It's Stir-up Sunday!

This Sunday it's the traditional Stir Up Sunday, a time to get stirring and whip up your very own Christmas pudding.

What is Stir-up Sunday?
The last Sunday of the Church Year, the Sunday before Advent, is often called ‘Stir-up Sunday’. Its originates from a prayer said in the Anglican church, which reads: ‘Stir-up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

These words are supposed to be a reminder to start stirring up your plum pudding so it has time to mature before Christmas Day. Stir-up Sunday is the traditional day for family and friends, where everyone can get messy making a Christmas pud, whilst making a wish!

Here's our recipe for Orange and Star Anise Christmas Pudding

Preparation time 35 mins plus cooling - Steaming time 8 hours plus 1 hour before serving - Makes 1x 1 litre pudding

Ingredients:

  • 130g currants
  • 140g sultanas
  • 130g raisins
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 50g plain flour
  • 110g breadcrumbs (about 3 slices)
  • 110g soft light brown sugar
  • 110g suet
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 2 tbsp bandy
  • 1 orange plus the zest of another 1
  • Star anise
Method
  1. Combine the dried fruit, ground almonds, flour, breadcrumbs, sugar, suet and mixed spice in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs, orange zest, treacle and brandy and mix thoroughly. The mixture should be a fairly thick dropping consistency so add a little milk if necessary.
  2. Generously grease the inside of a ceramic 1 litre pudding basin with butter and line the base with a circle of baking paper. Slice the orange into 1cm slices. Place one slice in the bottom of the basin then add a star anise in the centre of the slice.
  3. Put some of the pudding mixture into the prepared basin to the depth of about 3cm then line the sides of the basin with orange slices allowing the slices to sit on the mixture so they stay in place. Add a star anise in the centre of each orange slice but if you want a subtle flavour then only add star anise to half of the orange slices. Fill the basin with the remaining pudding mixture, taking care not to disrupt the orange slices. Level the top.
  4. Cut a square of baking paper larger than the top of the basin, fold a pleat in the centre and lay it over the top of the pudding basin. Add an additional two squares of foil on top of the paper and tie securely around the rim of the pudding basin with kitchen string. Make a looped handle out of string to make it easy to lift out of the pan when cooked.
  5. To steam, place the pudding in a large saucepan. Fill the pan with hot water so that it reaches 2/3 of the way up the pudding basin, heat until the water boils. Once boiling, turn the heat down so the water is simmering, place a lid on the saucepan and allow to steam for 8 hours. Check the water level regularly and top up with hot water when it drops. You can also steam the pudding in the oven by preheating it to 190°C/170°C fan/gas mark 6. Place the pudding in a large roasting tin, fill the tin with water and place in the oven to steam. Top up with hot the water as the level drops.
  6. Once steamed, allow the pudding to cool in the basin for one hour. Then invert onto a plate, remove the pudding and allow to cool fully on the plate.
  7. To store, wrap the pudding directly in baking paper (not in the pudding basin) followed by a layer of foil. Store in the fridge, and allow the pudding to mature until Christmas. Return the pudding to the basin and steam for one hour before serving.

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