Gluten free rumpled plum pudding and a scary Christmas tin

The tins sat nestled amidst a cacophony of ancient kitchenware in an inner west secondhand shop. The search for some vintage tins had been going for months. These, in my opinion, fitted the criteria. A bit worse for wear and a tad unusual. One had tiny Christmas bells adorning the sides with an image of a child in a blue head scarf on the lid. A small concern lurked in the far reaches of my brainbox and I said to the proprietor ‘Do you think the girl child on this tin is a little bit, well, scary looking?’

He agreed, but also stated that he didn’t mind vintage objects that had images of creepy children on them. I concurred, purchased the tin and proudly raced back to the car. When I showed the tin to the Yak and lads, they screamed in horror and ran crying in t’other direction.

Here it is. The jury is out. (Actually, the jury has voted and decided this is the kind of tin that should probably be in a horror movie….)

On to the cooking bit.

The Yak, being of the English variety, loves a spot of plum pudding. So a gluten free version was required. When a mere youngling, this Cheergerm loathed fruitcake and plum pudding type desserts. As an older cheery person, I have discovered that I quite enjoy a small piece of these fruity offerings. The key to success has been in only utilising fruits that I actually like and leaving out the dreaded dried peel, shudder. It is also important when choosing the alcohol to macerate the fruit in, that you use booze you like the taste of. In this case, I went for a luscious liqueur Muscat. On Christmas day, this dessert will be accompanying Sister No 2’s light, fruity Chrissy pudding ice-cream delight. The best of both worlds.

My plum pudding tin was looking slightly worse for wear so I had to line it with baking paper. This gave my finished product the slightly rumpled ‘I been sleeping too heavily on my pillow crease lines’ look. For quality control purposes, I took my trusty apple corer and snarfled a sample. It was bloody delicious. The smell of macerated fruit was intoxicating. It is moist, rich, not too sweet and you don’t miss the gluten at all. The pudding itself is now resting in stately grandeur. All tucked in, preparing itself for Christmas day scoffing.

The Cheergerm, the rumpled pudding and the little girl on the creepy tin wish all of you a very Merry Christmas.


4 cups of dried fruit in total, this is what I used:
1 cup dried figs, chopped finely
3/4 cup cranberries, roughly chopped
3/4 cup sultannas
3/4 cup currants
3/4 cup raisins, roughly chopped (if large, mine weren’t so I left them)
1/2 cup of the booze of your choice, I used a liqueur Muscat
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbl orange zest
250g unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
2 cups gluten free breadcrumbs
1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup gluten free self-raising flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves

Combine all of the fruits, alcohol, orange zest and orange juice in a medium sized bowl. Cover and stand overnight.
Grease and line a 6 cup pudding basin or tin. Using a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in the dried fruit mixture, breadcrumbs, almond meal, gluten free self-raising flour and spices. At this point, every member in our family had a stir of the bowl and made a Christmas wish. If you really want to be traditional, it is here that you would place a silver coin in the mixture. I am not sure I would want icky money in my food, so we chose to leave that bit out.
Spoon the mixture in to the prepared pudding tin and cover with greased baking paper and foil. Tie around the rim of the basin with kitchen string, securing tightly.
Stand the pudding on a trivet (or saucer in my case) and place in a deep saucepan or stockpot. Fill with enough water to come halfway up the sides.
Cover and cook for 5 hours over a medium heat, topping up with water as needed.
Serve immediately or if you are making your pudding ahead, cool down completely before wrapping well and storing in the refrigerator until needed.
Pudding can be reheated by returning to basin, covering and steaming again for approximately 1 hour. It can also be microwaved for about 12-15 minutes.
Flame the pudding and serve with custard. (Flaming means to pour brandy over the top of the pudding and setting alight. Let the most sober person in the room perform this ritual and try not to burn your house down.)

A slight Cheergerm adaptation of a Coles online recipe


29 thoughts on “Gluten free rumpled plum pudding and a scary Christmas tin

  1. Nothing like serving up Christmas pud in a tin that screams, “Something I loved was buried in here.” I love it. Absolutely love it. And want one. The tin–not the pudding, although if anyone could convince me to try a forkful it would be you, Cheergerm. I have been scarred with years worth of English puddings that have been so badly made you cannot choke one mouthful down–so drenched in liquor you lose a few brain cells just being close to it when it’s lit on fire–so … okay, you get the point. I suppose if I were to try someone’s recipe who knew what they were doing.
    Seriously, the nightmares are still fresh. And now the tin has added to them.
    Happy Christmas, Cheergerm!

    • Totally get your phobia regarding this kind of pud and far be it for me to push the point, sometimes there just ain’t no going back. I promise that if I ever find another such creepy, nightmare inducing tin…it is yours and I shall forward it posthaste by post dear Mrs P. Wishing you and yours love and joy this Christmas.

