Hello & Welcome to Milly White Cooks!
In my new step-by-step video, I’m going to share my scrumptious Ultimate Christmas Pudding
recipe, which is completely gluten-free and dairy-free, vegetarian and I’ll even tell
you how to make it vegan too, if that’s your preference. Bursting with plumped dried fruits,
crunchy nuts and festive spices, it’s the perfect ending to your Christmas Day meal
that everyone can enjoy and, what’s more, you can make this weeks or even months in
advance, ready for the big day! This recipe is from my Gluten Free Christmas Holiday Festive
Feasts & Treats Cookbook and you can find the links to this in the detail box below.
We’ll start by taking a look at the ingredients list, it is quite long, but don’t be put off
by this as making the pudding itself is super easy and is best done well ahead of Christmas
Day. We’re going to start with soaking all the dried fruits and nuts overnight and for
this you’ll need: 75g or 2/3 cup of currants, 70g or 2/3 cup
of raisins and 45g or 1/3 cup of dried pitted dates. To go into the pudding, I’m going to
use 45g or 1/3 cup of ready-to-eat dried apricots and 20g or 2 tbsp of glacé or candied cherries.
However, if you find these hard to find in your local store, then it’s fine to use dried
cherries instead. Here’s 25g or ¼ cup of pecan halves plus 20g or ¼ cup of flaked
or slivered almonds. If you don’t want to use nuts, just replace the pecans and almonds
with a mixture of sunflower and pumpkin seeds instead. Now this bit is absolutely optional
as it is for decorating the top of the pudding, in this little dish I have an extra 3 apricots,
glacé cherries and pecan halves and I’m going to set these aside until later.
Here I have a small lemon and orange, and as we’ll be using the peel of these, it’s
best if they are organic and un-waxed. Now, this may seem an unusual ingredient as I’m
going to use ½ of this organic carrot but trust me when I say it really helps make a
lovely moist pudding, just think of carrot cake if it helps to make sense of this ingredient!
You’ll also need a nice firm eating apple. For flavouring, we’re going to use 1 vanilla
pod, a ¼ tsp of freshly grated nutmeg plus ¼ tsp each of mixed spice which is similar
to pumpkin spice, ground cinnamon and ground ginger and ¼ tsp of good quality vanilla
extract. This is a bottle of Angostura bitters, which are often used in cocktails, and it
will add a really complex depth of flavour to the Pudding. However, the bitters are really
concentrated so I’m only going to add 1 tsp. Finally, to make this Pudding pleasantly
boozy but still gluten-free, instead of adding beer in my mixture, I’m using 2 tbsp of apple
cider, called hard cider in the USA plus another 2 tbsp of Amaretto liqueur. However, if you
don’t want to use alcohol at all, just swap the cider and Amaretto to plain apple juice
and leave out the bitters too. Also I want to share a tip here. In my videos, I always
weigh out all my ingredients in advance so that I can show them to you but normally I
wouldn’t expect you to do the same. However for a recipe like this, where there are lots
of different ingredients, getting them all ready in advance can be useful in making sure
that nothing gets missed. I’m going to show you in a minute what the
first step is with all the fruits, nuts and booze, as they are going to end up like these
in this bowl. But, at this point, let’s continue with the rest of the ingredients list. So,
you will also need: 60g or 1 cup of gluten-free breadcrumbs, which
I made by pulsing a couple of gluten-free bread slices in my mini food processor plus
35g or ¼ cup gluten-free plain or all-purpose flour blend. In this little dish, I have ½
tbsp cornflour or corn starch, ¼ tsp xanthan gum and ¼ tsp gluten-free baking powder.
Instead of using vegetable suet, which often contains gluten, my recipe uses 30g or 2 tbsp
of vegetable shortening such as Trex in the UK or Crisco in the USA, and 20g or 1½ tbsp
coconut oil. Next is 60g or ¼ cup, packed, of soft brown
sugar and I’m using dark but you can also use light, as well as 2 tbsp of ground almonds.
You can see that I’ve now grated half of the carrot that I showed you earlier and I’m going
to grate the apple directly into the mixing bowl so that I can catch all of its juices.
Finally, here’s 1 free-range egg which is a size medium in the UK or large in the US.
If you wanted to make this vegan, swap the egg for a flaxseed egg by soaking 1 tbsp of
ground flaxseeds in 3 tbsp of water for 15mins and using that instead.
Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel for lots more gluten free recipes, now let’s get
cooking! The night before making the pudding, prepare
and soak the dried fruits and nuts. Wash the orange and lemon thoroughly. Use a small,
sharp knife to pierce the lemon 5-6 times then pop it into a saucepan and cover with
cold water. Place over a medium heat, bring up to a gentle simmer and cook for 30mins.
Then drain it and set aside until cool enough to handle.
In the meantime, chop the apricots into pieces of a similar size to your currants and raisins.
Do the same with the glacé cherries and the dates, making sure you’ve removed
the stones if they are not pitted. Finally, roughly chop the pecans too. Pop these all
into a roomy mixing bowl. The cooked lemon should now be cool enough
to handle. Cut off the nub from the top of the lemon, then cut it in half and get rid
of any pips. Finely chop the whole of the lemon, flesh and peel, into small pieces.
Tip this and any juices on top of the fruit and nuts. Cut the vanilla pod in half lengthwise
and scrape out seeds. Add both the seeds and scraped out pod to the bowl.
