Plum Pudding Discover the Christmas custom, story, myth and legend associated with the Plum Pudding. This festive tradition and Christmas custom, with its familiar symbol and meaning, has evolved over time. But what is the history, meaning and origin of the Plum Pudding? This article provides facts and information about the history of the Plum Pudding as a familiar symbol, tradition and custom of our Christmas today.
The History of the Plum Pudding The History of the Christmas Pudding dates back to the Middle Ages. The first pudding that was made at this time did not bear any resemblance to the Plum Pudding dessert that we enjoy today. The early Medieval Christmas Pudding was in fact a main meal and consisted of meat which was combined with dried fruit as a preservative. During this time all surplus livestock were slaughtered in the autumn and had to be preserved to last through the winter months. The meat and the dried fruit were wrapped in a pastry case and these dishes were known as Christmas Puddings.
The History of the Plum Pudding The History of Christmas Puddings moved on to the Elizabethan era. During this time prunes (dried plums) were added to the Christmas Pudding and the name changed to Plum Pudding! The name is still used today as an alternative to Christmas Puddings.
The Modern Plum Pudding The traditional Plum Pudding, as we know it, emerged during the 1900's. By this time the methods of preserving meat had improved and the meat was left out of the Plum Pudding recipes. A typical Plum pudding contains the following typical ingredients:
Plum Puddings - Ingredients
1 ½ cups pitted prunes ½ cup brandy or orange juice 1 medium apple, peeled and finely shredded 3/4 cup chopped walnuts ½ cup diced mixed candied fruits and peels 1 tablespoon finely shredded orange peel 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon ground ginger ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ½ cup butter 1-½ cups packed brown sugar 3 eggs 1-1/4 cups milk
Plum Puddings - Ingredients
The Traditions surrounding the Plum Pudding Traditional Plum Puddings are made several weeks before the festive season. Stirring the Plum Pudding is enjoyed by all of the family. In England is was traditional for silver coins to be added to the mixture. At one time England had a small silver coin called a silver three penny bit and these were the coins that were used. When the Plum Pudding was dished everyone would frantically search their portion to see if they had been lucky enough to get a silver three penny bit!
Serving the Plum Pudding Serving the Plum Pudding as a dessert is quite a ritual. The top of the Plum Pudding is doused with brandy which is set alight. The flaming Plum Pudding is paraded in front of the guests (the flame quickly goes out) and the Plum Pudding is served. The traditional accompaniment to Plum Pudding is Brandy Butter although some prefer cream or even custard.
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"Merry Christmas, have a happy and prosperous New Year!"