On Tuesday 7th November I attended a Christmas Cookery Event focusing on Christmas puddings. Taking it back to Victorian times I had a go at the ‘Stir-Up Sunday Tradition’. Stir-Up Sunday is a centuries old annual tradition which is where home cooks spent the last Sunday before Christmas ‘stirring up’ their Christmas pudding. Always landing at the end of November, it was an opportunity to spend a day getting festive in the kitchen with loved ones, preparing for the biggest feast of the year.
As a vegan I was unsure what to expect as the traditional Christmas pudding is anything but vegan. However, not only was I able to experience such a timeless tradition, I was able to create two Christmas puddings that were vegan, with the help of Waitrose Cookery School.

Vegan Christmas Pudding Ingredients & Method

25g dairy-free soya spread
1 tbsp milled flaxseed
60g self-raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
25g coconut oil, melted
40ml black treacle
55ml stout
1 tbsp dark rum
Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
40g peeled, cored and coarsely grated Bramley apple, mixed with lemon juice
10g blanched almonds, roasted and chopped
75g currants
20g mixed peel
20g Forest Feast sour cherries
200g vegan mincemeat

Preheat the oven to 180 C, gas mark 4. Grease 4 mini pudding basins and 4 small circles of baking parchment with the soya spread and set aside. Mix the flaxseed with 3 tablespoons cold water and set aside for at least ten minutes or until it becomes jelly-like and makes ‘flax-egg’.

Sift the self-raising flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves into a medium mixing bowl, then add the “flax-egg”and the melted coconut oil. Mix the treacle with the stout and rum in a measuring jug. Pour this mixture into the bowl and whisk everything together thoroughly. Stir in the lemon zest, apple, almonds, currants, peel, cherries and mincemeat.

Divide the mixture between the prepared basins and top each one with a circle of greased parchment. Wrap each basin in an 18cm square of foil and fold under the edges of the basins. Place the basins into a roasting tin and pour in enough boiling water to come 2.5cm up the sides of the basins. Carefully place the tin in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the puddings are springy and firm to the touch in the centre. Remove from the oven, unwrap, remove the parchment and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Carefully run a small knife around each one and turn out onto warm serving plates.

Christmas Cocktail Recipe

Long Winter Negroni

25ml (single nip) Gin Bombay or Sipsmith

25ml Campari

25ml Martini Rosso

50ml Cranberry Juice

50ml Bundaberg Ginger Beer

Orange zest twist

Before heading home the evening finished with a Christmas cocktail making session and a sit down Italian inspired Christmas dinner, which was absolutely delicious and just goes to show that a vegan Christmas doesn’t have to be boring nor tasteless (contrary to a carnivores beliefs).
I would like to thank John Lewis for inviting me to attend such a magical event and I hope you enjoy making and eating the Christmas pudding as much as I did. Please leave a comment below to let me know how you get on.