Cut the orange in half and wrap one ½ in kitchen film and set aside for the morning.
All the chopping has now been done. So add the mixed spice, ground cinnamon and ginger
to the bowl and grate in the nutmeg, followed by the zest from ½ of the orange. Now add
the raisins, currents and flaked almonds and the juice from the zested orange half. Pour
over the cider, vanilla extract, Angostura bitters and Amaretto. Give everything a lovely
good stir, then cover the bowl with a clean, dry cloth and leave to soak overnight. It
smells fabulous! So, it’s now the following morning and I’m
going to start by showing you how to prepare the pudding basin for the Christmas Pudding.
You’ll need: a heatproof pudding basin, this one has a capacity of 1.1 litres or 4½ cups
which is ample. The cooked Christmas Pudding will end up weighing just over 900g or 2lbs,
and this size pudding will serve 6-8 people. I’ve also got the reserved cherries, apricots,
pecans and ½ orange from yesterday and we’ll come onto why in a mo.
You’re also going to need a little oil or vegetable shortening to grease the basin,
and I do this with a food brush, but if you don’t have one, a piece of kitchen towel will
also work. I’ve got a pencil, a good pair of scissors and some kitchen string, plus
kitchen foil and baking parchment. Fold the baking parchment in half and trace
around both the top and bottom of the pudding basin with the pencil. Then cut inside the
lines to cut out 1 small circle and two larger circles. It’s important to cut inside the
lines so that there’s no pencil lead left on the circles, like this. Set aside. Take
a piece of foil and fold a pleat into the middle, making sure that it’s still large
enough to cover the top of the basin generously. Take another 2 pieces of foil that are long
enough to go all the way around the pudding basin from top to bottom and back. Now as
is the tendency when filming, I’ve cut mine in half lengthwise, but I really didn’t need
to do this. Simply fold each piece of foil into half lengthwise and then in half again
to form 2 long and strong lengths of foil. These are going to be crossed over to form
a lifter for getting the pudding in and out of the steamer or slow cooker, just like this.
Now lightly grease the pudding basin and pop the smaller parchment circle in the
bottom. Slice the reserved orange half into 3-4 rounds.
Arrange the reserved pecans and apricots on top of the parchment disc. Slice the cherries
in half and pop these in too, taking care to ensure that the right-side of the cherries
and pecans are facing the bowl (so that they’ll turn out the right way when the Pudding is
served). Lay the orange slices prettily around the edges and set aside.
Now let’s finish the pudding mixture. Remember to remove the vanilla pod from the bowl. Coarsely
grate the apple into the bowl, along with the carrot which I’ve grated already to save
a bit of time in the video. Give it a good stir with a wooden spoon to mix. Sieve in
the flour, cornflour, baking powder, xanthan gum and brown sugar. Work this through the
sieve to remove any lumps in the sugar. I’ve melted the coconut oil and vegetable shortening
until they’re both fully liquid and I’m going to add this to the bowl too along with the
ground almonds, the egg (or flaxseed egg if using this instead) and the breadcrumbs. Now
beat everything together thoroughly until well combined. In the UK, we have a tradition
whereby everyone in the family takes a turn at stirring the pudding and making a wish
so now’s the time to bring the family together for their stir and wish.
Spoon the pudding mix into the prepared basin, taking care to pat it down as you go so that
there are no air pockets. When all the mixture is in the basin, smooth out the top, then
cover directly with the 2 larger parchment discs. Wrap the pleated foil over the top
of the pudding basin and tie securely with the kitchen string (which is always easier
to do if you’re not filming at the same time)! Centralise the pudding on the 2 strips of
foil but only lift the pudding with these at the last moment to place it in the steamer
or slow cooker. You can cook the pudding in the top of a steamer
of simmering water but I prefer to use a slow-cooker. I pop a heat-safe ramekin in the bottom to
act as a trivet and lift in the pudding. Then I carefully pour in enough boiling water down
the side to come half way up the side of the basin and I’m taking care not splash myself
or the pudding with the boiling water. Then I cover with a well-fitting lid and cook for
8hrs in a steamer or 10-12hrs in a slow cooker on high. If you use a steamer, regularly check
and make sure that it is topped up with freshly boiled water and even with a slow cooker,
I’ll top it up 2-3 times during the cooking time.
After cooking, remove from the heat and set aside to cool fully.
Once fully cooled, cut off the string and remove the foil lid and parchment paper. If
any condensation has formed inside the basin whilst it was cooling, wipe this away with
kitchen towel. Replace with fresh parchment circles. Cover the whole pudding basin tightly
with kitchen film and the pudding can now be stored for up to 6 months, just tuck it
into a cool, dark place (you can also keep your foil “lifter” to reuse too).
I hope you’ve enjoyed this video, please give it a thumbs up and subscribe if you have.
You’ll find the instructions on how to reheat the Pudding on Christmas Day in the description
box below. You can also find this recipe in my Gluten Free Christmas Holiday Festive Feasts
& Treats Cookbook, which is available as a paperback or Kindle book from Amazon, or as
an ebook from iBooks, Nook or Kobo. All the links to my book are in the description box
below too. I hope you’ll want to watch more videos in
my Gluten Free cooking series, like these ones here!
Thank you so much for your company. Please also let me know if you make this or if you’d
like to see a video of any other of my recipes and bye for now!