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7 Most Commonly Asked Christmas Pudding Questions

commonly asked Christmas pudding questions - Pud For All Seasons

Christmas pudding has been an inseparable and almost rightful part of the whole Christmas celebrations for centuries, even before 1800 in the Victorian era! The exotic recipe and luscious taste of Christmas pudding take us way back to those historic days.

Not with the origin itself and the classic recipe, unique picks of ingredients and flavours often make us speculate and question its way of cooking, serving, and so on.

In this list, we jotted down 7 most commonly asked Christmas pudding-related questions many people from different cultures and ethnicities wondered.

1. How should I serve traditional Christmas pudding?

This has always been one of the most asked questions and heated debates every year when it comes to Christmas pudding.

Keeping the traditions aside, brandy or rum sauce with warm mince spices, brandy butter or custard sauce has also been a common preference to many.

And the good news is, all of these sauces are very easy to make. For example, brandy sauce is a white sauce with a splash of brandy or rum. Brandy butter is brandy whipped with butter to add extra richness to the dessert. Custard sauce is another popular choice to serve with Christmas pudding. Because of the density of the pudding itself, vanilla custard sauce is used because of its light, smooth and creamy flavour.

For children, scoops of ice cream on top of Christmas pudding is a nontraditional yet popular choice.

Serving traditional Christmas Puddings - PUD For All Seasons

2. How long does Christmas pudding last?

Christmas pudding is most often prepared, typically four weeks before Christmas approaches and served as long as it's not devoured. Christmas pudding, unlike any other Christmas dessert, has a unique and traditional recipe. The longer Christmas pudding is stored- the better it tastes because the alcohol absorbs the moisture of the fresh fruits and soaks the whole pudding.

Since traditional Christmas pudding is made with a variety of dried fruits and nuts along with eggs and suet (animal fat)- the high content of the liquor helps it taste better and better over time, with no risk of spoiling even two years after they are made! Unfortunately, if you want to serve the pudding after storing it for a long time, you have to remove the foil and reheat the pudding by steaming or microwaving it all the way through.

3. How should I store my Christmas pudding?

Storing Christmas Pudding - Karen Kelly - PUD For All Reasons

As Christmas pudding is traditionally prepared and eaten in the cold European winter rather than hot and humid Australian summer, you need to be extra cautious with storing Christmas pudding. Warm environments or steamy kitchens risk the possibility of deterioration or mould growth on the pudding because of the temperature fluctuation. Therefore, after preparing Christmas pudding, it's better to be stored or refrigerated in a cool, dark place after the pudding is cooled down.

If you can't manage to store the pudding in a dark place, make sure it's well-wrapped with double-layered foil papers and clingfilms or (plastic wraps). If wrapped properly, you can refrigerate the pudding for up to a year or more!

If you want to give the pudding the second streaming, defrost the pudding at room temperature (20˚C) for 24 hours beforehand. While unrefrigerated, however, we would not suggest keeping the pudding out for more than 3 hours.

4. Can Christmas pudding be considered a vegan dessert?

The short answer is absolutely!

Christmas pudding is rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals, iron, potassium and high antioxidant components as the recipe includes vegan ingredients like currents, nuts, sultanas, pears and apricots. Mixed spices like ginger, cinnamon, or cloves are also excellent aromatic antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

Even though the classic steamed Christmas pudding contains shredded suet and animal fat, you always have the choice to add vegan-friendly alternatives without compromising the taste. For example, you can replace suet with grated fruits or vegetable pieces.

Just by replacing or omitting eggs and animal fat from your Christmas pudding recipe, you can easily turn your gluten-free pudding into a moist, fruity and boozy vegan Christmas pudding without it being overly heavy or dense!

For a safer bet, you can order gluten-free Christmas pudding from gourmet plum pudding places online.

5. Can I make an alcohol-free Christmas pudding?

Traditional Christmas Puddings - PUD For All Seasons

Christmas pudding is traditionally soaked with alcohol, preferably brandy, for flavour maturation. However, many people prefer rum and whisky spirit with high alcohol content.

Although alcohol is the key ingredient in traditional recipes, you can always make alcohol-free Christmas pudding using the finest fruit pulps or juice instead of apple juice, grape, cherry or peach juice.

You can also use Darjeeling tea to give your pud a sweet-subtle aroma with refreshing floral notes. You can store your non-alcoholic pudding in the fridge for up to 5 days ahead and serve after steaming in an aluminium steamer.

6. Does Christmas pudding contain dairy or gluten?

The traditional Christmas pudding recipe does contain a good share of gluten in the forms of breadcrumbs and flour- the two main ingredients. But that doesn't mean you cannot plunge into delicious, gluten-free Christmas pudding. There are many gluten-free grain alternatives like almond meal flour, buckwheat, corn flour etc., to keep your gluten-free dietary requirement in check. You can also purchase gluten-free gourmet Christmas pudding online.

If you're lactose intolerant, here is some good news for you. Even though the classic Christmas pudding recipe contains milk, it is easy to replace dairy or milk-based ingredients with non-dairy almond milk or oat milk without making any other changes in the recipe. In addition, modern Christmas pudding now has gluten-free, non-dairy, vegan recipes widely popular for festive seasons to keep health in check.

7. What are the popular traditions about Christmas pudding?

Interestingly, there are many traditions, rituals and superstitions surrounding Christmas puddings. For many years, the traditional Christmas pudding was made with 13 ingredients very consciously, representing Jesus and his disciples. The pudding recipe includes 13 elements – representing Jesus Christ and his 12 disciples. The ingredients are flour, mixed spices, animal suet, milk, eggs, brown sugar, bread crowns, raisins, currants, orange peel, lemon peel, and brandy. Brandy is traditionally poured all over the budding and set alight, which symbolises Jesus's passion.

Female members of the family used to gather around and take their turns to shirr the mixture of the Christmas pudding from east to west in honour of Jesus, precisely on Sunday, for weeks before Christmas. This tradition is known as "Stir Up Sunday".

Traditional Christmas Puddings - PUD For All Seasons

Last words

Serving Christmas pudding at the dinner table brings the fullness of joy and celebration. Nevertheless, to bring more versatility to the plate, try Melbourne based PUD For All Season's traditional and contemporary gourmet pudding with exquisite flavours of Christmas for all occasions, all seasons!

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