Now, we’re not always ones for messing with tradition, but let’s face it there are certain things about Christmas that some people just don’t like. No I’m not talking about those people who just can’t be doing with the blatant over-commercialisation of Christmas and instead of giving you a present, give you a massive lecture about the evils of capitalism. We’re talking about those poor unfortunate fellows who try as they might, just don’t like Christmas Pudding!
Christmas Pudding has its origins in medieval England and the tale goes that it should be made on the 25th Sunday after Trinity (or the last Sunday in November, known as Stir In Sunday), that it should include 13 ingredients to signify the 12 apostles and Christ, and that every member of the family should take turns to stir the pudding from east to west in honour of the 3 Wise Men, or Magi, that supposedly travelled in that direction.
The Christmas Pudding that we know today really came into popularity during the Victorian era and it is during this time that the tradition of including a silver coin into the mix was born. The tradition says that whoever finds the coin in their serving is allowed to keep it and will then bring them wealth for the following year. The epitome of the Christmas Pudding tradition for many comes in its description during the Cratchit’s Christmas Dinner in Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’;
“In half a minute Mrs. Cratchit entered — flushed, but smiling proudly — with the pudding, like a speckled cannon-ball, so hard and firm, blazing in half of half-a-quarter of ignited brandy, and belight with Christmas holly stuck into the top.”
But what about those of us who just don’t like a good old traditional Christmas Pudding? Well fear not, a sprinkling of our gorgeous dried culinary lavender is here to help! So why not try a lovely White Chocolate and Lavender Steamed Pudding for your Christmas desert this year. Simply mix together a sponge mixture of 140g soft brown sugar, 100g soft butter, 2 beaten eggs and 170g self-raising flour and add a little milk until you achieve a good dropping consistency. Then all you need to do is fold in 100g chopped white chocolate and 1 teaspoon of dried culinary lavender. Next simply pack the mixture into a greased 1.5 pint pudding basin, cover with a square of greased baking parchment (that has a pleat folded into the middle to allow for expansion) and steam for 2 hours.
On Christmas Day simply reheat (or cook from scratch), garnish with a sprig of lavender and serve with lashing of vanilla custard. Merry Lavender Christmas!