Christmas is a time where you pretend to like your family whilst gaining a great deal of weight.
That’s the Christmas pudding! And you set the thing on fire!! What’s not to love?! Exactly, so here’s the full story of this fiery beast.
What’s Christmas Pudding?
Christmas pudding is a pudding (yes, believe it or not!) consisting of fruits and sponge.
It’s generally made up of mixed dried fruits, apples, citrus zest, and a sponge-cake type thing.
Sometimes it does get called “plum pudding” (see synchronicity and plum pudding for a tangent there) or just “pud”.
Many folks also soak the ingredients in brandy and set fire to the Christmas pudding prior to serving it.
Behold this example! It’s the most accurate representation of what Christmas dinners are like comes from Bottom. The TV show. As you can see above.
So yes, that’s the whole family experience at Christmas in England depicted very accurately. Bravo!
It’s a very tasty dish when done properly. It has a pungent, rich quality that’s incredibly filling in its own right. Especially after a full roast Sunday dinner before it.
You can also serve the pudding with the likes of custard or other brandy/rum sauce. Whatever floats your boat.
The History of Christmas Pudding
Christmas pudding dates back to medieval times when the idea was to make (and eat) the dish on the 25th Sunday of Trinity. So, yeah, it’s a religious thing and all that.
Despite these claims the pudding was around in medieval times, the recipe doesn’t appear in writing until the 17th century.
An early recipe is in the cookbook: A Collection of above Three Hundred Receipts in Cookery, Physick and Surgery. That was from the chef Mary Kettilby in 1714.
Christmas pudding began taking more common form in the 18th century when the Victorians got their hands on the recipe.
That’s when boiled cake of flour, suet, sugar, and spices found their way into the mix.
During this era the pudding was actually boiled in a pudding cloth and would be hung outside on a hook to marinade in its own flavours. And all that.
The term “Christmas pudding” also became a thing in the Victorian era. In 1845 to be precise, in Eliza Acton’s famous cookbook Modern Cookery for Private Families.
And thanks to the British Empire (tally, bally ho!) colonists spread the pudding across the world like a tasty plague!
So you’ll now readily find the dish eaten in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa. In the colonial years, the Brits viewed the recipe as a symbol of unity (that’s how conquering stuff with invasions works, you see?).
The US has a take on this as well, pre-revolution days.
But nowadays the Christmas pudding is part of the whole Christmas tradition and is more of a mass marketing opportunity than a reminder of Britain’s invading ways.
Although now WE TOOK OUR COUNTRY BACK with Brexit, just be wary, y’all, you hear?
Soon we’ll be rolling the Spitfires out to tear across the seas, dropping tonnes of Christmas puddings across hapless cities. Ahahahahahaaaaa!
How to Make Christmas Pudding
Here he is again. The hottest man alive (helped considerably by the flaming Christmas pudding) with his tips on how to be gorgeous.
Jamie Oliver also has a handy guide on how to rustle up the pudding.
The ingredients you’ll need are many and varied. Enough for a proper “big shop” with a trolly and everything! Aim for:
450g dried fruit
1 ounce mixed candied fruit peel, finely chopped
1 small apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup brandy, more as needed
2 ounces self-rising flour, sifted
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
1 and a half teaspoons of ground cinnamon
4 ounces suet (beef or vegetarian) shredded
4 ounces dark brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon orange zest
4 ounces fresh breadcrumbs
1 ounce raw almonds, coarsely chopped
You’ll also need to set fire to the thing. To avoid a Bottom scenario, perhaps don’t rely on vodka margarine sprayed with deodorant cans.
Instead just tip a bit of brandy over the thing and then set it on fire.
If you have a flamethrower handy, maybe just aim to incinerate the thing in one way or another. You got this!