Time to get making Christmas puddings says Woman’s Weekly Cookery Editor Sue McMahon
Hi, this is Cookery Editor Sue writing to remind you that this coming Sunday (25th November) is Stir-up Sunday. Until I started working at Woman’s Weekly I must admit that I’d never heard of “stir-up Sunday” and it was the former Cookery Editor who told me all about it. We usually mention it most years when we publish our Christmas Pudding recipe but I’ve noticed this year several of the supermarkets are promoting it, and even the website community Mumsnet mentioned it in their weekly newsletter this week.
Stir-up Sunday is the Sunday before Advent starts, and in the Anglican church the collect for that day starts “Stir up, we beseech thee…..”. So it became the traditional day to make Christmas puddings to give them time to mature before Christmas. There’s also lots of traditions connected to making the pudding, and everyone in the house should stir the pudding and make a secret wish – and whenever we make our puddings in the Woman’s Weekly test kitchen we all take a turn at stirring them and make a wish! Also, the mixture should be stirred from east to west to honour the wise men who travelled from the east to visit baby Jesus. Also, people sometimes put coins or charms in puddings. A silver sixpence or threepenny bit was often added, and whoever found it was supposed to have wealth for the following year, but it was silver coins that were used – modern coins shouldn’t be used as the metals they contain react with the acids in the fruit during cooking so aren’t recommended.
We publish a different recipe for a Christmas pudding each year and this year’s recipe, an extra fruity Christmas pud (top of this page), is in the issue that’s currently on sale (27 November), and we also have a slightly different one for sale in the Christmas Special issue which is an apple and cinnamon pudding (above). But what’s different about it is that it’s served with a creamy white chocolate sauce rather than the usual cream or rum or brandy butter.
Another of my favourites over the years has been our Mulled Wine Christmas Pudding (above) in which the fruit is soaked in some ready-made mulled wine which is usually on special offer at this time of year. The recipes uses half a bottle of mulled wine, so I think it’s the cook’s treat to enjoy the rest of it! The fruit is best soaked for 2-3 days, so do remember to take that into account when you’re working out when to make it. I like to use luxury dried fruits which are larger fruits than standard ones, and I usually use the Waitrose mix as I love the jumbo crimson raisins that are in it.