This recipe is for a tried and tested and I have to say delicious gluten free Christmas pudding! Some recipes for GF Christmas puddings and cakes that I have followed before cannot be made much in advance of Christmas but these recipes can be. I am also delighted to announce that Christmas puddings and cakes are actually good for you. Think about it, they are densely packed with antioxidant rich fruits full of much needed vitamins and minerals. The Spices are also packed with health-boosting benefits. Cinnamon helps reduce blood sugar (sounds like s win-win to me!) and nutmeg aids digestion. Don’t worry about the fat, as long as it’s grass fed butter it’s good for us. Do not be tempted to make the terrible mistake I made for years and add toxic margarine thinking it was healthier. What a numpty! The flour is undoubtedly better gluten free and makes for a much gentler pudding all round, helping us to avoid the Christmas bloat and other problems I’m too polite to mention!
There is also cocoa in this recipe which is again rich in antioxidants and the flavonoids in cocoa help your body process nitric oxide, thus helping blood flow and improving blood pressure. As for the sugar, well that’s a sticky one…! But as it’s Pantomime season, the Good Fairy is here to tell you that there are ways around it! Firstly, you can always reduce the amount any recipe tells you to add. I have done this for years and it doesn’t affect taste. Secondly, remember that as you don’t eat sugar often (you don’t do you?!) do we really need to worry at Christmas time? Thirdly, enter stage left the wonderful coconut sugar! If you haven’t tried it yet, you are missing a health promoting treat. Coconut sugar has half the glycaemic index of table sugar and as it’s dark in colour fits perfectly with this kind of cooking. It contains a fibre called Inulin which is thought to slow down glucose absorption and numerous minerals including calcium, potassium, iron and zinc. It goes without saying, that we wouldn’t use it as part of our regular way to obtain such nutrients, but it’s great to know that it’s far superior as an option for Christmas cooking. It can be purchased from health food shops. If they haven’t heard of it, get them to check their catalogues and order it in. That’s what I did and now it’s selling like hot cakes!
Not as tricky as you think…it really is a case of chuck it together and mix!
1. Place all ingredients in list one in a bowl and mix. Cover and leave overnight or up to two days to allow the fruit to soak.
2. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C (325F/ Gas 3)
3.Lightly grease basins and line with parchment (We bought some wonderful Pudding Bowls and these make awesome gifts)
4.Cream butter and sugar together in large bowl until fluffy. Add eggs (organic of course!) whisking between each one (messy otherwise!)
5. Gradually fold in the flour with a metal spoon
6. Whizz up some breadcrumbs (or break by hand) using gluten free bread bought from any shop and add to mixture.
7. Then add walnuts (brain food!), almonds (packed with calcium!) and that gorgeous fruit and juices and we have ourselves a glorious Christmas Pudding!
8. Transfer to pudding bowl and cover with parchment pleated in the middle (a 1” fold) to allow for rising. Tie with a string (or if you’re super posh like us a ribbon!)
9. Place pudding bowl in a roasting dish and pour in boiling water from the kettle up to half way up the bowl.
10. Place in the oven and bake for 2 hours. You WILL NEED to top up the boiling water so check every half hour and add more as needed. When cooked, leave to cool
11. To cook for eating, follow the same process with the water in a roasting dish but this time with a slightly higher oven temp (180/350) and only for 35 mins. (You could microwave the same as bought versions but that’s unhealthy and against my religion!)
12. Don’t forget to have the matches at the ready for the flaming ceremony. Transfer your pud to a suitable serving plate. Then pour over some brandy, strike with a match and watch in wonder at the fruits of your labours until the flames die down.
13. Add cream, brandy sauce or other favourite and ENJOY!
60g (2oz) apricots/dates/prunes finely chopped
200g (8oz) each of sultanas, currents, raisins
100g (4oz) glace cherries halved
50g (2oz) mixed peel chopped
Juice and zest of one lemon
200ml (7floz) dry cider
4 tbsp each brandy and rum
3tbsp black treacle
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 desert apple cored and grated
200g (8oz) unsalted butter (grass fed)
200g (8oz)dark muscavado or coconut sugar. (You can reduce this amount slightly)
3 eggs beaten
75g (3oz) Gluten free SR flour
150g (6oz) Gluten free breadcrumbs
50g (2oz) chopped walnuts
50g (2oz) Ground almonds
NOTES: This recipe makes 3 x 600ml or 1 pint puddings so you can make for friends and family. Therefore divide by 3 if you require only one.
The ingredients are flexible as long as you keep to the amounts, so for example if like me you don’t like cherries, replace 4oz of cherries with 4oz of something you do like or increase raisins etc.
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