27 Nov 2011

Stir Up Sunday Christmas Pudding

I rather enjoy tradition. Even more so when it comes to Christmas. As children my brother and I expected to open our stocking on mums bed, eating posh chocolate biscuits for breakfast. Even at 18 years old. Nowadays, I am creating new ones for our little family. For example, Jack and I both LOVE chipolatas wrapped in bacon and feel they are lost alongside the turkey and trimmings. So last year decided to make a feature of them in the Christmas meal with our chipolata starter and dips to whet our appetite for the main event.

That's the beginning covered, but to end our meal this year, I wanted something we could all eat together. A rich fruit pudding that was free from wheat, barley, rye, oats, eggs and dairy is what's required. I can’t imagine creating a Christmas feast for we three and Oliver missing out on my favourite sweet treats - and his first Christmas lunch! So for the first year ever I have made a christmas pudding and it is gluten, egg and dairy free. Our family recipe is laced with stout, breadcrumbs and flour and really doesn’t lend itself to easy adaptation. Luckily I found a great base recipe via BBC Food website. In my usual style I supplemented some of the dried fruits for what I had in the cupboard and on sunday I steamed my pudding for hours after each member of the family had a stir. This new tradition in my home is based on the Christian ritual from the opening prayer for Advent. It called churchgoers to ‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord‘  who then returned home to prepare for Advent with making puddings and mincemeat on what is now known as Stir Up Sunday.

I have to admit I didn't go to church. But I did stir things up a lot since I made my Christmas cake as well - also dairy, egg and gluten free. It now sits along side the maturing pudding waiting for its weekly glug of brandy.

Dairy, Egg and Gluten Free Christmas Pudding 
(based on the BBC Food recipe)

100g raisins 
100g sultanas 
50g cranberries
50g prunes chopped 
50g dried apricots chopped
25g dried mixed peel 
50g flaked almonds or, if you cannot eat nuts, sunflower seeds 
150g fresh pear, puréed in a food processor, with the skin on 
1 level teaspoon each of ground ginger and cinnamon
25g vegetable or meat suet
2 heaped tsp baking powder
100ml apple juice
50ml brandy
50g gram (chickpea) flour
50g rice flour

Mix all the dry ingredients together.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry fruit and mix well.
Fold in the flours very thoroughly
Spoon the mixture into a pudding basin and cover with 2 layers of greaseproof paper and secure with string or rubber band,
Put the basin in a deep pan, pour in water to halfway up the bowl, cover the pan tightly and simmer for 4-5 hours, checking the water level periodically.
Remove the basin and allow to cool. Replace the greaseproof paper and store in a cool larder.

To serve re-steam for 1-2 hours or microwave for 3-5 minutes.


Pig in the Kitchen said...

Ohh, I am SO behind with Christmas this year! I haven't made my pudding yet, groan. Thanks so much for your lovely comment over at mine. Good luck with your Xmas preparations...if you have a minute, would you pop over to mine and do a spot of wrapping??!!

Pig x

Abi (Adventures in Cake) said...

One of the lovely things about a baby arriving and starting your own little family (which often gets forgotten in the haze of the new baby craziness) is the chance to start your own family traditions at christmas. New family= new traditions

I totally agree about the sausages wrapped in bacon. Delicious beyond compare.