Grandma Abson's Traditional Baking is all about simple and tasty baking, a legacy from my Grandma's time as a cook-housekeeper in Edwardian times and a lifetime of baking.
As I was growing up, I watched her bake and cook, and acquired her expertise and passion for baking. Now I'm sharing Grandma Abson's traditional baking with baking devotees who remember it first time around and a whole generation new to baking. Enjoy!
Wishes were in the air at Cusworth Hall Doncaster
last weekend. Stir Up Sunday (the last Sunday in the church
year) is the day when everyone has a go at stirring the Christmas Pudding
mixture and makes a wish. June, Hazel (alias Mary and Rose) and I put on
freshly laundered aprons and caps worn by the former kitchen
staff in the Hall and reenacted preparations for Stir Up Sunday
in the kitchens at the Hall, just as in the 1900s.
Stir it up and make
We made the Plum Pudding recipe fromGrandma
Abson's Traditional Baking. The Victorians called raisins 'Plums' hence the traditional name for Christmas Pudding. Grandma generally made her own
Christmas Puddings a few weeks before Christmas and tied them up with clean cloths such as muslin or cotton. The recipe comesfrom her elder sister,Emma.It makes 3 large puddings so I’ve cut
it down here to make one for a 2 pint basin.
275g/10 oz currants
150g/5 0z sultanas
150g/5 0z stoned raisins
75g/3 oz mixed peel
150g/5 0z (vegetarian) suet
150g/5 0z breadcrumbs
150g/5 0z self raising flour
150g/5 0z (soft
25g/1 oz flaked almonds or chopped nuts
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 eggs (beaten)
1/3 small can stout
A little milk
Mix all the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, then the stout and
milk. Mix all well. Cover with greaseproof paper. Steam or boil for 4 hours.Store in a cool place until Christmas
Day. Then, steam for 2 hours prior to serving on the day.”
Steaming the Plum
Pudding (see below to microwave it)
Meryl's tips for a perfect Plum Pudding
1.If you don’t
have a steamer, you can put the pudding basin in a large pan on an inverted
saucer or small plate and pour water to about ¼ of the side of the basin.
the water up in the pan so it doesn’t boil dry.
with skewer – if the skewer comes out clean, then it’s fully cooked. If it
still sticks to the skewer then cook for a minute or so longer.
4.And just in
case … You can do all this in a microwave and make a
microwave Christmas Pudding. Cover the pudding in cling film and for the first
stage, cook on medium power for around 20 minutes. Then leave to cool, recover
with fresh cling film (or foil) and store in cool place as before. On Christmas
Day, remove the foil and cover with cling film, reheat for 6-8 minutes on a
method for cooking, leave the pudding to stand for a few minutes
before serving and prepare Brandy Butter, Custard or cream – whatever you like
best. We always have Rum Sauce.