The Comfort and Joy of Pudding Rituals
The Art of Pudding wants to enhance your holiday traditions by adding our festive dessert to your table.
When time wasn’t so scarce, families would kick off the holiday season by mixing the pudding on “Stir-Up Sunday” – a weekend that coincides closely to American Thanksgiving weekend, about 4 or 5 weeks before Christmas day.
The tradition calls for every family member to stir the batter in an easterly direction, following the direction that the Three Wise Men walked. After stirring you are allowed to make a wish.
The batter is then left in cold storage, or in more modern times, the fridge, for up to a week before the first steaming. The batter is then poured into a pudding basin or mold, and allowed a long luxurious steam to meld flavours and bake slowly.
Another pudding custom encouraged inserting silver coins into the batter. People who discovered the money in their slice of pudding on Christmas Day would be blessed with wealth for the upcoming year.
The adage is the older the better for a pudding. Some families pull out the prior year’s aged dessert, and safely store away the current year’s dessert crop for much future consumption.
But the real fun begins with the lighting of the pudding on Christmas Day:
“Mrs. Cratchit entered – flushed, but smiling proudly – with the pudding, like a speckled cannon-ball, so hard and firm, blazing in half of half-a-quarter of ignited brandy, and bedlight with Christmas holly stuck into the top.” — A Christmas Carol, 1843.
Gently warm some of your favourite spirit – brandy, rum, or whiskey for example – and pour a tablespoonful over the pud. Using a long match, light your pudding, make a wish, and let the blue flame burn out, before serving The Art of Pudding’s dessert that is sure to become part of your Christmas tradition.
The Art of a Christmas Pudding
Plum puddings at Christmas were brought back into holiday tradition by King George I, who affectionately became known as the “Pudding King”.
During his reign in the 1600’s, the word “plum” was a universal reference to any dried fruit that was available. Most often the fruits available were raisins, which provide the backbone for most Christmas pudding recipes. Even though the term “Plum Pudding” is still used, rarely are dried plums (prunes) used in the holiday dessert.
Adding to some confusion is the term “Figgy Pudding”. The euphanism comes to life in the 19th Century through Dickens’ Christmas Carol. No historian has been able to truly document what Mrs. Cratchit’s recipe was, but it is safe to say it was chock-a-block with dried fruit, probably including figs!
A more formal reference to a “Figgy Pudding” is in a classic English cookbook written by Mrs. Beeton-who is considered the godmother of Anglo cuisine. In her pudding recipe she used figs, eggs and milk-a dissimiliar dessert to what graces today’s holiday tables.
The Art of Pudding celebrates the Chrismas pudding’s heritage with a modern twist; using 12 varieties of fruit and peel. The symphony of flavors and textures is unmatched and unsurpassed anywhere. We hope that we can bring some joy to your holiday celebrations with the King George!