I have been working hard to bring this Christmas treat to you. It’s been a while since I have enjoyed some warm and spicy pudding that is the perfect finale to a festive feast. Perhaps you have been longing for a low FODMAP answer to the dried fruit laden dessert the way I have. I hope you enjoy this pudding…
And have I been enjoying some pudding? All in effort to refine this recipe, of course! And I needed to check how well it kept, too. But I think now is the time for me to stop taste-testing pudding (until Christmas day arrives) and just share this recipe.
I want to start by saying this is the sort of dish you need to keep serving sizes in mind. I don’t intend for anyone to go eating ¼ of this pudding all by themselves in one sitting; that wouldn’t be low FODMAP. This pudding is meant to serve at least 12 people, but I think you could even get 14 serves from it. And really, that is probably all you can squeeze in after whatever other yummy things you have eaten in your main meal.
Now that’s clarified, let me walk you through how I made my low FODMAP Christmas pudding.
The traditional pudding we are all familiar with is dense with dried fruit of all sorts of combinations. I have cut the quantities right back and simplified them to just currants, sultanas and raisons (see update below).
To make sure that the fruit is evenly dispersed throughout the pudding I chopped it finely. You will need to get your big knife out for this job; hold the handle with one hand and place your fingertips over the tip and chop through the pile of fruit, scraping it back to the centre and chop again.
The dried fruit then goes into a saucepan with the finely grated zest of a large orange, some orange juice, a little brandy and water, butter, and sugar. I have also included a small amount a dark chocolate for colour and to enrich the flavour; you won’t actually taste chocolate though. Gently this mixture is warmed until the butter and chocolate have melted, and then simmered for 6 minutes. A teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda helps to soften the fruit further.
After the fruit mixture has cooled it goes into a large bowl with the flour, spices and eggs. But I also have a couple of ingredients you may not expect. There is a grated carrot for some natural sweetness and moisture (think carrot cake) and fresh ginger to add to the warm spiciness that is oh-so-Christmas. Again, these ingredients don’t stand out to be individually noticed, but work in with all the others to create a delicious pudding.
This is a steamed pudding that uses a 2 litre pudding basin. To ensure the pudding turns out nicely after cooking I greased it by rubbing some cold butter over the inside and placing a square of baking paper on the base. My pudding basin has a lid but you could place a layer each of baking paper and foil that have a pleat folded in them over your basin, tying kitchen string around the rim.
I steamed my pudding in my new steam oven (have I mentioned how much I love my ovens??) but of course there’s the old fashioned way of placing the pudding basin on a trivet or upturned saucer in a large pot of boiling water. I find the side of an upturned flan tin serves well as a trivet. You will need to check the water level reaches halfway up the side of the pudding basin, topping up with boiling water from the kettle as required. If you have never steamed a pudding before, I recommend you watch this video.
The pudding can be eaten straight away or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in the fridge. Individual serves can be reheated in the microwave for 20-25 seconds on HIGH or the whole pudding for 10-15 minutes on MEDIUM.
I have made this pudding with spelt flour and with a gluten free flour mixof brown rice flour, corn flour and tapioca starch. Both are delicious but I do prefer the spelt version. The gluten free one would do well with almond meal added but I think this might add too much to the FODMAP content. I would like to experiment further with gluten free flour mixes, but there are only so many puddings I can make (and eat) at the moment. Please let me know if you try another GF flour mix that you are happy with.
There you have it friends, my low FODMAP Christmas Pudding. I hope it finds you happy and well this festive season. May you and yours enjoy this very special time of year with much love and laughter.
If you prefer to make a gluten free version, substitute the spelt flour with 1 cup brown rice flour +⅓ cup corn flour (starch) + 2 tablespoons tapioca starch + 1 teaspoon xanthan gum.
¼ cup (35g) each of currants, sultanas and raisons (see update below)
finely grated zest of 1 large orange
¼ cup (30ml) each of orange juice, brandy and water
½ cup (100g) brown sugar
50 g dark chocolate
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 ½ cups spelt flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 medium (100g) carrot, peeled and grated
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Grease a 2 litre pudding basin with butter and place a square of baking paper in the base.
Place a trivet in the base of a pot large enough to fit the pudding basin with lid on. Add enough water to reach halfway up the sides of the pudding basin and bring to the boil.
Finely chop the currants, sultanas and raisons together. Place in a medium saucepan with the zest, juice, brandy, water, butter, sugar and chocolate. Gently heat until the butter and chocolate have melted then simmer gently for 6 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Sift flour, baking powder and spices into a large bowl and add the fresh ginger, carrot, eggs and cooled fruit mixture; mix until evenly combined. Pour the pudding batter into the prepared basin and cover with the lid or baking paper and foil tied with string (click here for instructional video).
Place the pudding in the pot of boiling water and steam for 2 hours, topping up with boiling water as necessary (or if you have a steam oven, steam at 100°C for 2 hours).
Allow the pudding to stand for 10 minutes before turning out onto a serving plate.
Update: The new Monash University app lists raisons as high in oligo-fructans. When making this pudding you may prefer to substitute extra currants or sultanas, dried cranberries or bluberries.