Pudding can have plum role

Stir-up sunday at Cusworth Hall
Stir-up sunday at Cusworth Hall
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Christmas is set to be home-spun this year, as cost-cutting and a yen for home-made rule.

Making your own Christmas pudding is a piece of cake – and it will taste better than shop-bought, says Sprotbrough cookery book author Meryl White.

Former Doncaster deputy head Meryl recently published the recipes and cookery tips she had inherited from her Wath grandmother, Lizzie Abson, who died in 1977. Grandma Abson’s Traditional Baking has now sold in its hundreds.

Meryl made her grandma’s plum pudding recipe for crowds at Cusworth Hall in Doncaster on Stir Up Sunday (the last Sunday in the church year) last weekend.

“We put on original uniforms worn by the former kitchen staff and re-enacted the Stir Up Sunday of a century ago,” says Meryl.

“But don’t worry if you’ve missed Stir Up Sunday – there’s still time for the flavours can develop.”

PLUM PUDDING

275g/10oz currants

150g/5oz each of sultanas, stoned raisins, suet, breadcrumbs, self-raising flour, soft brown sugar

75g/3oz mixed peel

25g/1oz flaked almonds or chopped nuts

1 tsp each of mixed spice and cinnamon

2 eggs (beaten) and pinch of salt

1/3 small can stout

A little milk

“Mix all the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, then the stout and milk. Mix well. Put in a two-pint basin and cover with greaseproof paper. Steam or boil for four hours. Store in a cool place until Christmas Day. Steam for two hours prior to serving.”

Meryl adds: “If you don’t have a steamer, cover the pudding bowl in cling-film and cook in a microwave on medium for 20 minutes. Once cooled, re-cover with fresh cling-film and store in a cool place. On the day, reheat for 6-8 minutes on medium heat.”