Gluten-free, Refined sugar-free, Vegan
- 260g / about 2 very full cups dried fruit. I used a combination of currants, raisins, sultanas, cherries, cranberries & blueberries
- 10 dried dates , I used Deglet Noor but Medjool or any other kind will be fine. You could even use dried figs if you wanted to.
- 10 dried apricots
- 80mls / ⅓ cup brandy , or port, dark rum, a good sherry or a nice dark stout.
- 50g / ⅓ very packed cup all-purpose flour , to make gluten-free use certified gluten-free oat flour
- 65g / ¾ very packed cup bread crumbs , any type of bread will do but slightly stale, dry bread is best. Use gluten-free bread to make gluten-free
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 80g / ½ heaping cup coconut sugar
- 1 medium apple made into a puree
- 1 large orange , zest only
- 3 tablespoons aquafaba , the liquid from a can of chickpeas
- 75g / ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut oil
YOU WILL ALSO NEED:
- A 0.9 – 1 litre/2 pint/ 1 quart pudding basin , baking parchment, tin foil, some string and a pair of scissors.
Put the dried fruit, including the dates and apricots, into a large mixing bowl and pour over the brandy (or alternative alcohol/juice). Leave until the liquid has been absorbed by the fruit. How long it takes varies depending on the fruit you use but it will be somewhere between about 15 and 30 minutes.
While that is happening, place the pudding basin on some parchment paper and draw a circle around the bottom of the basin onto the paper. Cut it out and set aside. Then turn the basin over and draw another circle around the top of the basin. Cut that one out but cut a few millimeters inside the line this time so the circle will fit on top of the pudding batter when you put it in the basin. Set that circle aside too.
Make sure your Instant Pot is ready with the trivet insert inside. If you are using a steamer have the water simmering ready under the steamer, and if you are using a large saucepan, have a heatproof upturned saucer or something similar in the bottom of a pan so the pudding doesn’t come into direct contact with the heat when it goes in, and a full kettle boiled and ready.
Grease the pudding basin with some coconut oil and place the small circle in the bottom of the basin.
Once the liquid has been absorbed by the fruit, add the flour, breadcrumbs, baking powder, allspice and sugar to the bowl and stir really well to combine.
Then add the orange zest, apple, aquafaba, and coconut oil and stir well until combined.
Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin, smooth it out and top with the large circle of parchment paper, pressing it down all over and into the sides gently.
Cut a large rectangle of silver foil and a slightly smaller rectangle of parchment paper. Enough to go over the top of the pudding basin with plenty to spare. Then lay the foil flat on your surface and the parchment paper flat on top of the foil. Make a pleat in them both.
Cover the top of the pudding basin with the foil and paper making sure the pleat is in the middle, then press it down all around the basin as tightly as you can, then tie twice around the basin with string as tightly as you can.If you are using a plastic pudding bowl with a lid, I still recommend covering the pudding with a circle of parchment paper, putting on the lid, then wrapping the whole thing in foil.
IF USING AN INSTANT POT: (you will need to use a 6 quart IP or larger for this recipe)
Place the wrapped pudding inside the Instant Pot, resting on the metal trivet. Boil a kettle and pour hot water down the side until it is just under half way up the side of the bowl. It should not go above the foil level.
Put the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the vent is open. Set the Instant Pot to steam for 15 minutes. You will need to watch the clock for this part as the Instant Pot’s timer won’t count down for you.
After 15 minutes, cover your hand with a dish cloth and seal the vent. Press cancel, then set the Instant Pot to Manual (or pressure cook in newer models), High Pressure for 60 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally.
IF USING A STEAMER:
Make sure the water is simmering away well under the steamer insert . Place the pudding in the insert and cover with the lid. Cook for 3 hours.
IF USING A LARGE SAUCEPAN:
Place the pudding gently on an upturned saucer inside the pan and pour boiling water carefully down the sides so it reaches about halfway up the side of the pudding basin. It must not reach the foil.
Bring to a simmer but don’t let it rolling boil as you don’t want the water to get up under the foil. Cook for 3 hours.
When the time is up, carefully remove the pudding, then take off the foil and parchment paper. It should look cooked and a toothpick should come out clean when inserted. You can also just poke the middle with a finger and it should be firmish with a bit of bounce, like a cake is when cooked.
In the unlikely event that it isn’t cooked through you can return it to the Instant Pot/pan/steamer and cook it for a few minutes longer. Be sure to secure the paper and foil around it first though.
Either serve immediately or leave to cool completely, with the paper and foil removed but still in the bowl. Once cool, wrap the bowl again in fresh paper and foil before storing somewhere dark and cool.
Raw Vegan Christmas Mini Puddings