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I’d never heard of “Stir-up” Sunday until I came to work at Woman’s Weekly (about 23 years ago now!), and we usually mention this traditional day most years, but I’ve noticed over the past couple of years it’s getting much more publicity, and this week I’ve seen it mentioned on the website of 2 national newspapers as well as in-store promotions in a well known department store.  I think that marketing teams have realised that it’s now another event they can promote particularly as baking is so popular at the moment.

Christmas Pudding ingredients

Making a Christmas Pudding

Stir-up Sunday is not a new event, and it’s origins can be traced back to the 14th century.  The date is the last Sunday before the start of Advent, because in the Anglican Church in the collect for the day starts “Stir up we beseech thee…..” There are all sorts of other religious traditions associated with the Christmas Pudding too, with some saying the recipe should have 13 ingredients to represent Jesus and his Disciples, and that the pudding should be stirred from East to West to honour the wise men who visited the baby Jesus.  There is also the tradition that everyone should stir the pudding and make a wish, which they shouldn’t tell anyone else becaue it won’t come true if they tell anyone. We keep that tradition in the Woman’s Weekly test kitchen as we all stir the puddings.

christmas pudding with plum sauce

Christmas Pudding with Plum Sauce

Our recipe for “Christmas Pud with Surprise Spiced Plum Sauce” is our variation on a classic recipe because when you cut into this pudding a delicious rich plum sauce pours out of it.  It’s a bit extra work to make, but it gives a lovely moist pudding, and you don’t need to serve any extra sauce with it, although I still enjoyed it with some Rodda’s Clotted Cream.

chocolate cheesecake

Chocolate Cheesecake

Another recipe that I really enjoyed in this issue is the “Double Choc, Ginger and Rum Cheesecake” which is really rich and indulgent. We don’t often suggest particular brands, but for this recipe our Home Economist, Kate, found that Green and Black’s Maya Gold chocolate worked really well as it’s infused with orange and spices, so it compliments the ginger in the recipe well.

mulled wine christmas pudding

Mullled Wine Christmas Pudding

If you’re looking for a more traditional Christmas Pudding, then try our Mulled Wine Pudding – also deliciously moist – and it contains 13 ingredients!

So buy your ingredients and get busy on Sunday – and may all your wishes come true.