Did you know plum pudding does not contain plums? That's because raisins were commonly called "plums" in 17th century Great Britain. So what does this traditional Christmas or plum pudding actually contain? Traditionally served during the holidays, this often-overlooked dish gets a second chance to impress on February 12, known as National Plum Pudding Day.
History of National Plum Pudding Day
National Plum Pudding Day celebrates plum pudding; Pudding is also known as Christmas pudding because it is usually served during the holiday season, or during Christmas dinner. It is popular in the United Kingdom and other places it was brought to by the British, such as Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. It was in America in the pre-revolutionary days, first appearing in a recipe book there in 1742.
Real plum pudding has no plums in it. It is so named because it contains raisins, and raisins were called plums in England before Victorian times. Besides raisins, plum pudding contains other dried fruits like apples and dates, along with eggs and suet. Other common ingredients include nutmeg, nuts, cinnamon, molasses, cloves, cloves, and ginger. It is often moistened with citrus juices or with alcohol such as brandy and stout. It is usually steamed for hours and then reheated before serving. Its dark color can be attributed to the ingredients and the long cooking time. It's available in stores today and can be microwaved, cutting down on cooking time. Hard or creamy sauces are often served with it. Pudding is usually aged for at least a month, and sometimes even a year; brandy or other alcohol in it helps keep it from spoiling.
Plum pudding was first created in the seventeenth century, and one of the first recipes for it appeared in the aforementioned Collection of Three Hundred Receipts in Cookery, Physick and Surgery in 1714 became sweeter over time, and by the 1830s, it became more associated with Christmas, and was made with flour, fruit, suet, sugar, and spices, and topped with holly.
The collection for the last Sunday before Advent in the Church of England Book of Common Prayer begins with the sentence, "Stir up, we beseech the Lord, O Lord, the will of Your faithful ones; that they, work hard, bear good fruit, work... "This led to what became known as Stirring Sunday, the time when Christmas puddings were produced. It has become a tradition that everyone in a family will come together to hold a wooden spoon and help stir the dough. The wishes are then granted, at least by the children. Small silver coins or other cards were often added to the mix, and when it was time to eat, the plum pudding, coated with warm brandy, departed and brought to the table to a standing ovation.
Plum pudding holds up very well, and many of the cakes made during the Christmas season are eaten at the end of the year, sometimes at Easter, and sometimes the following Christmas. It's fitting that National Plum Pudding Day comes a short while after the holiday season, because if it was made a few months ago, it's still fresh to eat!
How to celebrate National Plum Pudding Day
Make your favorite plum pudding recipe. We've found a delicious treat for you to try and a sauce as well. It will be happier if you invite someone to enjoy it with you.
Use #NationalPlumPuddingDay to post on social media.
Below are recipes of Plum pudding and Plum pudding sauce for reference:
An old fashioned plum pudding passed down to me from my grandmother, with the twist of using a baking mix instead of making it from scratch. I serve it with ice cream or what I call a Dip which is made with milk and flavored to taste cinnamon and vanilla. I let each individual pour the amount of soaking water they wanted from a small pitcher.
- 12 plums, pitted and halved
- 1 cup white sugar
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons tapioca
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose baking mix
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- ⅔ Cup milk
- 3 tablespoons margarine, melted
- Turn on the oven up to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- A mixture including 1 cup sugar, water, tapioca, and cinnamon, then stir together plums. After that bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
- Adjust to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
- In a medium bowl, stir together cake mix, 3 tablespoons sugar, milk, and melted margarine to form cookie dough. Drop each spoonful of flour into the plum mixture. Bake in the oven until golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving.
Plum Pudding Sauce
- 2 tablespoons margarine
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 cups of milk
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the margarine, sugar, and eggs over medium heat in a small saucepan. Pour in the milk and cook until the mixture begins to foam. Be careful not to get burned. Add flour and vanilla and stir well; mix well and serve.
ObservedNational Plum Pudding Day has been observed annually on February 12th.
Wednesday, February 12th, 2020
Friday, February 12th, 2021
Saturday, February 12th, 2022
Sunday, February 12th, 2023
Monday, February 12th, 2024