Sponsored post for The Royal Mint
The countdown to Christmas is on and this year I have been commissioned by The Royal Mint to share with you their very own Christmas Pudding recipe (created by Rachel Walker, Food Editor at The Sunday Times). The tradition of the Christmas Pudding dates back to the Victorian era when Prince Albert introduced the idea. Up and down the land families would gather on Stir-Up Sunday (the last Sunday before Advent) and take it in turns to stir the pudding, adding a silver six pence and making a wish before steaming it. I remember my English grandmother’s Christmas Puddings and always hoped to find the six pence in my bowl as it was a sign of good luck for the rest of the year!
Str-Up Sunday falls on 20th November this year so you have plenty of time to order your own silver six pence from The Royal Mint (order by 16th November). Steeped in history The Royal Mint has been minting coins for over 1,000 years. From the 13th century they were based at The Tower of London for 500 years moving onto Tower Hill in 1812 and have been in their current location in South Wales since 1967. As well as providing millions of coins to the domestic market (circulative and commemorative) each year The Royal Mint also produces billions of coinage and blanks around the world and currently meets 15% of global demand, making it the world’s leading export mint!
When I grew up we didn’t have this tradition of Christmas Pudding making and Stir-Up Sunday in our house as my mother is Danish. There was plenty of baking done in the run up to Christmas but none of it involved pudding. The traditional Christmas pudding in Denmark is a rich and creamy Risalamande (Rice Pudding) with Cherry Sauce and a whole almond is traditionally hidden in it. The lucky finder wins a prize. I can’t tell you the amount of pudding I ate as a child to try to get that almond – I didn’t even like it back then but I love it now! I remember one year we were having Christmas in Denmark and one of the prizes was a huge marzipan pig and being a marzipan addict I was on a mission. But it wasn’t to be as my Danish grandpa found the almond and chose a box of cigars as his prize.
So making this Christmas Pudding was a first in our household and I decided to let my daughter take the lead and I was her assistant. We had great fun stirring-up the pudding and it was lovely to spend some quality time with my daughter and teach her all about this Christmas tradition. We both made a wish when The Royal Mint silver six pence went in (the boys were out, otherwise we’d have got them to come and have a stir and a wish too)! In fact it was so much fun that I definitely want to do this again next year and might even try and replicate my English grandmother’s old Christmas Pudding that I sadly never got the recipe for.
So if like me you’ve never made your own Christmas Pudding on Stir-Up Sunday then I hope you will have a go this year with your family, I can’t tell you how much it put us in the Christmas mood. Alternatively if you do make Christmas Puddings but are looking for a change, then I can thoroughly recommend The Royal Mint’s delicious recipe.
The Royal Mint Christmas Pudding & Stir-Up Sunday
- 170 g sultanas
- 140 g currants
- 140 g raisins
- 200 ml water
- 30 g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground mace
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 55 g breadcrumbs
- 85 g shredded suet if you cannot get hold of suet, softened butter works just as well
- 40 g chocolate 70%, grated
- One cooking apple peeled and grated
- 85 g soft dark brown sugar
- 20 g chopped mixed peel
- 55 g blanched almonds roughly chopped
- One lemon zested
- One orange zested
- One tbsp black treacle
- Three tbsp brandy
- One egg beaten
- Knob of butter for greasing
- The Royal Mint Six Pence
- One litre pudding/heat proof bowl
- Greaseproof paper
- Large elastic band
- Stock pot
- Steamer basket/deep saucer/ramekin
- Tin foil
- Put the sultanas, currants and raisins in a saucepan with the water. Bring to the boil, and simmer for three minutes. Leave to soak, uncovered, overnight.
- Sift the flour and spices into a mixing bowl.
- Add the breadcrumbs, suet or butter, grated chocolate, grated apple, brown sugar, mixed peel, almonds, lemon and orange zest.
- Mix well, using your hands to get rid of any lumps of butter and ensuring the mixture is fully blended together.
- Stir in the soaked fruit, which will have plumped-up overnight. Next, stir in the treacle, brandy and beaten egg.
- Mix well, and stand overnight. While this isn’t necessary, the marinating helps the spices soak in. Before you’re ready to cook, stir in the Royal Mint Six Pence. It’s traditional for everyone to give the pudding a turn with a wooden spoon at this stage, and make a wish.
- Use the knob of butter to grease the pudding bowl, and tip the Christmas pudding mixture into it.
- Cut one circle of greaseproof paper, which is a few inches bigger than the rim of the bowl. Use a large elastic band to secure it over the pudding bowl with a folded pleat running through the middle. This will allow room for the pudding to release excess steam. Cover the top with a piece of tin foil (same size as the greaseproof paper) and then tie it tightly with the string.
- Make a loop of string across the top, to fashion a handle, so the pudding can be easily lifted in and out of the pan.
- If you are using a steaming pot, pour some water into the bottom of the stock pot – about one eighth full – so that the steamer basket sits in the bottom, just above the water level. Bring the water to the boil, and place the Christmas pudding in the basket.
- If you don’t have a steamer basket, simply use the upturned saucer or ramekin so that the pudding basin is kept away from direct contact with the base of the pan. Then fill the stock pot with water to around half-way up the side of the pudding basin.
- Put on the lid, and steam at a gentle simmer for four hours. Keep an eye on the water to make sure that the pan doesn’t boil dry, and add more water from the kettle to keep it topped-up if needed.
- If the lid of the stock pot doesn’t fit on tightly, it’s not ideal, but not disastrous – as long as there’s plenty of steam circulating. Keep an even more careful eye on water levels though, as a loosely covered pot is more likely to boil dry.
- Lift the pudding out of the pan after four hours, making sure you keep the greaseproof lid on – that way you can store the Christmas pudding for up to two months.
- On Christmas Day, steam the pudding again for another two hours, and serve – perhaps with a sprig of holly on top, and a splash of brandy to light it.
WARNING: Risk of choking, please inform guests about potential six pence in pudding when serving. Please sterilise the coin in boiling water before adding to pudding mixture or push coin into warm pudding before serving. DO NOT put pudding containing coin into a microwave oven.
Check out how Helen of Casa Costello got on with making her Christmas Pudding with her daughters and also Grace of Eats Amazing’s Gran’s Traditional Christmas Pudding. Mum in the Madhouse shares her Traditional Christmas Pudding with a Twist!
Why not pin for later!
NB: This is a commissioned post for The Royal Mint for which I was paid and all opinions are my own.