We are three weeks away from Stir-Up Sunday: Peter Gladwin's recipe for Homemade Christmas Plum Pudding.

On Stir-Up Sunday, the last Sunday day before Advent, raisins, sultanas, apricots and cherries are mixed with sweet goodness in anticipation for a homemade hot and boozy Plum Pudding on Christmas Day.

As I speak, our Director of Cooking is mixing Christmas Puddings (yes, well in advance of Stir Up Sunday) in our kitchen. We love gooey photos of mincemeat.

Plum Pudding Recipe (20 minutes, plus 4 hours and 2 hours for boiling) Serves 6-8

"There are lots of good ready-made puddings on the market but, as this is one element of Christmas which can be dealt with on a dull day in November, you might like the satisfaction of making your own" (Taken from: “Party Ingredients” by Peter Gladwin, 1994).

Dry ingredients

  • 100g suet

  • 100g self-raising flour

  • 75g soft brown sugar

  • 50g ground almonds

  • 225g raisins

  • 225g sultanas

  • 75g dried apricots, diced

  • 75g glacé cherries, diced

  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice

  • ½ tsp salt

  • Wet Ingredients

  • 3 eggs

  • 2 tbsp black treacle

  • 150ml pint stout

  • Grated zest of 2 oranges

    To ‘feed’ the pudding: 4 tbsp brandy

  • On Stir Up Sunday, put on some Christmas music and then...

    Mix all the dry ingredients together, then blend in the wet ingredients and make a huge wish for something wonderful. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 1.75 litre china pudding basin, place a piece of butter greaseproof paper on top and tie a piece of cloth over it.

    Sit the pudding in a saucepan of water filled to just below the top of the basin. Boil gently for 4 hours over a low heat with the lid on the pan, topping up with water every now and then; don’t allow the pan to boil dry.

    Store the pudding in a cool dry place. Then a week before Christmas unwrap it, spike the pudding with holes and ‘feed’ it with brandy.

    All you need to do on Christmas Day is:

    Steam the pudding in a saucepan of water (as above) for 2 hours before turning it out on to a hot dish. Decorate with holly, flame with warmed brandy and serve with brand butter. Sing ‘Jingle Bells’ heartily!

    Brandy Butter (you already have all these ingredients in your kitchen, do it  yourself). 10 minutes. Serves 6 – 8.

  • 225g unsalted butter

  • 225 cater sugar

  • 3 tbsp brandy

  • Blend the butter and sugar together and then add the brandy slowly a little at a time.