Did you know that in the 14th Century Christmas pudding was made with meat? Think entrails and tongues nestled amongst your cherries and sultanas…Err, yum… Never fear, modernity is here! And with it comes a meat-free Christmas pudding! This is my family's pudding to end all puddings recipe. It is completely grain-free, gluten-free, starch-free, dairy-free and perfect for those following the SCD or paleo diet.
The inclusion of Brandy preserves the pudding for many months (some people do this for a whole year!).This is a massive pro for those of us that can’t stand the idea of a cooking Christmas crime scene of bubbling pots and sizzling pans hours before the feast. Steaming the pudding not only makes the fruit soft and moist, but also encourages the ingredients to smoosh together to create a big, dense pudding.
Nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves are the beautifully aromatic, deeply spicy and subtly sweet flavours you find in most Christmas puddings. In addition to their delicious flavours, they all hold healing properties that have been explored throughout many cultures and cuisines for thousands of years.
Cinnamon has been of particular interest for it’s potential health benefits for those suffering Type 2 Diabetes.
Nutmeg is known for help in treating nausea, indigestion and muscle pain. It can also produce drowsiness, so great for treating insomnia and an after Christmas crime-scene snooze.
Cloves are most commonly known for their ability to ale gum and tooth aches, but are also used to treat intestinal parasites, assist in relief from respiratory problems, and contain anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties.
And then comes the dried fruit. We all know that dried fruit contains a tonne of fibre (especially prunes), which sometimes can override the mention of their antioxidant properties. The antioxidant Phenol, is actually found in higher concentrations in dried figs and dates than in their moisturized counterparts!
Our homemade Custard Sauce is a must alongside this pudding.
200 g (1 cup) dried dates
200 g (1 cup) dried figs
200 g (1 cup) dried prunes
120 ml (1⁄2 cup) boiling water
100 g (1 cup) pecans
100 g (1 cup) blanched almonds
250 ml (1 cup) grape juice
60 ml (1⁄4 cup) fresh orange juice
120 ml (1⁄2 cup) bourbon
2 egg yolks
200 g (1 cup) sultanas
1 Tbs grated orange rind
200 g (2 cups) almond flour
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp ground cloves
1⁄4 tsp ground nutmeg
Place the dried dates, figs, prunes, hot water, pecans, almonds, grape juice, orange juice, bourbon and egg yolk into a food processor and process the mixture until chopped and well combined.
Remove from the processor into a large bowl and add the sultanas, orange rind, almond flour, and spices.
Mix well and then pour the dough into a 1 – 1 1⁄2 liter/2 1⁄2 pint pudding dish.
Cover the dish well with baking paper and foil.
Place into a large pot with water so the level reaches 2⁄3 of the way up the pudding dish. Cover and steam for 6 hours.
Add more water as required, to maintain level.
Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
Then remove the pudding and either serve immediately with custard, or freeze for up to six weeks. Can also be reheated the next day in microwave or oven.
1 egg yolk
250g (1 cup) SCD french cream
75g (1/4 cup) honey
In a small pot combine the whole eggs, egg yolk and cream.
Bring the heat up slowly, whisking constantly, avoiding boiling the cream.
Once the cream has thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the honey, stirring until combined.
Place the sauce in a jar and refrigerate for several hours before serving.