For those of us ‘Brits’ who love our Christmas Pudding and those of you that know that Real Christmas Pudding and Christmas Cake are wonderful. Recipes for real custard and rum or brandy butter at end.
Photo of various Christmas goodies from appearance on NH’s ABC station. Christmas Pud is light colored with silk holly on the top.
Gluten Free Christmas Pudding 4
GLUTEN FREE CHRISTMAS PUDDING BUT TASTES SAME AS WHEAT BASED
1 large for about 12 people, or 4 x ¾ lb minis.
I always made homemade Christmas pudding and mincemeat in England, following in my mother’s footsteps. She mixed her puddings in a huge preserving pan and my father had to be on hand to stir the pudding as this was before Kitchen Aids (or English equivalents made it into ordinary homes). BTW, there is actually a day known as ‘stir up’ Sunday in September, when one traditionally made the Christmas puddings with fresh apples, fruits and spices and allowed puddings to mature for Christmas. This is the pudding I made December 2006, then annually after. I had filmed a show on Christmas traditions- food and everything – so I thought I really should make a real pudding, not just use the tiny, exorbitantly priced pudding I bought at an imported English goods shop. These quantities are not written in stone. You can play with them slightly. In England we would have used dark raisins, golden raisins (sultanas) as well as currants (tiny, dried up raisins in my opinion). I used what I liked and what I had. But – craisins, pineapple, mango while good, really don’t belong in a traditional Christmas pudding. I don’t care what those fruit cake blends say on the label. And I don’t buy the blends. It should really be fruit held together with eggs and suet (grated beef lard-I substituted grated butter as Atora suet is not readily available in US and UK comments say suet is often NOT gf) with spices. This doesn’t have any flour and very little sugar compared to most recipes. Some quote a pound or so of sugar. This is not over sweet, so for some, you might want to add possibly another ¼ cup brown sugar. Even with brandy butter on top , you might want it sweeter. The dried fruit, cherries and orange and lemon peel in total should weigh one pound. For those of you without scales, do the math from buying containers of dried fruit etc. 16 oz is One pound. I only make Christmas puds now in December since you can’t always get the ingredients earlier in US.
- 1 stick (4oz, 125 g) of butter, frozen and then grated to be like shredded cheese in food processor or on box grater. Separate with your fingers into shreds not clumps.
- ¼ c/2oz/60 g packed light brown sugar (soft brown sugar in UK)
- 4 oz/125 g golden raisins (sultanas in UK)
- 4oz/125 g dark raisins – I used Muscat raisins, fatter and plumper, that I had in the cupboard.
- 4 oz/125g dried apricots, cut, scissored or processed into small pieces.
- 2 oz/60g glacé cherries, cut small, not Maraschino cherries, they’re not the same.
- 1 oz/30 g candied (glacé) orange peel, should be already chopped small – Freeze remainder
- 1 oz/30g candied lemon peel (glacé) (not citron) should be already chopped small – freeze remainder. I couldn’t find lemon peel this year, only candied orange peel in Christmas foods section of larger supermarket, so don’t fuss and don’t keep searching for candied lemon.
- 2 granny smith apples or Bramleys in UK with a bit more sugar, washed, cored and chopped or grated small, no need to peel.
- 3 extra large or 4 large eggs
- ¼ c (2 fl.oz/60 ml) sherry (I use Taylor’s Golden sherry)
- ¼ c (2 fl.oz/60ml) brandy – or use mix of rum, brandy, gf hard cider, sweet wine, anything you want as long as you are able to drink it. The gluten would still be there after baking if you used a regular beer for example.
- ¾ c (3 oz/90g) chopped nuts – I used sliced almonds
- 1 tsp (5 ml) gf vanilla extract or almond extract
- 4 oz/125g SOFT white breadcrumbs – I used a soft Udi’s gf bagel. A bag of 4 Udi’s bagels is 14 oz, so one is 3+1/2 ounces which is sufficient. If you have leftover gf bread you don’t care for but doesn’t have a strange flavor then use that. Use food processor to make breadcrumbs.
