Servings: 20

Total time: 8 hours (plus resting. The pudding is usually made 3-4 weeks before Christmas)

My sister’s plant-based Christmas pudding and vanilla custard

This Christmas pudding is delicious - we recommend making it 3-4 weeks before Christmas for optimal flavour.

Course:

healthy dessert

vegan, vegetarian, oil free, refined sugar free, kid friendly, nut free, party food, entertaining

5.0

Ingredients

Pudding:

  • 3 cups rinsed dried fruit (e.g. one cup each of raisins, sultanas and currants)

  • 6 medjool dates, rinsed, pitted and chopped

  • 10 prunes, mashed and pitted

  • 2 ½ cups water

  • 2 tbsp brandy (optional)

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • Egg replacer: equal to 2 eggs (use 2 tbsp ground flaxseed meal mixed with 6 tbsp water)

  • 2 cups wholemeal self-raising flour

  • 1-2 tsp spices (eg: cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves)

  • 1 tsp vanilla essence


Custard:

  • 6 medjool dates, chopped

  • 4 tbsp cornflour

  • ½ tsp ground turmeric

  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

  • 1 litre soy or other plant milk

Directions

  1. Place dried fruit, dates, prunes, water and brandy (optional) into a large, lidded container and place it in the fridge for 24-36 hrs. The next day add baking soda, egg replacer, flour, spices and vanilla. Stir to combine.

  2. As a lining for the pudding mix: cut open two large oven bags to form single rectangular sheets and place them overlapping, and fold over once to seal, in a large pudding basin (you can use a stainless steel pudding bowl), then place pudding mix on the oven bags lining the inside of the bowl.

  3. Collect all the edges of the open oven bags (leaving room for pudding to expand) then tightly fasten the oven bag edges in the middle with string, then fold down the gathered edges before tightly covering the top of the pudding bowl with a double sheet of foil to form a good seal.

  4. Put a piece of string under the bottom of the pudding bowl and tie it in the centre at the top of the bowl; this helps you lift the hot bowl out to check water level throughout cooking.


Steaming in a saucepan:

  1. Place foil-covered pudding bowl in a large saucepan with enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the bowl. Place a low metal vegetable steamer on the bottom of the saucepan so that the pudding bowl is slightly elevated. Cover with a tight-fitting saucepan lid, replenish boiling water as necessary during cooking time. Steam for minimum of 4-5 hrs. When cooled, remove oven bags from pudding and replace with fresh oven bags. Store pudding in the oven bags in the pudding bowl, in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.


On Christmas Day:

  1. Re-cover the pudding bowl with another double foil sheet to form a tight seal and re-tie string to enable easier lifting from the pudding bowl. Re-steam using the above method, for at least 2 hrs – the longer the better.


Make the custard:

  1. Soak dates in enough boiling water to cover for 10 minutes, drain.

  2. Use a blender or food processor to mix all ingredients together.

  3. Pour into a saucepan over medium heat and bring to low boil, stirring continuously until thick.

Variations

The cornflour in the custard can be substituted for tapioca flour as an alternative thickener; if using tapioca, a bit more is needed - approx 6 tbsp.

Chef's tips

As this is a calorie-dense Christmas treat, only a small portion is required.

Contributor

Jenny Cameron, Doctors For Nutrition Victoria Nutritionist and Lead Research Advisor

Jenny Cameron, Doctors For Nutrition Victoria Nutritionist and Lead Research Advisor

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