Christmas pudding has rightfully been an inseparable part of the Christmas celebration for centuries, even before 1800 in the Victorian era! The luscious taste of Christmas pudding takes us way back to those historic days; not only with the origins but also the classic recipe and unique pick of ingredients and flavours. This dessert often makes us speculate and question the best ways of cooking, serving, and so on.
In this list, we jot down the 11 most commonly asked Christmas pudding related questions.
An established Christmas tradition is to hide a coin in the pudding; having the slice of pudding in which the coin is discovered it is considered good luck. People have always stirred lucky charms into their Christmas pudding mixture for good luck. These lucky charms include a silver coin for wealth, a wishbone for luck, a thimble for thrift, a ring for marriage, and an anchor for safe harbour.
Here’s a fun fact; Plum pudding has actually never contained plums!
Traditionally a Christmas pudding is made with dried fruit, nuts, candied peel, and spices. Ordinarily, people will make their puddings weeks in advance and preserve them so that the fruits and spices have time to mature. After the initial cook, you can feed the pudding more alcohol so it will keep until Christmas.
Many of us have memories of our mothers and grandmothers boiling puddings outside. They used to make the pudding several weeks before Christmas and hang them in the pantry by a cloth. Older generations have been using the cloth method for many years, but you can tweak it by cooking in a pudding bowl rather than using the cloth, and keeping the pudding in the fridge instead.
This is one of the most asked questions, and heated debates occur every year when it comes to Christmas pudding.
Traditionally speaking, a brandy or rum sauce with warm mince spices, brandy butter or custard sauce have been a common preference; and the good news is that all of these sauces are very easy to make. Brandy sauce is a white sauce with a splash of brandy or rum. Brandy butter is brandy whipped with butter to add extra richness to the dessert. Custard sauce is another popular choice to serve with Christmas pudding; because of the density of the pudding itself, vanilla custard sauce is used since it is the least obtrusive.
For children, scoops of ice cream on top of Christmas pudding is a non-traditional yet popular choice.
Christmas pudding is often prepared four weeks before Christmas and served as long as it lasts. Christmas pudding, unlike any other Christmas desserts, has a unique and traditional recipe. The longer Christmas pudding is stored, the better it tastes because the alcohol absorbs the moisture of the fresh fruits and soaks the whole pudding.
Since traditional Christmas pudding is made with a variety of dried fruits and nuts, along with eggs and suet (animal fat) the high content of the liquor helps it taste better and better over time, with no risk of spoiling even up to two years after they are made!
Christmas pudding can last up to six months in a sealed container. It’s a good idea to split it into different portions before freezing to make life easier when you want a piece. Once cooked, you can eat leftover Christmas pudding cold or you can use the leftover pudding for future bakes and desserts. It’s also common to fry Christmas pudding leftovers in butter or goose fat for breakfast on Boxing Day.
Check out how to use leftover Christmas pudding, and enjoy as much as you did the day before!
When it comes time to steam the pudding mixture, it’s easy to get confused. Looking over different recipes you might see completely different times for steaming - anywhere from 4 hours to 10 hours. If you don’t want to undercook the pudding, then for a very large pudding you should opt for around 8-10 hours of steaming.
Setting the Christmas pudding on fire is an age-old tradition. Some people believe that traditional plum puddings were first set on fire to represent Christ’s passion, and the holly sprig was a reminder of his crown of thorns. Traditional Christmas puddings are set alight with alcohol before serving on a plate in front of a Christmas tree.
After preparing Christmas pudding, it’s better to be refrigerated or stored in a cool dark place, after the pudding has cooled down. Warm environments risk the possibility of deterioration because of temperature fluctuation. If you can’t manage to store the pudding in a dark place, make sure it’s well-wrapped with double-layered foil paper, cling-film or plastic wrap. If wrapped properly, you can refrigerate the pudding for up to a year or more!
If you want to give the pudding a second streaming, defrost the pudding at room temperature (20ËšC) for 24 hours beforehand.
The answer is, absolutely! By replacing or omitting eggs and animal fat from your Christmas pudding recipe, you can easily turn your gluten-free pudding into a vegetarian Christmas pudding! For a safer bet, you can order gluten-free Christmas pudding from gourmet plum pudding places online.
Interestingly, there are many traditions, rituals and superstitions surrounding Christmas puddings. For many years, Christmas pudding had been made with 13 ingredients, which represented Jesus and his disciples.
Female members of the family used to gather around and take their turns to stir the mixture of the Christmas pudding from east to west in honour of Jesus, on Sunday, for weeks before Christmas. This tradition is known as “Stir Up Sunday”.
Christmas puddings live at the centre of the joy and celebration of a Christmas dinner table. To bring more versatility to your plate, try Stephen's Fine Foods rich and exquisite gourmet pudding today!
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