Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Plum Pudding

I hope all of you had a wonderful time with your family and friends over the Christmas season. I realize Christmas has been over for three days but I thought I'd share this old recipe for Christmas Pudding. If you're like me you've read about the Christmas Plum Pudding over and over again. Or remember it being mentioned during Dickens's the Christmas Carol or other works of literature during the 19th Century and even the first half of the 20th Century.

Anyway without further ado: Here is a Christmas Plum Pudding recipe from 1860

Old English Christmas Plum Pudding.—The Harrisburg Telegraph furnishes its readers with a recipe for the real "Old English Christmas Plum Pudding." After having given this pudding a fair test, I am willing to endorse every word of it, and wish for the holiday to- come oftener than once a year:
"To make what is called a pound pudding, take of raisins well stoned, but not chopped, currants thoroughly washed, 1 lb. each • chop 1 lb. of suet very finely and mix with them;, acid 1-4 lb. of flour or bread very finely crumbled;. 3 oz.. of sugar; 1 1-2 oz. of grated lemon peel, a blade of mace, 1-2 of a small nutmeg, 1 teaspoonful of ginger, 1-2 doz. eggs well beaten; v^ork it well together, put it in a cloth, tie it firmly, allowing room to swell, put it into boiling water, and boil not less than two hours. It should not be suffered to stop boiling." The cloth, when about to be used, should be dipped into boiling water, squeezed dry, and floured; and when the pudding is done, have a pan of cold water ready, and dip it in for a moment as soon as it comes out of the pot, which prevents the pudding from sticking to the cloth. For a clip-gravy for this or other puddings, see the "Biscuit Pudding, without Re-Baking,"

Lynn A. Coleman is an award winning & best-selling author who makes her home in Keystone Heights, Florida, with her husband of 41 years. Lynn's latest novel "The Shepherd's Betrothal" is the third book in her Historical St. Augustine, FL. series.

Check out her 19th Century Historical Tidbits Blog if you like exploring different tidbits of history.


  1. I'm having a hard time imagining pudding with suet in it. Shuddering at the thought. I found the term "a blade of mace" interesting. Does that refer to a knife blade or something else?

    1. Hi Vicki the suet is the fat element in the pudding. Today it would be made with vegetable oil or butter. With regard to the "blade of mace" that tidbit we'll need to research. Anyone here know what that referred to?

  2. I love this, Lynn! I always wondered what went into a traditional Plum Pudding. I'm guessing the raisins and currents constitute the "plums." I've got to try this recipe sometime. Maybe next year. :-) Here in southern Indiana where I live, a traditional holiday dessert is persimmon pudding. Most rural families have a handed-down recipe.

    1. How cool, Ramona. Would you like to add the recipe for our visitors?

    2. Thanks, Lynn. I'd love to share the recipe. The fruit is mostly found in the southeastern U.S. and not available in much of the country. I've never even found it in stores. Apart from autumn farmers markets, you have to know someone who has persimmon tree/trees and is willing to sell the fruit or better, the frozen pulp. The trees are fairly abundant in our area and everyone who likes persimmon desserts can usually find someone who has trees and sells the pulp. Recipes are handed down in families from generation to generation.
      Here is my grandmother's recipe for persimmon pudding(especially good when topped with whipped cream):

      Mamaw Herekamp’s Persimmon Pudding

      2 cups persimmon pulp

      2 cups sugar

      2 cups flour

      3 eggs, beaten

      Lump of butter or margarine the size of a walnut (about 1 ½ Tablespoons)

      2 cups milk (I use condensed milk)

      1 ¼ teaspoons vinegar

      1 teaspoon baking soda

      1/8 teaspoon salt

      1 teaspoon vanilla extract

      Mix together, pour in 9 X 13 greased baking dish and bake at 350F for 45 - 50 minutes

    3. Thanks, Ramona. I'm certain folks will love trying it.

  3. Lynn, family in the UK have been sending Christmas pudding with hard sauce for my British hubby each Christmas. I'm not fond of it. A few weeks ago we heard Charles Dickens' great-great-grandson read and perform the Christmas Carol. He read the part about Christmas pudding of course. It was a memorable occasion. Enjoyed your post.

  4. I was in Ireland with family for Christmas and had plum pudding after not having it for many years. It tasted a little strong to me but was still good. sm wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com