This is a lighter, suet free version of a pudding my mum used to feed her rapacious brood. You can also add mixed spice for extra festive cheer.
First, make the mincemeat (500g)
You will need:
70g dried apricots (chopped)
20g mixed peel
30g dried dates (chopped)
30g dried figs (chopped)
50g gluten free vegetarian suet
80g apples – anything you have, we use a mixture of cooking and eating apples peeled, cored and grated
juice and rind of half a lemon
juice and rind of half an orange
50g ground almond
Make the mincemeat ahead of time. It will keep for months and the longer it’s made the better the flavours will be. Throw it all into a bowl and mix well, store in an airtight jar in a cool dark place. Use the leftover mincemeat for your seasonal mince pies.
You will need:
almond oil, for brushing
5 large eggs, separated
150g caster sugar (superfine)
finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
100g mincemeat (see recipe above, alternatively use a shop bought luxury mincemeat)
homemade cider brandy butter or vanilla custard to serve
How to make
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Brush an 18 cm/7 in round pudding basin liberally with almond oil.
Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and thick. Stir in the lemon zest. In a separate large, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
Stir the mincemeat and juice into the yolk-and-sugar mixture. Fold in the egg whites using a rubber spatula or large metal spoon, until evenly combined, taking care not to knock out the air. Pour the mixture into the pudding basin.
Bake for 30 minutes, then cover with a disc of baking parchment and cook for a further 10 minutes, until just firm to the touch but still slightly wobbly. A flat cake skewer will come out clean but moist when the pudding is ready.
Leave to cool slightly, then loosen the sides with a palette knife and turn out onto a plate. Serve with homemade cider brandy butter or vanilla custard.