75 ml Assam tea , cold (or earl grey if you prefer)
½ tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
2 ½ tbsp brandy
170 g soft dark brown sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
½ large cooking apple , grated
50 g toasted almonds , chopped
25 g rice flour
25 g cornflour
110 g fresh gluten-free breadcrumbs
1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
110 g gluten-free suet
2 large free-range eggs , beaten
1 large free-range egg yolk , beaten
butter , for greasing
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Recipe by Jennifer McLaughlin
This recipe either makes one large or two little puddings. If you have problems finding gluten-free suet, you can get it online. You can make this pudding well ahead of time. In fact, 25 November is Stir-Up Sunday, the traditional day to make Christmas puddings.
In a large bowl combine the dried fruits, zests and mixed peel, then add the citrus juice, cold tea, spices and brandy, and leave overnight for the flavours to develop.
The following day, add the sugar, golden syrup, apple and almonds.
In a clean bowl, place the rice flour, cornflour, breadcrumbs, baking powder, suet and a pinch of salt. Add in the beaten eggs until you have a smooth mix, then stir into the fruit.
Grease a 1.5-litre pudding basin and pour in the pudding mixture until it’s ⅔ full. Cover the top with a circle of greaseproof paper, then with 2 pieces of foil and secure with string.
Place an upturned saucer into the base of a deep saucepan. Sit the pudding on top of the saucer, and carefully pour in boiling water to come halfway up the pudding dish. Put the lid on and steam for 8 hours, topping up with water as needed – always keep it halfway up the basin.
Once steamed, remove the pudding from the pan, carefully turn it upside down and lift off the basin. Decorate as you like and serve with brandy cream, custard or ice cream.