Ah, the infamous Christmas pudding, the cake-like masterpiece made in homes around the country during the festive season! Sometimes called a figgy or plum pudding, it has its roots as far back as the early 15th century, when “plum pottage”, a savoury concoction made from meat and root vegetables, was served at the start of a meal. Then, as it is now, the “plum” in plum pudding was a generic term for any dried fruit, most commonly raisins and currants, with prunes and other added dried, preserved or candied fruit added if available. By the end of the 16th century, dried fruit was more plentiful in England and plum pudding made the shift from savoury to sweet.
So, there’s a brief history of the nation’s festive delight. Now time to get baking!
Thanks to our friends at The Vegan Society for supply the ingredients list and the baking direction.
Sift the flour with spices, salt and raising agent.
Add all the other ingredients and mix well to a soft dropping consistency.
Grease a 2 pint basin well and fill with the mixture leaving about 2 1/2 cm free from the top to allow for rising. Cover with greaseproof paper and aluminium foil and secure with string.Place in a saucepan and pour in boiling water halfway up the sides of the basin. Simmer gently for 5 hours, topping up the water as necessary.
Once cooked the pudding can be kept cold until needed. It will keep for up to a month.
Steam or microwave until warmed through to serve
Serves approx 6 people
Tip: Leftovers can be sliced up and fried in leftover Brandy "butter" as fritters, or used in a Christmas pudding ice-cream.