Vegan Christmas Pudding Recipe

This rich and fruity Christmas pudding tastes just as rich and indulgent as the original, yet it’s completely dairy- and egg-free, so suitable for vegans. Grated apple helps keep it moist, and it’s packed with all the traditional dried fruits and festive spices you would expect.
Serves 10 - 15 mins to prepare and 4 hrs to cook, plus soaking and cooling time - 294 calories / serving



Ingredients

200g mixed dried fruit
50g candied peel
100g dried figs, chopped
100g pitted dates, chopped
50g glacè Morello cherries, halved
100ml brandy (or orange juice)
100g vegetable suet
75g soft brown sugar
½ orange, zested
½ lemon, zested
85g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
1 apple, peeled and grated
40g breadcrumbs
1 tbsp black treacle



Grease a 1ltr pudding basin. Cut out a circle of baking paper and fit it into the base of the basin.

In a bowl, combine all the chopped dried fruit with the alcohol (or orange juice) and leave to soak for 2 hrs, stirring occasionally, to allow the fruit to soften.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the suet with the sugar and orange and lemon zest, using a wooden spoon. Then sift in the flour, baking powder, spices and salt, and stir to combine. Add the grated apple, breadcrumbs, black treacle and the soaked fruit along with its soaking liquid. Mix well until combined.
Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin, pushing it down with the spoon and smoothing the top. Cover with a large piece of nonstick baking paper, folded to give a double thickness, then pleated in the middle (to allow the pudding to expand). Cover this with a piece of foil, tie string around the basin to keep paper and foil in place, then make a loop of string to use as a handle to lift the pudding out of the pan after cooking.
Put an upturned saucer or small plate in the bottom of a large saucepan. Carefully stand the pudding basin on the saucer, then pour boiling water into the pan so it comes about halfway up the basin. The water shouldn’t touch the foil or it may seep into the pudding. Bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 4 hrs. Check occasionally to see if the water has boiled away and add more if necessary.
When the pudding is cooked, carefully lift it out of the pan and allow to cool for 15-20 mins. Turn out onto a serving plate and cut into slices to serve.

Tip: This pudding can be made up to a week in advance. Allow to cool completely, then remove the baking paper and foil. Re-cover with clean foil and store in a cool dry place until needed. Before serving, cover with paper and foil, then reheat as above in a pan of boiling water for 1 hr.
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