  2. You have a few scary things there cheery. Yes that tin is mega scary but quaint. If I saw a tin like this in an oppy, I would snatch it up with glee. But that Santa, can’t stop laughing. Looks like Santa from some horror movie filling in for that clown.
    The Christmas pudding looks perfect, with my kind of fruit. The Silly Yak is a lucky Yak.

    • Ha ha…I didn’t realise quite how creepy Santa looked. He is actually a rocking Santa who does the twist and plays ‘Jingle Bells Rocks’..but judging from this photo he may also be the kind of doll that comes alive at night…he may need to be locked up. Good pudding fruit hey? I can’t stop laughing about that photo either now…Merry Creepy Christmas!!

  3. While there is no phobia about Christmas pud in this house, we just don’t see the point of hot pudding in the middle of summer, Christmas or not. I’d let the Yak have have his hot pud while I scoff down your sister’s ice cream version. Have a wonderful Christmas Cheery, you’ve brightened my Sundays with your posts and the remainder of the week with your comments. The best part of blogging is meeting great people like you.

    • The hot pud is kinda nuts! We have a few Englishers in our midst and it does make them happy, but thank goodness for that ice cream version, yes indeedy! Thanks for your beautiful Chrissy wishes and words dear Mrs Recipe. Hear hear! The best part of this blogging business is meeting peeps like yourself. I love it. Have a super and delicious Christmas. (I know you will.)

  4. Nice plum pudding! It is wonderful that you can give your Norther British Yak something traditional for the holidays.
    On another note, I was recently looking at creepy Renaissance babies on Facebook ( so it seems a long tradition of ugliness. But, then, definitions of beauty/ugliness change over time. And, I agree with Francesca, there are plenty of creepy Santas out there as well!

    • Thanks KW! A little bit of home can mean a lot on special holiday celebrations hey? Oh my, I clicked on that link (who could resist such a title as that?)! Hilarious! Laughed out loud at some of those images but also true that ideals of beauty wax and wane. (On saying that, some of those baby Jesus images, not even a mother could love? Maybe a tad harsh but wow!) Being a tad ‘clown phobic’ I choose my Santas carefully. Despite this dodgy Santa photo, he is quite cute when he dances. Merry Christmas to you and yours KW! Been great getting to meet you via this wonderful forum.

  5. A very Merry Christmas to you and your family and merry friends! What’s not to love about a pudding with BOOZE! It looks fabulous and I think the girl on the tin will look a lot less creepy (as will Santa PS: why are his eyes closed?) after a few spoons of that pud after lunch.

    • Thanks Mrs S for your warm festive wishes! Yes, I think some boozy pud will cure all fear. (I don’t know why his eyes are shut…maybe he’s a super happy rockabilly Santa?) Wishing you and yours a wonderful and very Merry Christmas!

  6. Ah, there is nothing like a Christmas tin that says “Child of the Damned.” Why do so many Christmas decs have that creepy quality?
    The fabled Christmas pudding is quite exotic to us. I believe I’ve tried it a grand total of once, and it came in a can. I can see that the homemade kind is a great improvement! But what really attracts me is the thought of the custard that goes on it 🙂
    Merry Christmas to you and the Yak and the Sprogs!

    • I know, what is that about? Ha ha…I shall forever think of that tin as the Christams Child of the Damned Tin. I hope this one turns out a tad nicer than a tinned pud (I wonder if that had a creepy image of a child on it?) But if for some reason it’s not good, we can always drown it in custard! What desserts grace your Chrissy table? Merry Christmas lovely LM to you and the LSH.

      • We don’t have much in the way of special Christmas desserts at my house. It’s mainly Christmas cookies. People here exchange them, so you end up with lots of different types. And candies are traditional, both homemade and special ones from confectioners. That’s about as much calories as we can take!
        Christmas “Cheer” to all 🙂

    • Why thank you Ms Cake. I appear to be having myself a creepy little Christmas….hoping the weather doesn’t get too hot or it will be hard to eat! (But I am sure I will be able to manage a tiny bite….) Merry Christmas you fantastic chickie!

  7. Very happy to hear, and see, the Yak still can indulge in Plum Pud! I agree ’tis the choice of fruit and booze, if included, which makes this dish. Cranberries, pre-soaked in apple juice, are never missed out in this house, and I notice they are a favourite in yours too. A very good, Christmassy choice there! So, just who was the most sober diner on the day, the one designated to flame this rumple-pud? How many chose this crinkly, booze-soaked pud over the ice cream delights proffered by your sis? Oh, and your new “scary child” tin is one to cherish, for surely no one could ever manage to have made two, or more, of that image?? 😱 xxoxx

    • It made him a very Happy Yak indeedy! In the end, it was myself and Mr B who lit the pud and we appeared to be disturbingly sober….can’t divulge how we were an hour late, lol! Due to stinky hot weather, the ice-cream pud was scrapped as it doesnt travel well. She made a lovely berry, marscapone summer pudding creation instead and a bit of all was eaten. Don’t worry, I will keep my eyes open for another tin just like it that I can send over….😁😱xx

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s