Illustration from Jane Austen Magazine
Christmas Pudding is considered a staple in a traditional English Christmas meal. The pudding has been around since the middle ages and was then known as mince pie. In her article about these puddings, Sarah Lane writes, "In 1714, King George I re-established pudding as part of the Christmas feast even though the Quakers strongly objected. Meat was eliminated from the recipe in the 17th century in favor of more sweets, and people began sprinkling it with brandy and setting it aflame when serving it to their guests. The Christmas pudding was not a tradition in England until it was introduced to the Victorians by Prince Albert. By this time the pudding looked and tasted as it does today. "
For more about the Christmas Pudding, click here.
Mrs. Beeton's Recipe:
Check recipe for shopping/store cupboard purposes and grease 1 basin.
5 oz breadcrumbs
4 oz of plain flour
4 oz chopped suet or modern day equivalent
4 oz currants
4 oz raisins
4 oz soft brown moist sugar
2 oz candied peel - Cut your own or use ready cut
2 oz raw grated carrot
1 teaspoon grated rind of lemon
half salt spoon nutmeg grated
1 good teaspoonful baking powder
about quarter pint of milk
Mix all the dry ingredients together except the baking powder.
Add the beaten eggs and sufficient milk to moisten the whole, then cover, and let the mixture stand for about an hour.
When ready stir in the baking powder, turn into a greased mould or basin, and boil for 6 hours or steam the plum pudding for about 7 hours.
Serve with a suitable sauce. Time 6 to 7 hours.
Sufficient for 9 persons.
For more about Christmas during the regency period, click on
The Regency Christmas Feast,
Christmas Pudding from Jane Austen Magazine, and
Christmas at Carlton House. Excerpt from that site:
Fun Fact:Christmas puddings and cakes traditionally had to be prepared by the Sunday before Advent in order to be considered ready for Christmas. They were thought to improve upon keeping. Oddly enough, the day became known as “Stir Up Sunday,” not because of the great deal of stirring done to prepare the victuals, but because of the collect for the church service that day: “Stir up we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people...”