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OMS Christmas Pudding - Part 3 of a 4 Part Series

When the Overcoming MS team asked me if I could prepare an OMS friendly Christmas menu, the biggest challenge was how to make a Christmas pudding that is low-fat, dairy-free and egg-free. Here's what I came up with and I've got to say, it's good. Got the big thumbs up from all my family.

Ingredients:
Dried Fruit Mix - you can use any combination of dried fruit that you like - sultanas, raisins, currants, dates, apricots, figs, prunes, mixed peel, glace cherries or cranberries. I used 4 and 1/2 cups:
1 cup (150g/5oz) sultanas
3/4 cup (150g/5oz) raisins
1 cup (150g/5oz) currants
1 cup (150g/5oz) dried dates, chopped
3/4 cup (100g/3.5oz) dried apricots, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup orange juice +1/2 cup alcohol (rum, brandy) for soaking the fruit or for a non-alcohol pudding just use 1 cup of orange juice

Wet Ingredients:
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 green apples (125g,4.5oz), unpeeled and grated
1 cup orange juice - juice from 4 oranges, or use good quality juice
2 tablespoons EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups of self-raising (self-rising) flour
1 teaspoon bi-carbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 cup almond meal
2 teaspoons of mixed spice* (I used 1tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp allspice & 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Method:
Place all the dried fruit, lemon zest and soaking liquid in a glass bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to soak overnight or for a couple of days stirring regularly. The fruit should be lovely and plump. You can heat the mixture in a saucepan first if you like.

When your fruit is ready, grate the 2 green apples and add them to the mixture, together with all the wet ingredients. Stir well so the sugar dissolves.

Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir/whisk to combine. Sift the dry ingredients over the top of the fruit mixture. Gently fold the flour mixture into the fruit until it is combined.

Spoon the pudding mixture into a 2 litre pudding container until it is three-quarters full. I bought a carbon-steel non-stick pudding bowl with a lid that locks closed, and handles which makes it so much easier. I did cut a small piece of greaseproof paper to fit in the bottom of the bowl and lightly greased the sides with a little oil. If you have a pyrex/ceramic bowl you will need to make a water-tight lid and string handle for it. A link to instructions is on the blog. You can also make 2 x 1 litre puddings, and freeze one for next year.

Place the pudding bowl into a double steamer, or a large saucepan with a trivet or upturned saucer on the bottom. This stops the top of the pudding touching the bottom of the pan and burning. Pour boiling water around the pudding bowl until it comes halfway up the sides. Put the lid on the saucepan/steamer and simmer for about 4 hours. You will need to keep an eye on it and top up the water when needed. Use boiling water from the kettle.

Remove the pudding from the saucepan and leave it to cool in the bowl. If you want to eat it straight away, leave it to cool for 30 minutes before serving. Traditionally though, you would now store the pudding in the fridge for a month to allow the flavours to develop (make a new foil lid and string if you don't have a lidded pudding bowl). To re-heat the pudding, steam for another hour or so. Let it cool for 30 minutes and then serve with custard.

This recipe gives a rich dense pudding. If you want a lighter version, you could reduce the amount of dried fruit. You can also add some chopped or whole blanched almonds to the dry fruit mixture.

Vanilla Custard

2 cups Non-dairy milk - Soy, Almond, Rice, Oat
2-3 heaped tablespoons cornflour
3 tablespoons honey (to taste)
1 vanilla bean split, or 1 tsp vanilla paste/extract

Mix the cornflour with 4 tablespoons of milk until you get a smooth paste.
Heat the rest of the milk and the honey.
Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add both the seeds and pod to the milk. Continue to heat until it reaches a boil.
Add the cornflour mixture, and simmer gently for 1-2 minutes, then remove from the heat. Stir through the vanilla extract now if you didn't use a vanilla pod.
To get the yellow colour that egg yolks normally give the custard, soak a couple of strands of saffron in hot water and stir the coloured water through the custard, or add a sprinkle of paprika. Leave the custard to cool slightly or chill. Remove the vanilla pod before serving.

