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In Roopa Gulati's suet-free Christmas pudding, vegetarians get to enjoy all the highlights of Christmas without compromising on any of the taste
Method1. Sieve the flour and spices into a bowl and stir in the breadcrumbs and add the sugar.
2. Rub the butter into this mixture until it resembles a rough breadcrumb texture
3. Stir in the sultanas, raisins, peel, grated apple and chopped dates.
4. Lightly whisk together the golden syrup, lemon rind and juice, eggs and brandy. Pour into the fruit mixture and stir well to combine everything together.
5. Lightly grease 2 x 500ml pudding basins and spoon in the Christmas pudding mixture. Fill to within about 1 cm from the top of the bowls.
6. Cover each pudding with a disc of greaseproof paper and secure with a double layer of foil, tied in place with string.
7. Steam each pudding for 2-3 hours, until they have darkened and are firm to the touch. To save time you can cook them in a pressure cooker for about 30 minutes.
Leave to cool slightly before turning out.
8. When completely cool, wrap each pudding in greaseproof paper and store in an airtight tin. This pudding tastes even better if given a month or so to mature after steaming.
9. For the brandy butter; beat the butter and orange rind until softened and gradually stir in the icing sugar, followed by the brandy. Don't add the brandy in one go, otherwise it might curdle. Turn the butter into a bowl and chill until ready to serve.
10. When you're ready to serve the puddings, return them to the pudding bowls and cover once more with greaseproof paper and secure with foil. Steam for about 45 minutes-1 hour, or until they have heated through.
11. Turn out the puddings onto a warmed platter and lightly dredge with caster sugar. Heat the brandy in a small saucepan and tip the pan towards the hob - the brandy should catch alight.
12. Pour the flaming brandy over the puddings and serve straight away with the brandy butter. Accompany with piping-hot creamy custard.
For the pudding
- 100 g plain flour
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
- pinch ground ginger
- 100 g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 100g dark brown sugar, preferably muscovado
- 150 g chilled butter
- 150 g sultanas
- 150 g raisins
- 50 g mixed candied peel, diced
- 1 apple
- 50 g chopped dates
- 50 g honey or golden syrup
- 1 lemon, grated rind and juice
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 60 ml brandy
For the brandy butter
- 2 tsp caster sugar, for dredging
- 4-6 tbsp brandy