Victorian Christmas cards and recipes

Fortifications of Québec National Historic Site

Victorian Christmas Cards

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Victorian Christmas Recipes

Plum pudding or Christmas pudding is a sweet cake made with dried or candied fruits that became a symbol of Christmas in the British colonies during the Victorian Period. In Canada, in the 18th and 19th centuries, this dessert was on the menu for all festive meals and banquets.

Traditionally, the plum pudding contained eagerly awaited gifts: for bachelors, a buttercup or silver button, a dice for the older unmarried ladies, a ring for young girls who will marry, and a silver coin for children.


Traditional Victorian Christmas Plum Pudding Recipe

1 pound of flour
1 pound of minced beef fat
1 pound of bread crumbs
10 eggs

Mix these ingredients together to make the dough that will support the many herbs that give the pudding its precious bouquet. The dough must be mixed and kneaded until it is homogenous. Then add

half a pound of powdered sugar
half a glass of brandy
the juice of two lemons

Once again, vigorously knead the dough. Once mixed, you may add

a pound of raisins
half a pound of currants
an ounce of spices
half a pound of grapes from Smyrna
half a pound of "cut peel". This is a mixture of lemon zest, pineapple peel, candied apricots, orange peel and angelica.

All that is left to do is to pour the paste into a cloth and squeeze it tightly. Knot the cloth tightly and the whole thing is plunged into boiling water. After eight hours of cooking, you will have a beautiful plum pudding, deliciously black and brown, marbled with grapes and candied fruit.

The pudding can then be flambéed (covered with liquor and briefly set on fire) and accompanied by a butter sauce simple to make.

Butter Sauce

½ cup of butter at room temperature
½ cup of powdered sugar.

Mix butter and sugar. Add 1 tablespoon of cognac or brandy and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest.


In 1875, a fairy tale became popular in which an old woman bakes a gingerbread man in her oven, but he manages to escape into the forest. As he runs away he exclaims "run, run, as fast as you can, you can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man". The story inspired people to celebrate the little character around the holidays in anglo-saxon countries.


Gingerbread man

Gingerbread Man recipe photo. Recipe given in text.  


1. 2 tablespoons of sugar
2. 1 tablespoon of molasses
3. 1 tablespoon of butter
4. 1 1/2 tablespoon of milk Mix those ingredients in a small bowl.
5. ½ cup of flour
6. ½ teaspoon of baking soda
7. 1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
8. 1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger
9. 1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves
10. A pinch of salt

Add the dry ingredients to the mix of liquid ingredients. Form a ball of dough. Put some flour on the table. Take the ball of dough and put it on the table. Use the rolling pin to flatten it. Your dough should be about 1 cm thick. Use the cookie cutter to form 3 cookies. Bake at 375° F for 15 minutes.

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