21/11/2014 05:13 GMT | Updated 20/01/2015 05:59 GMT

Stir up Sunday With a Hint of the Sea

The last Sunday before Advent is the traditional time to make the Christmas pudding. It is often referred to as Stir Up Sunday, a reference which comes from the collect from the Anglican Church's Book of Common Prayer.

"Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. " This year Stir Up Sunday falls on November 23rd.


Christmas puddings first appeared as a stiffened form of plum porridge: a meat broth, raisins, wine, fruit juices and spices thickened with brown bread. Mince pies were also a savoury affair being comprised of mutton, chicken and eggs as well as fruit and spices. I add finely ground dried seaweed to spice up to my Christmas fare. The flavours of the different species of seaweed are subtly different. Traditionally a silver coin (sixpence) is added to the pudding and those who are lucky enough to find it on their plate are destined to have good fortune - but anyone who stirs the pudding bowl can sprinkle in some dried seaweed and make a wish.2014-11-18-stirupspices.jpg

Create a Stir with this Perfect Recipe:

75g S.R. flour

75g ground Amaretti bicuits

2tsps dried kelp

1tsp mixed spice

150g light brown sugar

150g currants

150g sultanas

150g currants

25g chopped candied peel

75g grated carrot

75g suet

Finely grated zest and juice of a small orange

2tbsps brandy

3 large eggs, beaten

Butter for greasing

Put the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix throughly, hands work well.

Put the orange juice, brandy and eggs into a food processor and blend together.

Pour the blended wet ingredients over the dry and mix well. Cover and leave overnight.

Grease a 2 pint (or two smaller) pudding basins and fill them with the mixture. (Not to the top of the basin) because the flour will expand.

Take a large square of greaseproof paper, butter it and then pleat it. Tie it over the top of the pudding basin with string.

Place the pudding in a steamer or in a saucepan on a trivet (a heat proof upturned saucer) and half fill the pan with boiling water. Simmer the pudding for 5-6 hours topping up the water as necessary.

Allow the pudding to cool completely before wrapping it in fresh greaseproof paper and foil.

Steam for a further two hours before serving.