Gluten- Free Christmas Pudding
This pudding can be made up to three months before Christmas as long as it has been steamed for the initial four hours, cooled and kept in the fridge until the final steaming on Christmas Day. This pudding is steamed initially for four hours, and then secondly for two hours on the day you wish to eat it, so early preparation is a MUST with this. Read the recipe through before making.
You will need a 2 litre pudding basin well greased with melted butter, parchment paper, foil and kitchen string
What you need
100g dried sour cherries
Grated zest and juice 1 lemon
Grated zest and juice ½ orange
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp brandy
180g coconut sugar
1 grated apple
1 grated carrot
2 large, organic eggs
250g ground almonds
50g gluten-free cornflour
1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
60ml coconut oil, melted
2-3 tbsp runny honey
What you do
The day before you are going to carry out the initial steaming, combine all the dried fruit, zests and juices, spices and brandy together in a very large bowl. Cover with cling film and allow the fruit to soak for 24 hours. Set aside.
The next day, using a wooden spoon add the sugar, apple and carrot to the dried fruit mixture and mix well until combined.
Whisk the eggs together in a large bowl with an electric whisk until they have doubled in size.
In another smaller bowl mix together the ground almonds, cornflour and baking powder with a pinch of salt.
Alternate adding the dried fruit mixture and the ground almond mixture to the beaten eggs, taking your time. Stir in the oil and honey.
Cut out two discs from the parchment paper, one for the bottom of the basin and one to fit over the top of the pudding mixture. Similarly grease these with melted butter. Place the smaller disc in the base of the basin.
Spoon in the pudding mixture making sure it is no higher than two thirds of the way up as it will need room to rise when it is steamed.
Place the buttered parchment paper top disc to cover the top of the mixture.
Cut a third, larger piece of parchment paper, enough to cover the top of the pudding basin. Similarly cut a piece of foil to equal size. Make a pleated fold in the middle of each of these and then place over the top of the basin, the parchment paper first and the foil over it, securing tightly with a long piece of string which once you have tied around the circumference can then be slotted over the top to make a handle so as to easily remove the pudding from the steamer.
At this point the pudding can be stored in the fridge for up to four days until you want to steam it. When you do choose to steam it make sure the pudding has been removed from the fridge several hours in advance so that it is at room temperature.
Place an upside down oven proof saucer (to act as a trivet) on the base of your steamer, and half fill this with boiling water.
Sit the pudding on the top of the saucer and check that the water is half way up the sides of the pudding basin.
Adjust the temperature of the hob upon which you are going to steam the pudding so that it is simmering (not boiling).
Steam the pudding for four hours, checking every so often to see if more water is required to be added. You don’t want the water in the saucepan to boil away. It must stay half way up the pudding while it steams.
When the pudding has finished steaming it can be removed from the steamer and allowed to cool before refrigerating. Replace the parchment paper and foil with fresh in preparation for the final steam on Christmas Day. Tie tightly with string as before.
On the day you wish to eat the pudding remove it from the fridge several hours in advance to allow it to come round to room temperature before steaming for a further two hours.
To serve, remove string, parchment paper and foil from the top, invert the pudding on to a warm plate, remove the base disc and pour over a small glass of brandy and set light to it for a couple of seconds before blowing out the flames and serving.