GLUTEN-FREE CHRISTMAS PUDDING

Yields1 Serving
 500 g mixed dried fruit
 75 ml brandy
 75 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
 50 g polenta
 1 small Bramley apple, peeled and coarsely grated
 75 g unsalted butter, frozen and grated, plus a little extra for greasing
 60 g ground almonds
 Grated zest of ½ orange
 Grated zest of ½ lemon
 2 level tablespoons black treacle
 ½ level teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
 1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon
 2 large eggs beaten
1

put the dried fruit in a large bowl and add the brandy and orange juice, then mix together well and leave for half an hour

2

add the polenta, apple, butter, almonds, zests, treacle and spices and mix well again; then cover with clingfilm and leave for an hour

3

add the eggs and mix thoroughly – the resulting mixture should be fairly wet, so add a little more juice if it feels dry

4

grease well a 1 litre pudding basin and put a small disc of buttered greaseproof paper in the base; spoon enough mixture into it to come almost to the top, then smooth the top; cut a circle of greaseproof paper large enough to fit on top of the pudding basin, then cut a piece of foil at least 7.5cm larger than the top of the basin and make a pleat in the centre; butter the circle of greaseproof paper and place, buttered-side down on top of the pudding, then cover the top of the basin with the foil; smooth the foil down the sides and firmly tie a piece of string around, then trim away any excess foil

5

pour 5cm water into a pasta saucepan which has its own colander; bring the water to the boil then lower the colander with the pudding basin in it into the saucepan; reduce the heat to a simmer and put the lid on; steam the pudding for 1 ½ hours

6

after this time, leave the pudding to stand for half an hour before carefully unmoulding it; serve with crème fraiche