Since Victorian times, British families have been gathering together on the last Sunday before Advent to get into the Christmas spirit and make a pudding for the big day. While it isn’t as widespread today as it was then, this year we’re on a mission to get as many home cooks as we can to celebrate Stir-up Sunday and make the best figgy pudding they’ve ever tasted.
Even if the children are already writing their letters to Santa and the shops are fit to bursting with decorations, selection boxes and novelty festive gifts, it can seem a bit overeager to be in the kitchen preparing something that won’t be eaten for five weeks. But a good Christmas pudding needs time to mature; for the dried fruit to absorb the booze and everything to develop that wonderfully chewy, dense texture. Plus, with all those spuds to peel, turkey to baste and table places to set, it’s nice to have a made-from-scratch pudding that just needs steaming whilst everyone tucks into the main course. But why is there a specific day devoted to making Christmas pudding, and why are there so many customs and traditions associated with it?