- 2 tsp/10ml Penzeys cake spice (or pumpkin pie or apple pie spice or Trader Joe’s pumpkin pie spice (about $1.99 for 1.8 oz compared to silly tiny containers in grocery stores) – UK mixed spice)
- Good grating of fresh nutmeg. (about 1/8 of a nutmeg)
- 1 large carrot peeled and shredded – optional, I always used one in England.
- Grated rind/zest of a washed lemon
- Grated rind/zest of a washed orange.
1. Put all the ‘dry’ ingredients in a large bowl (I use 8 cup/2 ltr pyrex batter bowl and it’s nearly full) and mix well.
2. Whisk eggs into brandy, sherry etc and stir into dry ingredients. Mix should just drop off a spoon, but will not look as wet as a regular cake batter.
3. Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight. Next day, stir well (can be some liquid on top) and transfer into greased basin for steaming. I thickly grease basin/s with butter. (look at photo of raw batter)
Gluten Free Christmas Pudding 1
4. This quantity made 3 lbs (about 1+1/3 kg) raw mix and about 2/3 filled a 3 qt (3 ltr) stainless steel bowl approximately 9” (22cm) across the top and 4-5” (10cm) high. You can divide mix into 2 smaller bowls, or make less mix in total. It doesn’t rise in the bowl, so you don’t need to worry about it overflowing. You can use Pyrex/Anchor Hocking glass bowls that say they are safe for oven.
My English books start with steaming a small pudding for 4 hours and larger puddings for up to 9 hours.
One book said to work on 2 hours steaming for each 1 lb of raw mix. That would have meant steaming pudding for 6 hours. I put large pudding on to steam in large stock pot at 7.30pm and turned it off at midnight, and left it standing in boiling water cooling down until morning. Tasted good to me.
This year the ones in the photo were this recipe but cooked in 4 x 10 oz /0.3l stainless steel pans. Filled, filling pressed down to compress. About ¾ lb/ 12 oz in each.
To steam large pudding: Take a piece of parchment paper/greaseproof paper in UK, twice the size of top of bowl with 2 inches extra paper all around, fold paper in half, grease middle of paper with butter, pleat a fold into paper, place on top of bowl, cover with piece of foil and tie both in place with string. (see photo of paper tied on top of pans)
Gluten Free Christmas Pudding 3
I used my pasta pot with pasta colander insert for the large puddings and roughly half filled pot with boiling water. Place pudding in colander, make sure water comes at least half way up side of xmas pudding bowl, bring to a boil, cover, reduce to simmer and simmer for a long time (6-8 hours). You can lift the colander out of the pan to check water level so pan doesn’t boil dry. Once cold, remove paper and foil and replace with fresh paper and foil, refrigerate until xmas and then steam for about 2 additional hours.
Go to http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/videos/1060/steaming-a-pudding for a video on how to use the parchment paper and foil to cover basin for steaming.
To oven steam smaller puddings: The ¾ lb puddings – Cover puddings same as large pudding. I put three in a casserole skillet with well fitting lid and one in saucepan with lid. (see photo above). Make sure boiling water comes at least half way up side of xmas pudding bowls (oven safe glass or stainless steel not plastic bowls). I put saucepans with puddings, water and lid in 300* oven and steam baked for 3 hours. Make sure water doesn’t evaporate, keep the lid on.
If you have a large enough slow cooker/crock pot, you can reheat it in slow cooker on Christmas Day and save yourself stove top space. Just put pudding in there with water first thing and leave it to steam all day on low! Always keep an eye on the water level and top up with boiling water if necessary.
I was checking on line for how long to cook smaller puddings. From Delia Smith, she seems to say 4 hours for this years smaller puddings. Someone else says leaving them to mature makes them darker. Some only use raisins for naturally very dark. Mine are quite a light golden brown. I found this post on cooking from raw in a slow cooker. Timings for that vary. They all quote cook on High.
