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Frances Bissell's Low-fat Christmas Pudding

Author/Submitted by:
Servings: 8
Categories: Desserts / Low-Fat/Low-Cal / Puddings

230  grams  (8 oz, 4 loosely packed
    Cups) fresh wholemal
230  grams  (8 oz, 2 cups) EACH of
    Roughly chopped muscatel
    (black) raisins
    Sultanas (yellow raisins)
    And dried apricots
60  grams  (2 oz, 3/4 cup) crumbled
    Almond macaroons or
60  grams  (2 oz, 3/4 cup) chopped
60  grams  (2 oz, 1/2 cup) ground or
    Flaked almonds
1    Grated appple
1  tablespoon  Grated orange zest
1  teaspoon  Ground cinnamon
1  teaspoon  Ground mace
1/2  teaspoon  Ground cardamom (I had none
    So used cumin, which worked
    As well!)
1/2  teaspoon  Ground cloves (I used whole
    And put them in the food
    With the bread! Again, it
1/2  teaspoon  Ground allspice
2  tablespoons  Orange marmalade or candied
    Orange peel
    Juice of 1 orange
4  medium  Free-range eggs
6  tablespoons  Or 1 miniature bottle of
140  milliliters  (5 fl oz, scant 2/3 cup)
    Fortified muscat wine, port
    Or rich oloroso sherry

Put all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Put the marmalade, orange juice, eggs, brandy and wine in another large bowl, or in the blender or food processor, and beat until well blended and frothy. Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients. Mix until moist. Cover, and let sand for a couple of hours at least and, if possible, overnight to let the spice flavours develop. Oil or butter the pudding basin and spoon in the mixture. As it contains no raw flour, it will not expand very much during the cooking, so you can fill the basin to within 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) of the rim. Take a square of greaseproof or waxed paper, oil or butter it (I didn't bother, but did oil the basins. I don't have a 3-pint one, so used 1 2-pint and 1 1-pint one, 2 pints being ample for my family for Christmas dinner) and tie it over the top of the basin with string. Steam in boiling water for 5 hours. Allow pudding to cool completely before wrapping it, still in its basin, in fresh greaseproof paper plus a layer of foil. Store in a cool dark place. On Christmas Day, steam for a further two hours. Bissell/Levy suggest serving this with creme fraiche, rather than the traditional brandy butter (don't ask - not to be discussed on THIS mailing list!!!), and I do think this is one occasion when a LITTLE cream is permissible! Incidentally, the tradition is that every member of the family stirs the pudding mixture while making a wish.... Recipe typed by Annabel smith but taken from Paul Levy's "The Feast of Christmas) Converted to MM by Donna Webster

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