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A steamed Christmas pudding that has all the rich flavours of the traditional suet variety but it's rich in carrots, fruits, nuts,instead of fat.
Preparation time: 30 minutes - Steaming time 2 3/4 hours - makes 10 servings
1/2 cup each of dried apricots, dried figs, raisins
1/2 cup toasted hazel nuts, pecans, walnuts, or almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries or blueberries
1 cup flour
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground all spice or cloves
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup orange or apple juice
2 cups grated carrot
1/2 cup melted butter or oil
With a sharp knife or kitchen shears, cut apricots and figs into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces; coarsely chop nuts. Combine fruit and nuts in a bowl. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup flour and mix until evenly coated. In another bowl stir remaining 3/4 cups flour with bread crumbs, baking soda and spices. In a large bowl, whisk eggs with honey until smooth. Stir in orange juice and carrots. Gradually stir in bread crumb mixture. When just combined, stir in butter, then fold in fruit and nuts until evenly mixed. Pudding can be cooked on top of stove or in microwave. Stove for steaming: Turn batter into greased six cup (1 1/2 liter) pudding mold or heat resistant glass bowl. Do not fill mold over 2/3 full.
Cover mold with waxed paper and then a piece of foil cut so it will reach about two inches down sides of mold. Tie securely with string. Set mold on a rack or on a crumpled piece of foil so it is not sitting directly on bottom of deep pot. Add hot water to reach 2/3 of way up sides of mold. Cover, bring water to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 2 3/4 - 3 hours. Add more boiling water if necessary.
Microwave method: Spoon batter into greased microwave-safe Bundt pan or into a six cup heat-resistant glass bowl. Cover with waxed paper. Microwave on high for 8-10 minutes. If microwave doesn't have a turntable, rotate dish 3x during baking.
Remove hot pudding, cover let stand 10 minutes and invert onto a serving plate. If serving later, let pudding cool in mold. For easy reheating, leave pudding in mold, cover and refrigerate for up to one month or freeze. Serve warm with creme or hard or rum sauce.
Submitted by Patty Flinn, Charlottetown, P.E.I.