Plum pudding’s status as a traditional Christmas dish can be seen in this recipe and illustration from the first edition of Mrs Beeton’s book of Household Management (1861), and would be clearly recognisable today as Christmas Pudding.
A fascinating feature of the cookery collection is the ways in which texts can comment on each other, such as when Elizabeth David, in Spices, Salt & Aromatics in the English Kitchen (1970) describes the experience of making Christmas pudding in accordance with Beeton's recipe:
Now, all those with their fine talk of the glories of Old English fare, have they ever actually made Christmas pudding, in large quantities, by old English methods? Have they, for instance, ever tried cleaning and skinning, flouring, shredding, chopping beef kidney suet straight of the hoof? Have they ever stoned bunch after bunch of raisins hardly yet dry on the stalk and each one as sticky as a piece of warm toffee? And how long do they think it takes to bash up three pounds of bread-loaves…?