There is a running joke in my family of ‘how long has the Christmas pudding been in the cupboard now?’. We infamously never eat our Christmas pudding and if we do, it certainly isn’t at Christmas. I’m not a huge Christmas pudding fan, I tend to find them a pleasantly spiced tyre-like substance. My best friend, A Bookworm Baker, felt the same way; that was until she made her own. I read her post about it and felt compelled to see what all the fuss was about, I wanted to make a gluten free version though; Christmas day makes you feel full and uncomfortable enough as it is, without adding gluten into the equation. It seemed simple enough, swap the flour for gluten free flour and the breadcrumbs with almond meal (ground almonds that aren’t ground super fine into a flour); that was until I realised suet contains gluten. Who knew?! I sourced some gluten free suet online (which usefully is vegan too, there are eggs in this recipe though, so changes would need to be made for a vegan version) and then realised I had no pudding bowls. Luckily, the fruit needs to soak for a week or so (ideally) anyway, which left me plenty of time to find some pudding bowls. I got these, which have clip on lids, very useful for storing your puddings in until Christmas.
Usefully, the mixture made a little over 2 pints ( I made two 1 pint puddings), so I had enough mixture to make a mini quarter pint pudding, as a taster! This recipe makes enough for two 1 pint puddings or one 2 pint pudding (and perhaps just a little extra). They really are ridiculously tasty and one of the lightest suet puddings I’ve eaten. I didn’t even notice or remember it was gluten free, it was so moist and delicious.
- 75g of plain gluten free flour
- 75g of almond meal
- 175g of gluten free suet
- 175g of raisins
- 175g of sultanas
- 1 large cooking apple, peeled and finely diced
- 150g of soft dark brown sugar
- 50g of mixed peel
- 3.5 tsp of apple/pumpkin pie spice mix (or any other festive spice mix) OR:
- 1 tsp of ground cloves
- 1 tsp of grated nutmeg
- 0.5 tsp of ground ginger
- 1-2tsp of ground cinnamon
- A pinch of salt
- 3 eggs, beaten
- Brandy/rum, a smallish glass’ worth
- The first part needs to happen a week/few days in advance. Place the dried fruit in an airtight container with a very generous glug of brandy/rum. Every day or two, top it up with a bit more brandy.
- Now for the difficult bit, add everything, in the order above, to a large mixing bowl and stir well. It is quite a stiff batter, so make sure you have given it a good mix and have everything evenly combined.
- Split the batter between your bowls and leave ~5 mm at the top for expansion whilst cooking. Place a circle of baking paper, slightly larger than your bowl, over the top of your pudding and then clip the lid into place. If you’re smart, you’ll tie some string under the lip of the pudding bowl, to make a handle for lowering and lifting your bowl into/out of the boiling hot water. If your pudding bowls don’t have clip on lids then see this useful link (with video!).
- Fill as many saucepans as you need to about half full with boiling water. Place your sealed puddings into the water, you want the water to come up to about 2/3 of the way up the pudding. Too high and you’ll get water in your pudding, too low and they won’t cook. Bring to a rolling boil and place lids on the saucepans. If the lids pop off your puddings, quickly clip them back down again but be careful not to burn yourself!
- If making 1 pint puddings, these will take~2.5 hours to cook, if you make a 2 pint pudding then this will take ~3.5 hours.
- Once cooked, make sure the lid is well sealed, to allow a vacuum to form. Once completely cooled, wrap in clingfilm and store in a cupboard until Christmas day.
- To reheat, use the same method as for cooking the puddings, 1 hour for 1 pint puddings and 1.5 hours for the 2 pint pudding. If you have no hobs on Christmas day then you could scandalously microwave your pudding in its bowl. You didn’t hear that from me though 😉