A 'Quicke' History of the Christmas Pudding
Christmas pudding, plum pudding, figgy pudding... Whatever you call it now, the pud we know and love began life in Britain in the middle ages as a pottage, with raisins and other dried fruit, spices and wine. It was thickened with breadcrumbs or ground almonds, to sweeten and warm us on winter evenings.
It was the Victorians who really made the Christmas pudding into what we know it to be today. They embraced the tradition of making their Christmas puddings five weeks before Christmas (or Stir-up Sunday as it became known), a tradition which continues today.
Each member of the family stirs the mixture and makes a wish and silver coins or trinkets are added to bring the family luck for the year to come, before it's stored for a few weeks and brought out at Christmas with much theatre, celebration and applause.
How to make a Christmas Pudding
Many families pass down their Christmas pudding recipes from generation to generation, but if you're looking for a special traditional recipe this year, try Charles Francatelli's, chef to Queen Victoria:
Ingredients: ¾lb (335g) raisins; ¾lb (335g) currants; ½lb (225g) candied orange, lemon and citron; 1¼lb (560g) chopped beef suet; 1lb (450g) flour; ¾lb (335g) moist sugar; 4 medium eggs; 3 gills (450ml) of milk; Grated zest of 2 lemons; 1 tsp each of ground nutmeg and cinnamon; ½ tsp ground cloves; Glass of brandy (about 50ml); A very little salt
Mix the ingredients thoroughly together in a large basin several hours before the pudding is to be boiled; pour them into a mould spread with butter, which should be tied up in a cloth. The pudding must be boiled for four hours and a half.
Bring it out again at Christmas, steam to warm it through, and serve with brandy butter, rum butter, cream, custard or just a simple dusting of icing sugar.
Vintage Clothbound Cheddar
With a pudding fit for a queen, it wouldn't be right to pair it with anything less than our crowning jewel: Quicke's Vintage Clohtbound Cheddar.
A rich, intense cheddar with a huge depth of flavour and temptingly crumbly texture, Vintage is the oldest in our range, typically matured for 24 months.
Enjoy it with a good glass of Lyme Bay Christmas Mead, a rich honey wine, blended gently with Christmas spices for the perfect yuletide tipple.
"Oh, bring us some figgy pudding..."