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Stir up Sunday

Danielle Gagola

Buying Administrator, Cookshop

Is it that time of year already? It seems like I've only just packed my barbecue away, and now I'm thinking about Christmas pudding! Christmas puddings are an absolute favourite in my family, and we all get together at my mum's to help her make the pudding. We usually make ours a month before to let all the flavours sink in and mature.

Traditionally, Christmas puddings were always made on Stir-up Sunday. This is the last Sunday before advent begins and this year, it falls on November 24th. It was the day when everyone in the family took a turn to stir the pudding, making a wish whilst they stirred. The pudding mixture was always stirred from East to West to represent the three wise men who visited baby Jesus. Another tradition was to place a sixpence coin in the mixture (if you do this, remember to wrap it in greaseproof paper to avoid any choking). It was believed to have brought wealth to the lucky finder!

Whether it's a cake I'm baking, or a pudding I'm making, there are some handy essentials that I just can't live without:

ohn Lewis Traditional Kitchen Scale

A good set of kitchen scales are a must in any kitchen. My favourite is this John Lewis Traditional Kitchen Scale. It's made from stainless steel and has a large, easy-to-read dial. Best of all, the add-and-weigh facility lets you weigh different foods in succession by adjusting the pointer to zero between each measurement.

Scales
John Lewis enamel measuring cups

Measuring

Getting the ratio of ingredients right is half the success of baking a cake. I love the John Lewis enamel measuring cups which come in a set of 4 and look very cute.

Mixing

To mix my pudding or cake mixture, a goodspatula is essential. This Figgy Pudding wooden spoon is great as it's crafted from durable beech wood and features a line from the Christmas Carol on the handle.

Spoon

Christmas pudding with walnut topping

Serves 10
Freezes for up to a year (make double for next Christmas)

Method

  1. Put dried fruits dates, cranberries, ginger in pan with orange zest, juice and liqueur. Warm gently for 10 minutes. Then leave to cool
  2. Grease a pudding basin 1.3 litre . Put small grease proof paper circle in the base
  3. Beat butter, sugar, eggs and flour then stir in the fruits, breadcrumbs, cinnamon and nuts
  4. Steam pudding for three hours. Either in a slow cooker or pan. Cool. Store for a week or freeze for a month
  5. For the sauce, melt the butter and sugar in a pan, tip in the walnuts; stir for a few minutes. To toast, add orange juice, liqueur and cranberries. Allow to bubble until thick and creamy. Leave to Cool
  6. To serve, steam to warm for 1 hour. Gently warm the walnut sauce. Serve the pudding. Pour over the sauce
  7. Decorate with a sprig of holly, extra liqueur and light!

Helpful products

John Lewis Xmas Pudding basin John Lewis Figgy Pudding Oven Gloves John Lewis Enamel Measuring Spoons Cuisipro Fine Rasp

1 - John Lewis Xmas Pudding basin I 2 - John Lewis Figgy Pudding Oven Gloves I 3 - John Lewis Enamel Measuring Spoons I 4 - Cuisipro Fine Rasp

Ingredients

  • Pudding
  • 100g raising
  • 100g sultanas
  • 50g currants
  • 175g dates stoned
  • 85g dried cranberries
  • Grated zest + juice of 1 orange
  • 1 thsp grated ginger
  • 100ml orange liqueur
  • 100g butter
  • 100g dark muscuvado sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 85g fresh white or brown bread crumbs
  • 50g s.r. flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 85g walnuts roughly chopped
  • Walnut topping sauce
  • 100g butter
  • 100g light muscuvado sugar
  • 50g walnuts
  • 50g dried cranberries
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 3ths orange liqueur