Brandied Fuzzy Plum Pudding Recipe

Star anise is a lovely, oft neglected spice which helps lift this gluten free and dairy free pudding to the ‘extra special’ category.

Plums picked in September, ideally Victorias, and steeped in Brandy can be used for this. Alternatively, splosh a bit of brandy into the roasting tin if you’re using fresh plums.

Suitable for: gluten free, dairy free, lactose free

Serves: 8

Gluten free Brandied Fuzzy Plum Pudding recipe


Amondi cookie dough

4 egg whites

400g/14oz ground almonds

280g/10oz granulated sugar

50g/1¾ oz ground brown flax seeds (linseed)

1 tsp orange oil

finely grated zest of two oranges

4 tbsp icing (confectioners) sugar

14 whole almonds

Amondi crust

250g/9oz amondi cookies (about 4 cookies)

3 tbsp almond oil (or rapeseed oil), plus extra for brushing

1 egg

1 egg yolk beaten

85g/3oz tapioca flour, plus extra for dusting

Roasted plums

400g/14oz (once stoned) plums cut into quarters

5 tbsp clear honey

2 tbsp brandy

finely grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed orange

2 star anise

Meringue topping

3 egg whites

1 tsp vanilla extract

85g/3oz granulated sugar

1-2 tbsp (skin-on) almonds, or hazelnuts, or both


To make the Amondi cookies, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Cut a piece of baking parchment to line the bottom of a large baking sheet. Put the egg whites into a large clean mixing bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until they form stiff peaks. Add the ground almonds, sugar, flax seeds, orange oil and orange zest and beat using an electric mixer at low speed until you have a sticky dough. Dust your hands with icing sugar and divide the dough into 14 equal portions. Roll into balls and roll these in the icing sugar, then place on the baking sheet. The cookies will spread as they bake, so make sure you leave plenty of space between them. Using the palms of your hand, squash each cookie to a disc about 1 cm thick. Place a whole almond in the centre of each cookie and push it in gently. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, until light golden brown on top and mid-golden underneath: use a fish slice to check the bottom of a cookie after 15 minutes. Leave on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. When cold, Amondi should be firm and chewy, but not hard.

To make the brandied fuzzy plum pudding, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Brush a 23cm/9 in round loose-bottomed tart tin with almond oil and dust with tapioca flour.

Blitz the Amondi cookies to crumbs in a food processor. Add the almond oil, egg and tapioca flour and blitz again, to form a soft pliable dough.

Dust your hands and work surface liberally with tapioca flour, then knead the dough briefly and form it into a ball. Roll it out to line a tin and press firmly over the base and a little up the sides of the tin. Don’t worry about it being a bit bumpy. Bake for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Brush with beaten egg yolk and return to the oven for a further 2 minutes. Put the tin on a rack and leave to cool.

For the roasted plums, put the stoned plum pieces into a roasting tin with the honey, brandy and star anise. Mix to coat the plums. Bake for 20 minutes, until they start to bubble. Drain the plums in a sieve and collect the juices; set aside. Or if using steeped plums add the star anise at the time of steeping, as far in advance as possible. Whizz half the roasted plums in food processor to make a puree. Spread this puree over the Amondi crust in the tart tin. Spread the remaining roasted plum pieces chunks over the puree.

For the meringue topping, in a clean, large bowl whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add the vanilla, then whisk in the sugar a little at a time, until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.

Spoon the meringue over the plums – we like rustic-looking rough peaks. Scatter with whole almonds and bake for 10 minutes. The meringue peaks will be a light chestnut colour when cooked. To serve, drizzle over the reserved plum juice over the pudding.

We originally wrote this recipe for a feature in Pretty Nostalgic magazine.