Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Christmas Pudding

Another British Tradition around the Christmas holidays is Christmas Pudding:

Victorian England is when the Christmas Pudding began as a mainstay in British history and began as more of a Christmas Porridge called Frumenty, which was made of wheat or corn boiled up in milk. However there are reference to puddings as far back as the 1420's Over time other things were added: prunes, eggs, raisins, currants and sultanas and even meat. Plum pudding is steamed not baked which makes it very different from Christmas cake. Some families hide a silver coin inside the pudding and it said to bring good luck to whomever was fortunate to find it. However this practice fell away once real silver coins were not available, as it was believed that alloy coins would taint the pudding. Additionally, coins pose a real choking hazard. Other tokens are also known to have been included, such as a tiny wishbone (to bring good luck), a silver thimble (for thrift), an anchor (to symbolize safe harbor) or a ring (for future marriage).

The time for making a Christmas pudding is at the beginning of Advent. A Christmas pudding is said to be stirred from East to West in honor of the three Wise Men and made with 13 ingredients to represent Christ and His Disciples. The day became known as "Stir Up Sunday". Traditionally everyone in the household, or at least every child, gave the mixture a stir, and made a wish while doing so.

Presentation of the Christmas pudding is very important and always brings ooh and aahs to our Christmas table.

Add a spring of holly to the top of your pudding and then pour brandy on your pudding. Turn off the lights and light and watch the blue flame surround the pudding.

Serve with custard

Christmas puddings are often dried out on hooks for weeks prior to serving in order to enhance the flavor. This pudding has been prepared with a traditional cloth rather than a bowl.

After Brandy has been poured on top and set alight. best done in a darken room to see the blue flame!

Some Information and all pictures taken from Wikipedia, available here
If you're brave enough to try a recipe go to Mandy Barrow's "British Christmas Customs and Traditions", here

Although my family has done this tradition I have to say it is not our favorite it is a taste that you must grow up with I think. But the kids think it is really cool to see the blue flame:) I also must add we always buy our Christmas puddings at the store.

Be sure to link up with Worldwide Classroom if you have a lovely Christmas post you wish to share.


  1. Hi Anna-Marie,
    I love learning so many neat and interesting British Christmas traditions through your blog. Thanks for sharing! I must say the pudding looks to have "interesting" ingredients like the mince meat pie :) I clicked a vote for you today!

  2. I was just talking about this, but couldn't remember what it was. I just knew there was something with a ring in it. For some reason, I thought a miniature toy pig was involved also... Much of what I "know" about British Christmas traditions comes from Agatha Christie books, which I haven't read recently. So my "facts" are a bit hazy and not exactly substantiated with research. :-)

  3. Hi Tracy,
    My Mom used to have these sent to us in the states and she was the only one to eat it topped with custard. I still haven't gotten the taste of them but they are very popular here. I much prefer mince meat pie and the Christmas cake

  4. Hi Maureen,
    I am sure they could put pigs in it to. I don't know the meaning of that one tho. I remember the coins as a child. But like I said I wouldn't eat it then.

  5. Hi Anna-Marie,
    Stopping in to say Hi and I clicked a vote for you today :) Have a great day!

  6. What British Christmas tradition do you love most?

    If you are ever looking for travel ideas for Belgium, Turkey (and a bit of France) pop by my blog...

    Merry Christmas!

  7. HI Lori,
    We love Christmas crackers and Christmas cake the best. We have been to Belgium and France. Turkey is on my list. I will definitely be stopping by:) Thanks for commenting

  8. We started doing the CHRISTmas cake a few years ago and everyone thought it was such an interesting idea, and here I thought we were starting something new. lol It is so nice to hear that others are doing it too. I voted for you. Have a great day, Anna-Marie.