Christmas time already I hear you say??!!! I am afraid to say that the decorations are in the stores and the countdown has begun. Time to start to getting organised for, as we know, the time will come around quickly enough and to avoid the Christmas rush here is something you can start on.
I know that Christmas pudding is full of sugar due to the dried fruit, alcohol and added sugar BUT I think there are times when one needs to indulge in a moderate way to enjoy the traditions of the season. Christmas ,I believe, is one of those times. My approach is going to be to not use any added sugar and to (hopefully) only have one small piece with some sugar free custard!
The recipe I am basing my pudding on is Jamie Oliver’s Nans I will put in brackets the changes I am going to make so you can do his full recipe or follow what I do.
Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Pudding
“This light, fruity Christmas pudding recipe makes buying one from the shops a thing of the past ”
500 g mixed dried fruit, such as cranberries, cherries, apricots, sultanas, prunes and raisins
100 g dates , chopped up
3 tablespoons chopped crystallised ginger (Im leaving this out)
125 g suet (I’ll use some cold butter grated)
1 orange , zest of (I also added the juice)
125 g plain flour
125 g caster sugar (I will use a little rice malt syrup)
150 g fresh white breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons brandy (I used port just because we had some in the cupboard)
1 handful chopped nuts, such as pecans, Brazils or hazelnuts
1 medium free-range egg
150 ml milk
- Grease a 1.5 litre pudding bowl.
- *I placed all my fruit in a bowl with the orange zest, orange juice and port. I covered it with cling wrap and then set it aside for 24 hours.
- Mix all the ingredients together. Put the mixture into the greased bowl and cover with a double layer of aluminium foil. Tie a piece of string round the side of the bowl. Place in a large saucepan with water halfway up the sides of the bowl. Bring the water to the boil, put on a tight-fitting lid, and simmer for 3 hours. Don’t forget to check the water regularly, making sure that it never boils dry, because if it does, it will burn and the bowl might crack. I used a timer for 30 minutes so that I wouldn’t forget.
- When it’s ready, remove the foil, turn out on to a plate and decorate it as you like. You can also light it with brandy if you want to be really fancy. I covered mine with cling wrap and put it in the freezer.
It will be hard to let you know how my pudding turns out as we will only be slicing into it at Christmas. I’ll sneak a little tasting when its cooked and see how it is but Im sure the longer it sits the better it will be!
I thought this was going to be a lot harder than what it was so I encourage you to have a go at making your own christmas pudding this year.
This is another recipe I came across when looking at added sugar free puddings.
Christmas Pudding – From Pure Harvest
- 150 grams sultanas
- 150 grams currants
- 150 grams raisins
- 150 grams apricots
- 150 grams prunes
- Juice and zest of 1 orange
- ½ cup brandy
- 250 grams butter
- ¼ cup Rice Malt Syrup
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 250 grams breadcrumbs
- 150 ml Pureharvest Almond Milk
- Place the dried fruit in a large bowl and grate in orange zest. Pour the brandy and orange juice over the fruit and soak overnight in the fridge.
- Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and Rice Malt Syrup in a large bowl until it is light and creamy. Add the eggs and beat well.
- Add the soaked fruit to the egg mixture, along with the rest of the ingredients and mix until well combined.
- Spoon the mixture into either 2 x 1 litre or 1 x 2 litre pudding moulds. Line the top of the pudding with a round of baking paper. Secure a piece of aluminium foil over the puddings to ensure no water gets it.
- Place the puddings in a pot of boiling water (the water should come halfway up the side of the puddings) and boil covered for 4 hours for the 1 liter puddings or 8 hours for the 2 L pudding. Make sure you keep an eye on the water levels in the pots and top them up when necessary.
- To check whether the puddings are cooked, use oven mitts remove the puddings from the pots and test with a skewer.
- To store the puddings, allow to cool completely, wrap in foil and tie in calico. Store in a cool dark cupboard or in the fridge for up to 3 months.
- To reheat the pudding, boil covered for 30 minutes. Serve with warm vegan custard or an orange citrus glaze.
Timing in this recipe is dependent on the size of the pudding bowl used. All cook time is 4 hours + additional time for reheating if not using on the day. It does not include the overnight soaking time.
A Victorian family gather to stir the Christmas pudding for luck. Christmas card of 1871
Feature image from – taste.com.au