Inspiration for my column often comes from my restaurant clientele. This week is no exception, as three unrelated customers all asked if I could repeat my quick and gluten-free Christmas pudding recipe.
Over the years, we have begun to eat less as well as seeking a healthier diet.
Christmas is no exception, and although most of us will eat a hearty lunch on the day itself, I don't think too many are able to get stuck into the Christmas pud, without suffering afterwards.
This recipe, designed for those with wheat allergies, has surprising results.
In fact, my friend Nick, who watched a demo of the dish I did some years ago at the BBC Good Food Show, has used the recipe every Christmas since.
He says it's the only Christmas pudding that doesn't give him indigestion!
(Being in the wine trade, I'm sure that the Champagne, Burgundy and Sauternes, have nothing to do with his discomfort!)
Quick Christmas pudding
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
100g/4oz unsalted butter, soft
100g/4oz/ soft brown sugar
100g/4oz clear honey
100g/4oz fresh figs, chopped
150g/6oz chopped almonds
6oz dates, pitted
100g/4oz stem ginger, chopped
1 apple grated
200g/8oz macaroon or amaretti biscuit crumbs
100g/4oz mixed peel
juice of half lemon
1 tsp mixed spice
2 tbsp brandy
Method 1) Whisk the soft butter and sugar together, then gradually add the beaten egg. 2) Mix all the other ingredients and combine well. 3) Spoon into greased dariol moulds and bake in a moderate oven in a bains marie (water bath) covered with foil for 1 hour.
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