“I hope this helps, I cooked my puds in a slow cooker and I’ve been told that it uses electricity equivalent to a light bulb my cooking was a little different than in the instructions as my puds were done in pint pudding basins with this being the first time of cooking them this way so I was worried they wouldn’t be cooked properly so I cooked mine for 12 hours each pudding, I put them in at 8pm and took them out at 8am so cooked while we were in bed and I must admit I was very sceptical but after taking off the greasproof paper and foil the first one looked absolutely gorgeous. Anyway hope this helps someone.
Make pudding to your usual recipe and place in pudding bowl, put the pudding in the slow cooker, pour in boiling water, to about 2/3 up the side of the basin and then cover and leave. It will not boil dry or spoil. If bowl is slightly too tall for the lid on cooker to fit properly, cover the top of the cooker and the pudding with a sheet of foil and tuck it under the rim, then put the lid on top to weight it down. A 2 pint/1 litre pudding takes about 13 hours to cook on ‘high’. Smaller ones would need to have less time. ‘
I would do the 12 hours + but do it during the day while you are at home, just to be able to keep an eye on it. You don’t want anything going wrong after paying out for all the ingredients. .
This is adapted from Jacques Pépin’s book “Jacques Pépin Celebrates’.
Yes, this is not a sauce for everyday, calories etc but it tastes far superior to the packets of cooked vanilla pudding that it will become your go to sauce for special occasions.
Crème Anglaise – proper pouring custard for over pies
- 2 cups half and half – less fat than single cream in UK
- 4 tablespoons sugar – divided
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch (cornflour in UK)
- 3 extra large egg yolks or 4 large yolks – keep the whites for meringues etc.
Smaller quantity and slightly thicker
- 1 c half and half
- 1 Tbsp gf cornstarch – I use Argo labeled gf, non GMO and aluminum free
- 4 tablespoons sugar – divided
- 1 large egg (just egg yolks gives richer flavor and color but you need to use up egg whites.
- ¼ c cold heavy cream
- 1 tsp gf vanilla extract or other liqueur you can tolerate eg brandy, rum, orange liqueur.
1. Stir together the half and half, 2 tablespoons sugar, and cornstarch together in a non stick saucepan until well blended, bring slowly to the boil and let cook for 1-2 minutes until mix thickens slightly.
2. Whisk egg yolks and 2 tablespoons sugar together until smooth. Pour the boiling liquid onto the egg mix rapidly , whisking all the time and it will thicken more as you do this. Whisk rapidly and continue whisking for 5-10 seconds after you add hot liquid, this should be enough to cook custard with eggs. Or give just a few seconds in microwave at lowest power in a microwave safe bowl. If hesitant, check temperature of custard with an instant read thermometer, you want it to reach above 160* if you have any concerns about the safety of the eggs/salmonella. But be aware, the custard can easily curdle if you cook it to that heat. Stir in vanilla and cold cream (for small quantity). Strain through a fine strainer if slightly lumpy and serve.
Rum or Brandy Butter
- 4 oz/125g of very soft unsalted butter
- 4 oz (2/3 c) light brown sugar or powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp/45ml rum or brandy
Put butter and light brown sugar in food processor and run until very creamy , slowly add in as much brandy or rum as you like. Scrape into container and refrigerate until wanted. Let soften at room temperature and serve dollops with Christmas pudding.
Or using hand mixer , whisk together butter and powdered sugar to light fluffy frosting. Slowly add in as much brandy or rum as you like. Scrape into container and refrigerate until wanted. Let soften at room temperature and serve dollops with Christmas pudding.
Heat brandy or rum in small pan, put reheated Christmas pud on heat proof plate with a rim , turn off lights in dining room, pour brandy over cake in kitchen and carefully light brandy without putting your face or hair in neighborhood of flames. Carefully carry into dining room. Do this at your own risk, and keep children and pets out of the way.
Above all, enjoy with family and friends.