Christmas is just around the corner and, if you’re anything like me, I love a beautiful piece of pudding on Christmas Day smothered in vanilla custard … yum … I can taste it already!
And although not everyone loves pudding, there are also many who would avoid it either due to gluten intolerance or a preference not to eat anything containing alcohol. For that reason, I’ve created this gorgeous pudding that’s gluten-free and alcohol-free … and, let me tell you, it’s just as delicious, just as beautiful and just as moist as any pudding I’ve tried. It’s also super easy to make and is mixed in a single saucepan, so there’s very little washing up … perfect!
- 2 cups sultanas
- ½ cup Craisins (dried cranberries)
- 1 cup raisins, chopped (if large)
- 1 ¼ cups fresh dates, seeded and chopped (approximately 12 – 13 dates)
- 1 ¼ cups water
- ½ cup orange juice (I used freshly squeezed)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- ¾ cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 ¾ cups gluten-free plain flour (I use White Wings)
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 2 teaspoons mixed spice
- 1 cup almond meal
- Grease a 2-litre pudding steamer with cooking spray and line the base with a circle of baking paper, cut to fit. Cut a second piece of baking paper large enough to fit on the top of the steamer and set aside to use later.
- In a large saucepan, combine the sultanas, Craisins, raisins, dates, water, orange juice, honey and sugar. Stir over a gentle heat, until butter has melted and all ingredients are combined.
- Remove from the stove and allow to cool, stirring frequently. Once cool, stir in vanilla essence.
- Sift the gluten-free plain flour, bicarb soda, mixed spice and almond meal into the cooled fruit mixture and stir until just combined.
- Spoon the pudding mixture into the prepared steamer, lightly spray the extra piece of baking paper (prepared earlier) with cooking spray and place over the top of the pudding. Put on the steamer lid and seal.
- Place the steamer in a large pot with enough boiling water to come about two-thirds of the way up the side of the steamer. Cover the pot and gently simmer the pudding for approximately 5 ½ hours. If needed, top up the boiling water during cooking to ensure the water level is maintained.
- Once cooked, carefully remove the pudding steamer from the boiling water and stand for approximately 10 minutes. Open the steamer, remove the bottom piece of baking paper, turn the pudding onto a plate and remove the top piece of baking paper. I usually allow my pudding to stand for a while before cutting to allow it to firm up so it doesn’t crumble too much when cutting. If you would like it warmer to serve, reheat each slice gently in the microwave or pour over hot custard which will also rewarm the pudding. This pudding is suitable to freeze.
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