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Healthy Christmas Pudding - Gluten Free & Grain Free

 

I had a lovely follower message me the other day asking if I had a healthy Christmas pudding - ideally one that little ones could enjoy?! Do you know what I just happened to and in all those balls that I can never keep up in the air just literally had not got to putting in on the blog.

Ask you and shall receive right!

This version is just so me - gluten and grain-free, low sugar, an option for no alcohol and best of all......you guessed it = it has PUMPKIN! 

I have included my custard recipe but the real hero is the pudding so if you end up using a store bought one to save one of those balls I think that's ok! 

Remember an Xmas pudding needs a bit love!! So please read the recipe all the way through first! This one will take some time and the more you soak the fruit the better (think months!!). However it will still work well with some overnight soaking. This is why I have not put in the preparation and cook time!

Ingredients: 

Fruit Mix

1 cup of dates

200g mixed dried fruit

1/2 cup of port/sherry or orange juice for non-alcoholic 

1/4 cup maple syrup

Pudding

300g dates, chopped

1 tsp baking soda

4 eggs, separated

200g pumpkin puree 

2 cups almond meal

2 tbs coconut flour

1 tb tapioca flour 

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp all spice

2 tsp ground ginger

Coconut oil to grease

Brandy/rum for brushing (optional)

Vanilla Custard

300ml milk of choice

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 egg yolks 

2.5 tb tapioca flour

1/2 tsp salt

To Garnish

Fresh raspberries

Fresh mint leaves

 

 Method:

Fruit Mix Preparation (months prior or overnight)

Place dates in a bowl and cover with 1/2 cup of boiling water to soften. Leave for about five minutes. Place softened dates in a blender and purée.

In a sealable container place the dried fruit, alcohol or juice, maple syrup and puréed dates. Stir the contents of the container and place the lid on tightly.

Store in a dark, cool cupboard for at least overnight, or up to 6 weeks.  

To Make Pudding (on day or can be frozen ahead of time)

Place the dates in a bowl, add 1/2 cup boiling water and baking soda. Soften for about five minutes.

Place the dates including the liquid in a blender and pulse until a purée forms.

Place the egg whites into a kitchen stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk the egg whites on medium/high until medium peaks form.

Add the puréed dates and continue to whisk. Add the egg yolks and whisk for 1 minute. Add the mashed/puréed pumpkin and whisk in.

Lightly whisk the almond meal, coconut flour, tapioca, baking powder and spices together until combined. Add the dry mixture to the eggs and stir in until combined. 

Add the fruit mix to the mixture and stir in until combined.

Take a 2 litre (8 cup capacity) pudding bowl and grease the sides of the bowl with coconut oil. Place a small piece of baking paper on the bottom of the basin and grease it also.

(I use a pudding steamer for ease here).

Pour the mixture into the pudding bowl, smoothing the top for a flat surface. Place another piece of baking paper on the pudding and screw on the lid. Place the pudding bowl inside a large saucepan, sitting it on top of a trivet or small plate.

Pour water into the saucepan, ensuring it comes 3/4 of the way up the edge of the pudding bowl. Bring the water to the boil and simmer on medium, with lid on, for 6 hours. Make sure the water is bubbling around the pudding. Check the water levels regularly to ensure that they are 3/4 of the way up the edge of the pudding bowl. Check the pudding after 6 hours, and if not completely cooked through, cook for a further 30 minutes. The bottom of the pudding (the top part of the pudding basin) is the last part to cook through.

After 6 hours (or when the pudding is cooked through) remove the pudding bowl from the saucepan and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and run a knife around the edge of the pudding to ensure it can be easily removed.

Invert pudding onto a serving tray. Brush the pudding with the alcohol if desired.

 

Vanilla Custard

Place the milk and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to near boiling point over low/medium heat.

Place the egg yolks, maple syrup and tapioca in the kitchen stand mixer (or use an electric hand whisk) and whisk on medium until pale and thick. This may take 3-5 minutes.

With the whisk still on, gently pour the almost boiling milk mixture into the bowl. Do this by pouring the hot liquid down the sides of the bowl. Return to the combined mixture to the saucepan and whisk continually over medium heat until boiling. Continue whisking the boiling mixture for 1 minute.

Pour the custard into a heat proof bowl and allow to cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

Who says you can't have your cake (pudding) and eat it too! Happy Christmas baking! 

More Xmas inspired recipes in my cookbooks and be sure to check out Dr Julie's Kitchen for other healthy, easy goodies!

x Dr Julie

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