If you saw our Stir up Sunday post, you’ll already have an idea of how to make a Christmas pudding, but if you are catering for vegans or someone with a food allergy, here’s a free from version for you
50ml orange juice
150g dried fruit
50g glace cherries
100g self-raising flour
3tsp mixed spices
75g dark brown sugar
100g vegetarian suet
For an optional brandy sauce –
800ml dairy free milk
100g caster sugar
You can pick up your ingredients at farmshops and delis across Dorset for local produce and ingredients.
Start off by placing the dates in a bowl and add half the orange juice. Put it in the microwave for a few seconds until the dates are soft. Remove and place in a bowl adding the remaining orange juice and brandy. Stir it well and add the dried fruit, treacle and cherries. Mix well and leave to soak – the longer you leave it the better, so you could do this the day before, but a few hours is fine.
Place the flour, spices, dark brown sugar, breadcrumbs and vegan suet in a bowl and mix well. Add the soaked fruit to the flour mix and stir well until all mixed.
Divide the mixture between your greased pudding basins, cover with a lid or parchment and foil tied with some string and place in your steamer or if you don’t have a steamer, you can use a large pot of water that has been covered.
Steam for around 1-1.5 hours or until risen and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Once you’ve made the pudding, you could make a brandy sauce if you like – though dairy free custards, creams or ice creams all work well but if you want some brandy sauce, here’s a recipe for you.
Dissolve cornflour in a little dairy free milk until you have a smooth paste. Put any remaining dairy free milk and caster sugar in a pan and bring it to the boil. Reduce the heat and keep stirring. Continue to stir until it has thickened, pour in the brandy and keep mixing until incorporated.
Serve on the Christmas pudding.