My other half is a big fan of Christmas pudding and after two years in Singapore with not a pudding in sight, not that you want to eat something so heavy in the hot weather, I thought it was time to rectify the issue for this coming Christmas. Traditionally Christmas pudding and mincemeat is made on the last Sunday before advent so that there is time to feed the pudding and allow the flavors to develop. As next Sunday is Stir Up Sunday I thought I would post this potentially gluten and dairy free and vegetarian recipe so that anyone who wants to can have a go at making it. Just don't forget to get everyone in the family have a go stirring the pudding and making a wish as is traditional. The recipe I have used is a Rachel Allen recipe that I have amended slightly. As with all Christmas puddings this is time intensive but apart from making sure the pudding doesn't boil dry then it easy and doesn't need you to watch it constantly. Serve with brandy 'butter'.
Christmas Pudding (Serves 5-8)Can be vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free
50g/1.25oz Dried cranberries
50g/1.25oz Candied peel, chopped
50g /1.25oz Currants
50g/1.25oz Dates (stoned weight), chopped
1-2tbs Stem ginger, chopped
50ml/1.25floz Irish whiskey, brandy or rum
50g/1.25oz Ground almonds
8-10 Whole skinned almonds
1 Cooking apple, unpeeled and grated
Finely grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
3tbsp golden syrup
100g/3.5oz Dairy Free margarine or Butter, chilled & grated (I froze the margarine so it was easier to grate)
90g/ 3.25oz Soft dark brown sugar
2 Eggs, beaten
115g /4.25oz Gluten-free flour or 125g (4.5oz) Self-raising flour, sifted
1/2 tsp Gluten free baking powder
1/4tsp Ground or freshly grated whole nutmeg
1tsp Ground cinnamon
1/2tsp Mixed spice
- In a pan heat the whiskey and fruit and gently simmer for a couple of minutes and then remove from the heat and leave to cool before moving onto the next stage.
- You will need a 1 litre pudding basin. Pour the golden syrup into the bottom and arrange the whole almonds into it along with a few pieces of dried fruit.
- In a bowl mix the ground almonds, grated apple and lemon zest. Then mix in the grated margarine, sugar and eggs until well combined. Add all the remaining ingredients including the whiskey soaked dried fruit and mix well.
- Spoon the mixture into the basin, on top of the golden syrup, and flatten the surface with a spoon and tap the basin on the counter to get rid of any bubbles within the mixture.
- Either top with a circle of parchment paper and a lid or if you don't have a lid then cut two pieces of parchment slightly bigger than the basin and top the mixture with these.
- Steam the pudding by placing in a pot with a lid and pouring hot water to three quarters of the way up the pudding. Simmer on a low heat with the lid on for around 3-4 hours. Make sure that the water remains topped up.
- Once cooked, leave to cool and replace the greased proof paper lid with a fresh one and store in a cool, dry place until Christmas (or beyond). Alternatively it can be eaten on the day of making.
- It can be reheated by steaming again for an hour or microwaved. I microwave individual pieces for 1 minute or so.
- For a richer, boozier pudding, 'feed' the pudding with whiskey or brandy by pricking the top surface of the pudding and pouring over a few tbs of alcohol, every couple of weeks until Christmas.