Christmas can mean many things to people, but for myself and my family it’s all about the food. Both of my grandmothers used to lovingly make their puddings the old-fashioned way – from scratch – and when they passed away, our tradition was gone. Sadly my mum missed out on the cooking gene (she will admit this herself) and was never interested in making them (honestly it was probably for the best that she never tried). Enter: pre-made supermarket-bought puddings (urgh).
Then I started on my health journey and went gluten and dairy free (with good reason, not just as a fad – I promise!) so I didn’t have to eat the chemical laden puddings for a few years. And there wasn’t really a good alternative anyway – or one that my family would eat – so I just learned to live without my pudding (I know, devastating right?).
But then a few years ago, I came across this seriously A-MAZING recipe and thought I’d give it a go. With some minor tweaks, it has become a Christmas staple. I even have a couple of family members who send me money to make them a special batch to take to their in-laws (or in the case of my sister, to keep in the freezer so she has a personal stash of pudding well beyond Christmas!).
And the best part? It is 100% gluten free and dairy free (if you switch the butter for coconut oil). I’ve also made it using different types of flour (i.e. coconut flour), and duck eggs instead of chicken eggs and it’s still A-MAZING. I haven’t tried it but I still think it would work if you replaced the eggs with mashed banana or egg replacer (if you try this – please let me know how you go!). I honestly don’t think you could stuff it up…unless you were my mother (Sorry mum! Love you!).
So I know you are probably licking the screen right about now and just want me to get on with it. So here you go….
- 375g raisins, roughly chopped
- 375g sultanas
- 250g currants
- 200g dried apricots, roughly chopped
- 150g pitted prunes, roughly chopped
- ¾ cup brandy
- ¼ cup green ginger wine
- ½ cup dark blackberry jam
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tablespoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon allspice (pimento)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 eggs, at room temperature (or 3 duck eggs)
- 250g butter, melted, cooled (or swap for coconut oil)
- 4 tablespoons of light olive oil
- ½ cup coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)
- 1 ½ cups banana flour – buy banana flour here (or 1 cup of coconut flour)
- 2 teaspoons bicarb soda
- Add to a large mixing bowl the dried fruit, booze, jam and spices. Mix well, then cover and leave to stand overnight. (Pro-tip: I usually leave it for 2-3 days, stirring occasionally, so the fruit gets good and drunk).
- Whisk eggs and butter together. Add to fruit mixture, sugar, flour, oil and bicarbonate of soda. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
If you want a traditional steamed pudding:
- Grease a 10-cup capacity pudding basin with melted butter. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Brush with butter again. Line base of bowl with baking paper.
- Spoon mix into prepared basin.
- Cut 1 large sheet of foil and 1 large sheet of baking paper. Lay paper over foil. Make a 3 cm pleat in the middle. Place, paper-side down, over pudding. Secure with string or use pudding lid to lock down.
- Place an upturned saucer into the base of a large, deep saucepan. Place basin onto saucer. Pour hot water into saucepan so it comes one-third of the way up the side of the basin. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Keep checking water level because the water can evaporate and may need to be topped up. Simmer for 5 hours or take off lid and check with a skewer this is risky as it is very hot. Remove pudding from water. Stand for 30 minutes. Turn onto a platter. Serve as desired. Alternatively, cool completely then store.
If you want to do what I do and have individual puddings:
- Grease cupcake pans (or use silicone moulds) and add pudding mix. Don’t fill them quite to the top as they will expand a bit.
- Bake in an 180° oven for 35-40 minutes OR steam them in a water bath in the oven OR steam them in your varoma in your Thermomix – 6-7 at a time for 15 minutes (this is what I do).
I make the individual puddings ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until Christmas Day. Warm them in a gentle oven or re-steam them in the varoma and serve with custard, cream or ice cream (dairy or non-dairy options).
Any way you make this, it is absolutely delicious and your entire family will love it. I don’t even tell my family its gluten free (because they would turn their nose up at it!) and they think it’s the bees knees.
So enjoy. And Merry Christmas!!