With Roopa Gulati's suet-free Christmas pudding, vegetarians get to enjoy all the highlights of Christmas without compromising on any of the taste.
- For the pudding:
- 100g plain flour
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
- Pinch ginger powder
- 100g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 100g dark muscovado sugar
- 150g chilled butter, diced
- 150g sultanas
- 150g raisins
- 50g candied peel, diced
- 1 apple, grated
- 50g chopped dates
- 50g honey or golden syrup
- 1 lemon, grated rind and juice
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 60ml brandy
- For the brandy butter
- 100g unsalted butter
- 1 orange, grated rind
- 100g icing sugar
- 3 tbsp brandy
- For the flaming:
- 2 tsp caster sugar, for dredging
- 4-6 tbsp brandy
- When you're ready to serve the puddings, return them to the pudding bowls and cover once more with greaseproof paper and secure with foil. Steam for about 45 minutes-1 hour, or until they have heated through.
To make this steamed pudding, sieve the flour and spices into a bowl and stir in the breadcrumbs and add the sugar.
Rub the butter into this mixture until it resembles a rough breadcrumb texture.
Stir in the sultanas, raisins, peel, grated apple and chopped dates.
Lightly whisk together the golden syrup, lemon rind and juice, eggs and brandy. Pour into the fruit mixture and stir well to combine everything together.
Lightly grease 2 x 500ml pudding basins and spoon in the Christmas pudding mixture. Fill to within about 1 cm from the top of the bowls.
Cover each pudding with a disc of greaseproof paper and secure with a double layer of foil, tied in place with string.
Steam each pudding for 2-3 hours, until they have darkened and are firm to the touch. To save time you can cook them in a pressure cooker for about 30 mins.
Leave to cool slightly before turning out.
When completely cool, wrap each pudding in greaseproof paper and store in an airtight tin. This pudding tastes even better if given a month or so to mature after steaming.
For the brandy butter: Beat the butter and orange rind until softened and gradually stir inthe icing sugar, followed by the brandy. Don’t add the brandy in one go, otherwise it might curdle. Turn the butter into a bowl and chill until ready to serve.
Top tip for making Roopa Gulati’s vegetarian Christmas pudding
Turn out the puddings onto a warmed platter and lightly dredge with caster sugar. Heat the brandy in a small saucepan and tip the pan towards the hob - the brandy should catch alight. Pour the flaming brandy over the puddings and serve straight away with the brandy butter. Accompany with piping-hot creamy custard.