Custard Powder Method
Add 2-3 heaped tablespoons of Foster Clark's vanilla custard powder & 1-2 tablespoons honey or sugar to 2 cups of non-dairy milk and cook in the same way as the above recipe.
Ingredients of Foster Clark's custard powder is cornflour, sugar, salt, colour (curcumin, paprika) and natural flavour.

Christmas Cake
I had a little bit of pudding mixture left over, so I decided to make a mini-Christmas cake out of it.

I baked it in the oven at 150C/300F for about 30-40 minutes. If you made the whole mixture as a cake, you would probably need to bake it for around 1 1/2 hours. Use a small skewer to test if the cake is cooked properly.

I think this cake would be delicious with blanched almonds in it.

Full step by step instructions and photographs can be seen at The MS Foodie - http://stylishsettings.blogspot.com.au/ ... dairy.html

Cheers Kylie
Thank you very much, Kylie, for your efforts. Your website is a wonderful resource!
Cheers,

Sue

OMG December 2011 OMS January 2012 OMS Retreat March 2012 Benign MS Sep 2015
Two Very Mild Relapses since diagnosis. Copaxone May 2013 No new lesions on MRI since diagnosis
Thanks Sue. I really enjoyed preparing the OMS Christmas menu, but it was a lot of work. At least it will be easy when I do it for the second time on Christmas Day.
Cheers Kylie
I used to make a lovely golden christmas cake with tropical fruits (mango, papaya, pineapple plus sultanas and cranberries) simmered in white wine and left to swell overnight, also with ground almonds (almond meal). I stopped making it due to the butter and six whole eggs - but I will make it again using your OMS method Kylie!.... and report back....

And someone has posted this interesting comment about substitutions on our Facebook page post about your blog:
Great recipe. I made my Christmas cake with silken tofu and olive oil in place of butter and 10 egg whites instead of 6 eggs. Came up a treat....of course I had to test it.
Wendy

Diagnosis Dec 1998 OMS Feb 2010 Retreat Feb 2012
I made this pudding recipe and it was fantastic.
My glace cherries I had were home made as the ones I could buy had a nastey perservative in them.
Used all orange juice (no booze in mine).
I do not have a means to steam so insted I did as follows.
Made exactly half the christmas pudding recipe and used my silicone 6 muffin pan and the left over of that I put into the base of my 1lb silicon loaf pan.
I cooked the muffins for 50 minutes in a fan oven and the loaf pan for 1hr and 15 minutes at 150c. Being picky the muffins came out better looks wise but it all tastes devine.
Oh I also used a GF flour.

What can I say but they are truely yummy. Thank you for working out the recipe.
With it I also made a batch of roughly 1/3 dark brown sugar merangues.
Thankyou so much for coming up with this recipe. Loved being able to have pudding this year!!!
Was a hit with the family.on Christmas day!
Happy new year! :-)
Sal
I made the pudding this week, might freeze it for next Christmas. The left-over mix was delicious as four large Christmas cupcakes.
Cheers,

Sue

OMG December 2011 OMS January 2012 OMS Retreat March 2012 Benign MS Sep 2015
Two Very Mild Relapses since diagnosis. Copaxone May 2013 No new lesions on MRI since diagnosis
I am making it again now as had left over fruit and stuff to use
I am so glad to hear that you all enjoyed making the Christmas pudding/cake. My mum made it for the whole family on Christmas day and nobody complained. They even ate it with soy custard so I didn't have to make two lots of custard. I can't imagine Christmas without pudding, so I am thrilled that everybody ate it.

Another thing I have been doing to use up all the left over dried fruit is to make toasted muesli (granola). I'm still playing around with the recipe, but it tastes better than any of the store bought muesli, and without the fat.
I'm off to the beach for a week now. I love summer holidays.

Cheers Kaybe.
The Christmas pudding recipe looks yummy! I would love to make it but have always struggled to find sultanas etc without oil in them so I haven't bought any for a while. Do you use oil-free dried fruit and if so where do you get it from please? Or are you happy with 1% sunflower oil? I am in my first year of OMS so still getting the hang of things...

Thanks!
Hilary x
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