This recipe was created by the talented UK Chef, Sandra Butler. She found herself recreating many classics when dairy stopped treating her well. Gluten-free was a frequent diner request, so she started adapting many of her recipes without gluten. This Christmas pudding was a holiday must, and one that she proudly shared with us. Since she is a chef, some of Sandra’s directions are quite relaxed, but we’ve clarified as much as possible!
Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Christmas Pudding from a British Chef
Christmas pudding is a dessert traditionally served for Christmas dinner in the UK. Unlike most US puddings, it’s a “set” dessert that’s bready and fruity, and often served by the slice. It’s sometimes referred to as plum pudding, even though it doesn’t contain any plums. Plums was a pre-Victorian term used for raisins.
Christmas pudding is frequently aged for a month or even up to a year. The high alcohol content prevents it from spoiling.
How to Serve Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Christmas Pudding
Chef Butler says she typically served Christmas Pudding with zabaglione or ginger custard. But to keep it dairy free, she uses other creamy or flavorful garnishes. You can serve this pud simply a garnish of fruit. Although, I recommend trying one of the following ideas to perfect your dairy-free gluten-free Christmas Pudding.
- Whip up some Brandy Butter with dairy-free buttery spread instead of dairy butter.
- Spoon on some thick Dairy-Free Cashew Cream.
- Drizzle it with your favorite cream substitute. In the UK, several brands of rice, soy, and nut creams are available in small, shelf-stable, aseptic packages.
- Serve it with a dollop of dairy-free whip or a scoop of dairy-free vanilla ice cream!
Special Diet Notes: Christmas Pudding
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian.
For nut-free Christmas Pudding, you can omit the almonds or substitute sunflower seeds.
- 2½ cups (340 g /12 oz) raisins
- 2 cups (255 g / 9 oz) gluten-free breadcrumbs
- 2 cups (255 g / 9 oz) gluten-free shredded vegetarian suet (can sub palm shortening, but results may vary)
- 1¼ cups (170 g / 6 oz) sultanas (golden raisins)
- 1¼ cups (170 g / 6 oz) currants
- 1 cup (170 g / 6 oz) candied peel, chopped
- ½ cup (70 g / 2.5 oz) blanched almonds, chopped
- ⅓ cup (70 g / 2.5 oz) glace cherries, chopped
- 2 heaped teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 heaped teaspoons pie spice
- ½ a nutmeg, grated
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 6 large free-range eggs.
- ⅔ cup (140 ml / 5 fl oz) Armagnac or brandy
- 3 tablespoons rum
- Grated rind and juice of 1 orange
- Grated rind of ½ a lemon
- Put the raisins, breadcrumbs, suet, sultanas, currants, peel, almonds, cherries, cinnamon, pie spice, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves in a large bowl and mix together.
- In a medium bowl, Whisk the eggs until fluffy and thickened.
- Stir the eggs into the dry ingredients. Add the Armagnac or brandy, rum, zest and orange juice, and lemon zest and mx together. The mixture should just drop off the spoon.
- Divide the batter between two 1-quart pudding basins and even out.
- Cover the basins with a layer of oiled foil, double folded in the centre, and secure with string.
- Stand the basin on an inverted saucer or a piece of foil folded 4 times, in a very large saucepan.
- Fill three quarters of the way up with water, cover with a lid or foil and steam for 6½ hours for a large pudding or 4½ hours for a smaller one.
- Top up with boiling water whenever necessary. When cooked, lift the basin out of the pan and allow the pudding cool.