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Healthy Baked Christmas Pudding

By Teresa Cutter

Healthy Baked Christmas Pudding
Healthy Baked Christmas Pudding

What's great about it

This is a beautiful baked and partially steamed pudding that is scented with everything that is magical about Christmas. Orange and spice infused with notes of vanilla bean and apricot dance in your mouth and what I love about my pudding is that it's unbelievably light, making it the highlight of any Christmas gathering. This pudding is also flourless making it gluten-free and I've used the delicate crumbs from blanched almond meal in place of the usual flour mixture. The almond adds texture and moisture surrounding the plump moist fruit perfectly and it's a tad different to some of my earlier versions, as I've soaked some of the fruit in a little orange juice overnight. I've also used fresh pitted dates in place of dried dates, that seems to add more depth and deliciousness. You can enjoy this pudding warm with the perfect custard  or at room temperature with a dollop of Greek Style yoghurt.  

Ingredients

450g pitted fresh medjool dates

1 whole sweet orange -  including skin.

2 organic eggs

1/4 cup olive oil or good quality melted cultured butter

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract

1  ½ cups (250g) raisins

1  2/3 cups (250g) organic dried apricots, chopped

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

3 cups (300g) almond meal

2 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg

1/2  tsp ground ginger

pinch sea salt

Method

 

  1. Soak the raisins and apricots in the orange juice for a few hours or overnight - this will help them become plump and moist.
  2. Steam the whole orange for 1 hour until softened then cool.
  3. Preheat your oven to 160°C fan-forced  or 180°C (no fan).
  4. Lightly oil 2 x 750 ml pudding moulds and line with baking paper - alternatively if you're making individual puddings, lightly oil 12 x ½ cup dariole or pudding moulds.
  5. Combine dates and whole steamed orange (chopped) into a food processor.
  6. Process for about 30 seconds - 1 minute or until the dates have combined with the orange and a paste has formed.
  7. Add eggs, olive oil,  vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt and ginger.
  8. Process again until the batter is smooth and creamy looking.
  9. Transfer to a large bowl.
  10. Drain the orange juice from the soaked dried fruit and discard.
  11. Add sultanas, apricots, almond meal and mix well.
  12. Divide between pudding / dariole moulds.
  13. Place into a deep baking dish.
  14. Pour enough freshly boiled water to come half way up sides of pudding bowls.
  15. Cover with a layer of each baking paper and foil, pressing around edges of pan to completely seal.
  16. Bake  large puddings for 1 hr 30 mins.  Bake small puddings for 1 hour  10 minutes - test each to make sure they are fully cooked through before removing from the oven. The puddings should still be lovely and moist in the middle - but not wet or undercooked.
  17. Invert puddings onto a serving plate.
  18. Serve with Proper Custard or Cashew Cream with Tahitian vanilla or thick cultured Greek Style natural yoghurt. Enjoy

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