Friday, 8 January 2016

Fruit and nut Christmas pudding (GAPS, PALEO)

Pure fruit and nut pudding with date butter

I love a good Christmas pudding. For years I was reluctant to make it at home thinking it is too complicated and time consuming. We have tried several brands and more sub-categories within a brand. We had good ones and we had not so good ones. The gluten-free one was particularly bad, with a funny consistency and terrible aftertaste, had to throw out half of it. Making this Christmas GAPS-friendly gave me only one option (what is a Christmas without Christmas pudding?) to make it myself. How silly I was being afraid to make my own Christmas Pudding! Best ever!! I will never EVER buy a Christmas Pudding again!

Piece of pudding! Not the traditional make-it-months-ahead but better. Made only with dried fruit and activated nuts, enriched with butter (use ghee if you like). Heaven! Not only gluten- and grain-free but also egg-free and there is not a drop of man-made sugar in it (still high in sugar though!).

Instead of making a large pudding I have decided to make several small, individual-sized puddings. This way it is convenient to reheat as many as you need, and here is no reheating the same one over and over again, if you have a smaller family and a large pudding.

You will need (makes 6 x 200 ml single-serving puddings):
1 cup sultanas
1 cup walnut halves
150 g pecan nuts
juice and zest of 2 oranges
zest of a 1/2 lemon
250 g dried apricots, natural!!
a handful prunes, about 16 to 18 pieces
6 medjool dates
1 tsp ground cinnamon
185 g butter + extra for greasing (use ghee for PALEO)
a good pinch of Himalayan rock salt

1. Soak the sultanas overnight. Drain, rinse with fresh water and let it dry for an hour or two.
2. Soak the walnuts for 12 hours. Drain, rinse with fresh water, remove the loosened skins, and arrange on a baking tray and gently dry at 45 C overnight. Chop them up in a bender/chopper with an S-blade.
3. Soak the pecan nuts for 6 to 8 hours. Drain, rinse with fresh water and arrange on a baking tray and gently roast at 120 C until a bit darkened. Chop them up in a bender with and S-blade.
Tip: These steps are optional, if you do not want to spend time with it just use the sultanas, walnuts and pecans straight from the bag BUT soaking the sultanas will make them beautifully plumb and the nuts will taste fantastic.
4. Soak the medjool dates overnight. Pit them, remove the loosened skin, and with 8 tbsp soaking liquid blend into a creamy texture.
5. Finely chop the dried apricots and re-hydrated prunes (I love Crazy Jack's).
6. Put the soaked, drained sultanas into a pan. Add the chopped apricots and prunes, the juice and zest of the oranges, the lemon zest and ground cinnamon. Combine well then gently cook on the lowest setting, covered with a lid, for about 15 to 20 mins.
7. Add the butter and cook for further 10 to 15 mins, covered.
8. Add the chopped nuts and the date paste. Cover again and cook for further 2 to 3 mins. Then take it off the heat and let it rest covered for about 15 to 20 mins.
9. Grease six 200 ml ceramic bowls, ramekin dishes or glass bowls generously with butter. Scoop in the still warm pudding, press each scoop down, pack them tight.
10. Cut out 6 rounds from a baking paper and cover the puddings' tops. They should rest neatly sealing the pudding only and do not need to cover the edge of the bowl.
11. Let the bowl cool down then place them into the refrigerator, rest them overnight or a few days if needed.

For the DATE BUTTER you will need:
2 medjool dates
50 g butter, room temperature (use ghee for PALEO)

1. Soak the medjool dates overnight. Pit them, remove the loosened skin. Put them in a tall glass container with 2 to 3 tbsp soaking liquid and using a stick blender blend into a creamy texture.
2. Add the softened butter and blend until well incorporated.
3. Pack the sweet butter into silicone moulds and place the moulds into the freezer and keep them there until needed.

To REHEAT the pudding(s):
1. Take the pudding out of the fridge. Put the bowl in pan, add an inch or two of water, cover with a lid and gently steam for 15 to 20 mins, checking the water levels now and then, until completely heated through.
2. Serve with the sweetened butter on top. It will beautifully melt on the warm pudding! Enjoy!

To see the whole Christmas 2015 GAPS menu, please follow the link.

[i] For more GAPS recipe ideas please visit my GAPS recipes selection.

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