Stir-up Sunday is the last Sunday before Advent, this year it falls on 20th November and is traditionally the day when Christmas puddings are baked, giving them a whole month to mature before Christmas. Do it the traditional way and get the whole family to help! It’s the day when wishes are said to come true, so get stirring!
What is Stir-up Sunday?
It is a tradition that harks back to Victorian times when the family would gather together to stir the Christmas pudding five weeks before Christmas. The opening words of the Book of Common Prayer read on this Sunday before Advent at church are ‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord’, and so the tradition stands that this is the day to get stirring!
The Stir-up traditions
- Christmas pudding would traditionally contain 13 ingredients to represent Jesus and his disciples.
- It is traditionally stirred (while making a wish) by each member of the family from East to West, to remember the Wise Men that visited Jesus in the Nativity Story.
- The traditional garnish of holly represented the crown of thorns (be warned the holly berry is very toxic, so perhaps adorn your Christmas pudding with fake foliage!)
- Adding coins, originally charms, to the pudding was said to bring luck if you found them in your pud on Christmas Day. The traditional lucky charms were a silver coin for wealth, a wishbone for luck, a thimble for thrift, a ring for marriage, and an anchor for safe harbour. Although biting on to such a thing would surely cause a trip to the dentist with a cracked tooth, so not necessarily advised without a thorough inspection on Christmas Day.
- 450g white breadcrumbs
- 1tsp ground ginger
- 1tsp mixed spice
- 2tsp salt
- 225g suet, shredded or finely chopped
- 225g brown sugar
- 110g mixed peel, chopped
- 110g currants & 110g sultanas
- 450g seedless raisins
- 75g carrots, grated
- 3tbsp brandy
- 2tbsp milk
- 110g golden syrup
- Mix the breadcrumbs, spices, salt, suet, sugar dried fruits and carrots together in a large bowl.
- Blend the brandy, milk and syrup and stir thoroughly into the dry ingredients.
- Let the mixture stand for at least 1 hour then put into a greased pudding basin or pudding steamer.
- If using a pudding basin cover with greaseproof paper and cloth or foil.
STEAM PUDDING ACCORDING TO THE VOLUME OF THE BASIN:
- for a 500ml pudding allow 5 hours
- for a 750ml pudding allow 7 hours
- for a 1 litre pudding allow 9 hours
- When cooked remove the basin from the steamer and allow to cool.
- Cover with fresh paper and store in a cool place.
ON THE DAY OF SERVING RENEW THE COVERING AND STEAM THE PUDDING AS FOLLOWS:
- for a 500ml pudding steam for 2 hours
- for a 750ml – 1 litre pudding steam for 3 hours
- Turn out on to a hot dish, decorate with holly and flame with warmed brandy. Serve with brandy or rum butter.
- puddings will keep for 12-18 months and improve and mature during this time.
To finish off all the ingredients from above are available from the Deli so call in and we’ll point you in the right direction..