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Traditional but Free-from Christmas Pudding

This is a delicious traditional recipe which makes a large pudding. It will serve 6-8 generous helpings.

It is free from gluten, wheat, eggs, dairy, nuts and soya.

You will need a 2pt pudding basin, greaseproof paper, tinfoil, string, large saucepan and plenty of time. Making it is easy – it’s just a simple assembly of ingredients - but the mixture takes a night to mature and most of a day to steam.


50g prunes

50g apricots

125g raisins

125g sultanas

75g currants

50g mixed candied peel

100g gluten free bread flour blend, white or brown (We like Doves Farm)

100 g caster sugar

2 tsps mixed spice

grated rind and juice of 1 orange

grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

50 ml sunflower oil


Chop the prunes, apricots and candied peel and mix with the raisins and sultanas in a large bowl.

Add the sugar and mixed spice and sift in the flour. Add the finely grated rind of the orange and lemon and gently stir all together with a wooden spoon.

Mix in the oil and the juice of the orange and lemon. Stir well and leave to stand overnight. This will make the fruits plump and allow the spices to develop their flavour but if you’re pushed for time you can leave the mixture to stand for as long as you’ve got but for a minimum of 2 hours.

The following day, grease the inside of a 2litre pudding basin with butter or your choice of dairy-free spread, stir the mixture again and spoon it in, pressing down firmly to fit.

Cover the bowl with a large circle of greased greaseproof paper, making a pleat in the middle so there is room for the pudding to expand. Then cover with tin foil, tucking it in under the rim of the basin. Tie a length of string round the rim of the basin and across to make a handle, so you can lift the pudding in and out of the pan in which you are going to steam it.

Place the pudding basin in a large saucepan and fill with water until it is half way up the basin. Put the lid on, bring the water to the boil then reduce the heat and steam in gently boiling water for 6 hours. You can reduce this time if you use a pressure cooker. Follow the instructions for timing.

Carefully remove the pudding and allow to cool. Remove the foil and greaseproof paper and replace with fresh. Make new handles. Store the pudding somewhere cool.

On Christmas Day place the pudding basin in a large saucepan and fill with water until it is half way up the basin. Steam in gently boiling water as before for 2 hours.

Remove and carefully remove the foil and greaseproof paper. Turn the pudding out onto a serving plate.

Serve warm with Rum Sauce or Brandy Butter. 

Tester’s Tips

• This recipe will also make 6 or 8 individual puddings. Grease the insides of 6 mini pudding basins or 8 ramekins and follow the method as for the single pudding but only steam for 1 hour initially, followed by a 30 minute steam on Christmas Day.

• Remember, dried fruits (particularly apricots) often contain sulphites as preservatives. Check the labels carefully if you have sulphite allergy.