Saturday, 24 December 2011

Old Fashioned GF Christmas Pudding!

Once again I'm participating in a blog hop, this one is focused on festive favourites and is hosted by 84th and 3rd! I'm very excited to pass my contributions to this blog hop for the second time! My festive recipe is something that has been passed down from generation to generation in my family. My mother even has to make the famous puddings in the same bowl her mother and grandmother used, it's over 100 years old and fine china! It's like one of the bowls that people used to wash in, my grandfather who if he was alive would be nearly 92, and he as a baby was bathed in it! It's truly amazing!

Sweet Adventures Festive Favourites - Dec 2011

I refuse to carry it and am so scared when I help mum with my sister make the pudding, to stir the pudding on the off chance that I might crack or break this precious bowl! But mum insists that that is the bowl that we have to make the pudding in, for the rest of the year it's stored carefully away, wrapped in a towel, to ensure it doesn't get broken!

Last year, my first Christmas as a coeliac I didn't have the pudding. This year, I modified my great grandmothers recipe (she was the first generation to read and write), so it's highly likely that this recipe is much older and was passed down verbally, like we are doing now, with mother and daughters helping make the pudding and learning the special little tricks! That's why this recipe is so precious! It's a piece of my family history. So I didn't want to cook a pudding from any other recipe, I adapted this wonderful original recipe to be gluten free, so I could eat it! It was just a blending of flours and almond meal and I achieved the perfect balance! But the tricky part of the pudding is not the making, even though my mum made us do everything how her mum did! We made breadcrumbs from stale bread with our fingers, no blenders or mix masters, everything had to be done how it was done 100 years ago!

The hardest part of these puddings is boiling it constantly for 4-6 hours, constantly topping it up with boiling water, it must not come off the boil! Mum has cooked it on the barbeque, but there was problems with the wind, if you are cooking inside just be careful not to burn your stove top! I think grandma had the best idea, cooking in the garage on a camping stove!

It's not an easy recipe but is so moist, delicious and a real Aussie classic. My grandma and my great grandmother, used to put thruppences in the pudding, she did it when I was a child still! It originated from when people didn't have much money, so instead of spending copious amounts of money on gifts, like we do now, Christmas in my grandparents and great grandparents generations was more about spending time with family, having a delicious dinner and finally being able to eat this marvelous pudding that had been hanging in muslin cloth for weeks, the thruppences was the former currency in Australia, and getting these in your slice of pudding was your little present! Fortunately I still have thruppences but I didn't and wont be putting them in my pudding!

So from generations of my family I pass on to you a slightly modified gluten free version of this precious pudding! It's best to cook this about a month before Christmas, to let the flavors blended in, you can also freeze this marvelous pudding!

Traditional GF Christmas Pudding:

250g butter (leave out at room temperature)
 250g sugar 4 eggs (room temperature)
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup gf plain flour
1/2 cup potato flour
1/2 cup dry stale gf breadcrumbs (leave out, tear into tiny pieces and remove crusts
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup sultanas
 1/2 cup currants
60g mixed peel
 60g dates
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbote soda
1/2 teaspoon almond essence
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon lemon essence
1/4 cup OP or normal rum
3/4 teaspoon mixed spice (or if no mixed spice 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger)
1/4 teaspoon ginger
30cm calico cloth

Chop and soak fruit, essence, and rum for a min overnight (better for a few days). Sift flours and dry ingredients, add sugar, rub in butter (best with cold hands), until mixed through. Beat eggs well, until they are light and creamy and 3/4 of way up the bowl, mix in gradually to dry ingredients. Add fruit grudully, stirring well. Rub gf flour into cloth to cover about 8cm from sides, with more flour in the centre. Place cloth in a colander or bowl. Place mixture in centre of cloth, gather ends together and tie securely with string as close to mixture as possible, leaving a small break (1-2cm), to allow pudding to swell. Tie cloth and put in boiling water for 3-4 hours. Continue to add boiling water every 30 minutes, don't allow to boil dry. Puddings are best made a month or so before Xmas and can freeze. Wrap in glad wrap and finish off with a layer of foil. These puddings can store for months in the freezer and taste great 6 months later! Serve with ice cream and brandy custard, and you get to eat pudding just like everyone else! Im storing half in the freezer and half for Christmas day, the frozen half has actually shrunk, don't stress, thats what it is meant to do.

 Enjoy from my family a precious recipe to yours! I did notice when eating last night it was slightly crumbly, it tastes perfect tho! I'll play around with the flour combo next year and keep you all updated! Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!