I can’t quite believe am managing to get this post done with all that’s going on in the house and its gone 1am but I made this, and even though I say so myself, it tasted great, so wanted to share the recipe.
Tris Strover at Tootsie’s nursery kindly gave me his Christmas Pudding recipe way back in 2011. He does all the cooking for Tootsies, and has won the Nursery World Food Award twice, and deservedly so. Anyway it’s one of my most popular posts, this time of year, funnily enough.
I’ve tried making it with gluten-free flour this year but it didn’t quite work. Maybe it’s because I didn’t take the crusts off the bread I used to make breadcrumbs. Anyway, moving on…
I’ve come up with grain-free, alcohol free version. Why do we think it’s ok for kids to eat food with alcohol in it? If you’re eating this and think you might miss the alcohol, have a glass of something with it.
Anyway Merry Christmas!!!
Gluten free, alcohol free Christmas pudding
You will need…
1 lb pudding basin
Cotton or muslin
String or wool
50g candied peel
100g prunes, chopped
50g cranberries or natural glacé cherries
50g flaked almonds
zest and juice from one clementine
150ml maple syrup
90g ground almonds
3 medium sized eggs
level teaspoon mixed spice
level teaspoon cinnamon
level teaspoon baking powder
125g gluten free vegetable suet
1 apple peeled and chopped into small pieces
Mix together all the dried fruit in a bowl.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl.
Add the clementine juice, zest and maple syrup and mix well.
Add the suet and again, mix well.
Add the dried fruit, almonds, spices, baking powder and ground almonds and mix through very well.
Pour into the pudding basin.
Cut a piece of greaseproof paper to fit just over the top of the pudding.
Cut a piece of muslin or cotton sheet to size cover the top with it, large enough so it falls below the rim where you tie the string around it.
Once you have tied the string around the basin, make a handle over the top using two pieces of string, going across the middle from one side to the other, this makes it easy to take the pudding out of the hot pan.
Steam for 4 hours keep adding water, as it can dry out. I had to put mine on a pastry cutter, in my steaming pan.
At the end of last Summer I was at Tootsie’s day nursery in Farnham – they were shortlisted for the Nursery World Food Award, they went on to win the award for 2011.
The nursery kitchen is run by professional chef, Tris Strover. The day that I visited, the menu included Jambalaya and rice, home made cornbread, carrot cake and apple and blackberry sorbet. The food was delicious, and all seasonal (local where possible) and organic. The nursery is applying the Soil Association’s Food For Life catering mark. So their ingredients are organic, and a lot is sourced locally and their fish is sustainably sourced. The nursery has vegetable plots and the children do cooking activities too.
Good nursery food (as with school) is not just about nutrition and standards. Its about taste, and creativity – something that Tris has in abundance.
Just in time for Christmas, Tris has sent me his child friendly (no booze) recipe for Christmas pudding that he has been making in the nursery. Its an adaptation of his great gran’s recipe, so all the measurements were in 4oz and 8 oz measurements – and have been converted to grams.
I’ve just made and it couldn’t have been easier, well I had a little help. So here is Tris’s Child Friendly Christmas Pudding recipe (for a 2 pint pudding basin):
¼ teaspoon mixed spice
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
57g self-raising flour
85g vegetarian suet
170g dark brown sugar, Tris recommends Billington’s
57g natural cherries chopped
113g mixed peel
85g dried chopped dates
Half a bramley apple, grated
40ml apple juice
Half of an orange zest and juice
170g grated carrot
170g grated sweet potato
2 medium eggs
A tablespoon of black treacle
You will need 3 Mixing bowls (1 large and 2 medium).
Sieve the flour with the spices into a medium bowl (mixing bowl 1), add the suet and the breadcrumbs and sugar.
Next carefully weigh out the cherries, currents, sultanas, raisins, mixed peel and dates into a large bowl (mixing bowl 2).
Grate the apples, sweet potatoes and carrots into mixing bowl 3, add the apple juice, eggs, orange and zest and gently mix with a fork, once mixed add the black treacle and mix again.
The black treacle can be quite mesmerising.
Add the all the contents of bowl 1 into bowl 2 and using your fingertips gently mix it all together thoroughly.
Once all combined add the contents of bowl 3 to the large bowl 2.
Mix all the ingredients gently together.
Then pour into a 2 pint basin, cover with foil or a muslin and tie round the muslin with string, tying the string over the top so you can lift it out of the saucepan when it’s hot.
Bring water to the boil in a large saucepan. Place the pudding in the pan and steam for 4 hours.
Take the foil and string off, allow to cool and cover with cling film loosely (in case the pudding expands slightly) and then put in a cool dark place until Christmas day.
When you want to serve, steam for an hour, again with foil on the top and string around it, and steam for a further hour before tipping out onto a plate to serve.
If you don’t think you have time to make one – think again, I made mine in-between getting the Christmas Tree from Cranborne Estate, making supper and decorating the tree, after a week of Nativity costume making, trips to London and Brighton, consultancy work and Christmas prep. I haven’t got round to making any mince pies yet, that’ll come nearer to Christmas. In the meantime, I have found some mini-ones in Waitrose that will do the trick, oh and the house is a mess…
Postscript added 11 November 2013: I’ve noticed lots of people are checking out this recipe. Would be great if you could let me have your feedback, especially if you make the Christmas pudding.