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King George Christmas Pudding
This is the 1714 recipe for King George's first Christmas pudding.
1 lb of eggs
1 1/2 lb shredded suet
1 lb dried plums
1 lb raisins
1 lb mixed peel
1 lb currants
1 lb sultanas
1 lb flour
1 lb sugar
1 lb breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 grated nutmeg
1/2 pint milk
1/2 teaspoon of salt
the juice of lemnon
a large glass of brandy
Let stand for 12 hours.
Boil for 8 hours and boil again on Christmas Day for 2 hours.
This will yield 9 lbs of pudding.
History of Christmas Puddings
Traditional Christmas Puddings were more like large footballs than the supermarket ready basins of today.
The mixture was tied up in a cloth bag and then boiled in a large pan, and in many cases in the same tub that boiled the clothes wash!
Christmas Puddings used to be called Plum Puddings because one of the main ingredients used to be dried plums or prunes.
The very earliest puddings consisted of chopped-up meat, suet, oatmeal and spices. They were cooked in the intestines of a sheep or pig.
Puddings as we known them began to appear in the sixteenth century, and since they were boiled in a bag, they were known as 'bag puddings'.
Placing silver charms into puddings is a recent custom. In earlier times, items were placed into Twelfth-Night cake, and the fun was to see who had what in each slice of cake:
a bean for the king
a pea for the queen
a clove for the knave
a twig for the fool
a rag for the slut
The legend behind Little Jack Horner:
Jack Horner was a steward to the Abbot of Glastonbury, and he had to take a pie to King George VII as a present from the Abbot. The pudding contained title deeds to 12 manors sent to the King in the hope he would not pull down Glastonbury Abbey. The King only received 11 deeds.
Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating of Christmas pie:
He put in his thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said, "What a good boy am I!"
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