victorian times that the plum finally evolved into something similar to the Christmas puddings we enjoy today. It is now estimated that over 40 million people in the UK will finish their festive meal with a bit of Christmas pudding.
One of the many customs surrounding the Christmas pudding is that they should be made by the 25th Sunday after Trinity, prepared with 13 ingredients (to represent Jesus and his Disciples) and that every member of the family should take turns to stir the pudding from east to west with a wooden spoon, in honour of the three Kings.
Another custom is for a silver coin to be put into the pudding mixture before baking. Whoever finds the coin will have health, wealth and happiness for the coming year, (provided they don't choke while eating their pud!)
last updated: 27/11/07