FIGGY PUDDING
“ (….) we’ll all have some figgy pudding”

Densely spiced Figgy or Christmas Pudding as it’s most commonly known can be boiled, steamed, microwaved, baked, even fried! and doesn’t really contain figs. The pudding’s history dates back to roman times to the meatier origins of ‘Pyes’ : preserved sweetened meat and boiled ‘pottage’. That’s veggies to you and me! Whilst prunes, dried fruit and plums gradually became popular and preferred alternatives to sweetened meats during the reign of Elizabeth 1st as anticipated festive treats.

During the 19th century demand for steamed Plum puddings really took off. Where cooks took a month to develop the signature spicy flavours still synonymous with Christmas puddings today and at home observed ‘Stir up Sunday ‘ where five Sunday’s before Christmas families would each take in turn stirring the ‘mix’ and wish for good luck.

One favoured festive pudding recipe even had thirteen ingredients to represent Jesus and his twelve apostles. Whilst Dickens’s ‘ Christmas Carol’ mentions Mrs Cratchet steaming and preparing Christmas pudding for her family.

YULE LOG Buche de Noel .

This traditional chocolate swiss roll cake made to look like a miniature log dusted with snow is filled with a chocolate butter cream and raspberry jam, and gloriously topped with a chocolate butter cream bark like texture with a dusting of icing sugar, is a popular festive desert here and throughout Europe.

Yule is a Nordic word for the name of northern European and Scandinavian Old Winter Solstice Festivals. Whilst a log in eastern European countries, or a ‘ Mock’ in Cornwall were traditionally cut down on Christmas Eve morning and lit later that evening.

MINCE PIES
….“ If you eat a mince pie every day from Christmas to Twelve night (5th January) you will have happiness for the next twelve months”

During the Stuart and Victorian era Mince Pies were a status symbol! Elaborately detailed and decorated they denoted great wealth in that you could afford the very best pastry chefs. As with the earlier mentioned festive puddings, these mince pies were meat based, often filled with lamb and oval in shape to represent sleeping baby Jesus and the pastry lids were his swaddling clothes.

The mince pie has since evolved into a sweet pastry casing filled with a spiced dried fruit mix invariably laced with brandy. Ever popular ,especially Christmas Eve night when young children leave out a mince pie for santa. There’s even a mince pie club committed to all things mince pie related . Check it out : www.mincepieclub.co.uk

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