Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas Pudding

Christmas pudding is a dessert traditionally served on Christmas day in Britain, Ireland and some Commonwealth countries. It is sometimes known as "plum pudding", but this name can also refer to other kinds of pudding based on dried fruit.

Christmas pudding is made with dried fruit and nuts, together with suet, and then steamed. It is very dark, almost black, and usually moist with brandy or other alcoholic beverages.

Christmas puddings were traditionally prepared five weeks before Christmas, most frequently on the Sunday of the week before the start of Advent (which is sometimes known as "Stir-up Sunday". However, as Christmas puddings keep extremely well for a long period of time (months, or sometimes even a year or more), many families like to put aside an extra pudding, to be eaten later in the year (for example at Easter). Some families even go so far as to make their Christmas pudding the year before!

Of course, not everybody makes their own Christmas pudding themselves nowadays - you can buy ready-made puddings in all major supermarkets - and all you have to do with these is simply heat them up. Traditionally a small silver coin was placed in the pudding (such as a sixpence) which could be kept by the person whose serving included it, and which hopefully would bring wealth for the coming year. Other tokens such as a silver thimble (for thrift), an anchor (for safe harbor) or a tiny wishbone (for luck) have also sometimes been included in Christmas puddings.

Christmas pudding is traditionally decorated with holly, and may be doused in brandy and fired. It may be eaten with brandy butter, cream, custard or other similar sauces.

By S. Tanna. First published at

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