Limited 2024 Offer: Join the Leiths Online Community today and get 20% off any of our courses (excl. DofE)

Ten Tips for Stir-Up Sunday

Ten Tips for Stir-Up Sunday

Stir-up Sunday falls on the last Sunday before Advent. It is the day when cooks would traditionally prepare their Christmas pudding in advance of the festive period. Here are our top ten tips to help you make the perfect pudding.

  1. Get into the pre-Christmas spirit while you stir. That calls for a Christmas playlist (Last Christmas on repeat), mulled wine, and possibly the first showing this year for your Christmas jumper. Enlist any elves you know to help with the mixing. It is the custom for everyone in the household to stir the mixture and make a wish while doing so.
  2. Use the day to get ahead on other Christmas baking too. You might also want to make a Christmas cake or ready jars of mincemeat for pies. All benefit from at least a few weeks’ maturation.
  3. Read the recipe carefully. Some Christmas pudding recipes will ask you to soak the fruit overnight beforehand. Check you have everything before you begin. That includes sufficient baking paper, kitchen foil, and string.
  4. Experiment with different dried fruits and nuts. You might want to include chopped apricots, prunes, sultanas, figs, raisins, dates, even cranberries or cherries. Nuts might include pecans, walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts. Make sure they’re fresh, not a stale batch left over from last year! Consider your guests’ dietary requirements; might you want to switch traditional suet for vegetarian suet? Or make a nut-free pudding?
  5. The old tradition was to include a silver sixpence in the pudding. Whoever found the coin would be rewarded with good luck and good fortune the following year. Modern coins contain nickel or brass so should not be used in a pudding. You can buy silver ones. Be mindful that coins or charms are a potential choking hazard so be sure to warn your guests.
  6. When it comes to steaming your pudding, the first few hours are the most important. Make sure it maintains a good, steady boil.
  7. Once the pudding it cooked, it can be cooled with the foil still on, and kept in a cool place until Christmas when you can reheat it by steaming it for two to two and a half hours.
  8. When you cover the pudding basin and secure the greaseproof paper and foil with a string, leave enough string to make a string handle. It will make it easier to lift the pudding out of the pan.
  9. Rest the pudding basin in the pan on a trivet or a folded piece of thick cardboard or egg carton. This is to keep the base of the basin off the bottom of the saucepan where the heat is strongest.
  10. When steaming the pudding, check the water level in the saucepan frequently and top up with hot water to ensure it doesn’t burn dry.

Check your emails! You'll soon see how easy it can be to learn with Leiths Online...