The recipe comes from MasterChef Winner and Coeliac UK Ambassador Jane Devonshire's new cookbook, Vegetarian, Hassle-Free, Gluten Free.
30g candied peel
100g chopped glacé cherries
zest and juice of 1 lemon
150ml good gluten free beer (not lager, the darker the better)*
2 tablespoons black treacle
1 tablespoon mixed spice
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
175g soft dark brown sugar
1 Granny Smith apple, grated (I don’t bother to peel)
100g gluten free plain flour or chestnut flour*
150g ice cold unsalted butter
2 large eggs
75g gluten free breadcrumbs (homemade is best or good shop bought that are puffy and big, not like powder)*
For the boozy brandy butter
150g unsalted butter
pinch of sea salt
50g icing sugar
50–75ml brandy, or to taste
You will need
1 x 2lb steaming basin (or 2 x 1lb basins; see Tip)
*Please check our online Food and Drink Information for suitable products
Place all the ingredients into a very large bowl and combine well. Cover with cling film and leave to one side for a day or two until you have the time for Day 2.
Grease the tin(s) with butter.
Place 25g of the flour into a flat bottomed bowl or plate (a pasta plate is perfect). Grate in a quarter (approximately 40g) of the butter, gently stirring it through the flour to coat, and then add to the Day 1 bowl and stir so that it’s evenly spread through the mixture. Repeat this process three times, until all the butter and flour is evenly combined throughout the mixture.
Add the eggs and breadcrumbs and stir in well, until all mixed through.
Spoon the mixture into your pudding basin and place into the steamer. I use a large lidded saucepan and I have invested in some pudding basins that have handles and lids. Put two layers of greaseproof paper on the top of the puddings and cover with the basin lid. If you don’t have a lid, make a lid of tin foil, then tie it tightly with string, passing the string around the bowl and over the top to make a cross so it acts like a handle.
Steam for 7 hours, making sure the water is topped up and does not boil dry. Then, remove from the steamer and uncover. Replace the greaseproof paper discs with fresh ones, replace the lid, and leave until the big day. (It will keep for months.)
To make the brandy butter, whip the butter, salt and icing sugar together until really light and airy and a light creamy colour. This will take a few minutes and you really do need to have a bit of patience to make sure it’s perfect. It’s much easier done with an electric hand whisk or stand mixer.
Once you are happy with the consistency of the whipped butter, slowly add in the brandy, continuing to whisk. Keep adding slowly being careful not to split the butter, until you are happy with the flavour. This can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.
On Christmas morning put the pudding on to steam again for at least 2 hours and up to 4. Make sure it does not boil dry.
Serve the Christmas pudding with the brandy butter.
Extract taken from Vegetarian, Hassel Free, Gluten Free by Jane Devonshire out 24th December 2020 (£22, Bloomsbury Absolute)
Photography © Mike Cooper
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