There’s no need to miss out on Christmas pudding, even if you or a guest is following a gluten-free diet. This version is brimming with apricots and prunes, flavoured with marmalade and sherry, and lightly spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon.
While gluten-free baking can be a hit or miss sometimes, this festive pud has a lovely texture and an unbeatable taste. We love it smothered in brandy butter or served with a dollop of posh cream. Don’t let the lengthy steaming time put you off – this gluten-free Christmas pudding is easy to put together and well worth the cooking time.
- 200g each raisins and sultanas
- 200g each dried apricots and pitted prunes (or figs)
- Grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
- 1 eating apple
- 1 rounded tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 rounded tsp mixed spice (or mixture of ground nutmeg, allspice and ground cloves)
- 3 rounded tbsp good marmalade (or use honey for a sweeter pud)
- 6tbsp Oloroso sherry
- 5tbsp brandy
- 3tbsp melted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 50g flaked almonds
- 100g ground almonds
- 125g crumbs made from gluten-free bread
- To serve:
- A few fresh or frozen cranberries
- Bay leaves, brushed with gold lustre, optional
- Posh cream (see recipe)
- 1.2 litre pudding basin, buttered, small disc of greaseproof in base, plus Bakewell paper, foil and string
Put the raisins and sultanas in a large bowl. Use scissors to snip the apricots and prunes into small pieces, straight into the bowl. Add the orange zest and juice. Use the coarse side of a grater to grate the unpeeled apple straight in, working around the core. Stir in the spices, marmalade (or honey), sherry and brandy. Mix well, cover and leave overnight in a cool place (not the fridge), if you have time.
Stir in the butter, eggs, flaked and ground almonds and breadcrumbs. Spoon the mixture into the basin, pressing it down well. Cover with a piece of pleated paper, then pleated foil. Secure with string and make a string handle, if you want.
Cook in a steamer, with a tight-fitting lid, over boiling water for 5-6 hrs, checking and topping up the water every hour, so it doesn’t boil dry. Take the basin out and leave it to cool completely. Take off the paper and foil and replace with cling film and foil. Store in a cool place for up to 3 months.
Top tip for making this gluten-free Christmas pudding
To reheat: Take off the foil and cling film. Replace the cling film with a sheet of Bakewell and put the foil back on. Steam, as above, for 2 hrs. Leave to cool down for 20-30 mins, then turn out and serve with a few cranberries on top, and bay leaves, too, if liked.
To make the posh cream: Lightly whip 300ml double cream with 1 tbsp icing sugar and 1-2 tbsp Calvados or your favourite tipple. Or whisk 1 tbsp icing sugar with 2 tsp orange flower water, then whisk in 300ml cream to soft peaks. Chill until ready to serve.
You can save cooking time by using a pressure cooker - check its instructions for exact timings.