I have made this gluten and dairy free recipe for the last 3 years – it’s delicious. The fruit and almond flour provide all the sweetness you need.

You can make it in advance of Christmas but you must steam it before you store it. The batter can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours before steaming and then kept in the refrigerator or a cool dark place before reheating.

Preparation time 30 minutes

Cooking time approximately 5-8 hours


125g soft dried apricots, pure unsulphured ones are darker in colour and taste better, chopped into the size of currants
100g soft agen prunes, chopped into currant size
400g mixed fruit
3 tbsp brandy
Grated zest & juice of 2 oranges
2 tsp mixed spice
50g chopped almonds
100g coconut oil
2 large Free Range eggs, beaten
150g almond flour


Stage one

  1. Place all the fruit in a large bowl. Pour over the brandy, orange juice and zest.  Mix well and cover the bowl with cling film.  Leave overnight to marinade.

Stage two

  1. The next day, add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  2. If using a pudding steamer, grease the basin and fill with pudding mixture. Fasten the lid.
  3. If using a pudding bowl:
    1. Grease a 1.2 litre pudding basin and line the base with a disc of baking parchment. Spoon the pudding mixture into the basin.
    2. Cover with a pleated piece of greased foil (the fold allows for expansion), with the greased side towards the pudding. Fold the foil over the edge of the basin and tie with kitchen string so no steam can escape.  Make a string handle to lift the hot basin out of the pan more easily.

Stage three

  1. Place the basin in a steamer pan over a saucepan filled with cold water OR place an upturned heatproof saucer in the bottom of a deep saucepan and stand the basin on top. Pour cold water into the saucepan so it comes halfway up the basin.
  2. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 hours for a light pudding and 8 hours for a darker one. Check the water level regularly and top up with hot water as necessary to prevent the pan from boiling dry.
  3. Allow the pudding to cool, then discard the foil and replace with a new one if using a pudding bowl. Refrigerate for up to 1 month or freeze for up to 3 months.
  4. To reheat, steam or simmer in water for 1.5 hours until piping hot.
  5. Turn out onto a plate and serve with cream or custard. I think it’s lovely served with coconut cream if you’re avoiding dairy.