Quinoa Christmas Pudding

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Quinoa Christmas Pudding
Serves 8-12

This pudding is perfect for people who can’t eat gluten or dairy, but don’t want to miss out on dessert on Christmas day. I use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter, and I use quinoa instead of regular flour to add loads of extra nutrients, including iron, folate, fibre and protein, among other things. The custard uses less sugar than traditional, as well as two whole eggs, instead of all yolks, for some extra protein.

THERMOMIX version: if you’re lucky enough to own a Thermomix, you can use it to prepare this pudding and it will cook your quinoa, grate your orange rind, chop your fruit and mill your almonds for you! It will also lovingly stir your custard too, while you enjoy a glass of Christmas bubbles. For the recipe conversion, click here.


  • 150g sultanas
  • 150g currants
  • 150g pitted prunes, finely chopped
  • 150g dried dates, finely chopped
  • 2 oranges, rind grated, juiced
  • 1 tbs brandy (optional)
  • 155g (1 ½ cups) almond meal
  • 140g (3/4 cup) cooked white quinoa (see tip)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • Icing sugar, to dust (optional)

Whole egg custard

  • 60 g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 teaspoons cornflour (choose a gluten-free brand if needed)
  • 500ml (2 cups) milk


  1. Place the sultanas, currants, prunes, dates, grated rind, juice and brandy in a glass bowl. Cover and set aside overnight.
  2. Lightly spray a 1.25L (5 cup) pudding basin with oil. Line the base and sides with baking paper.
  3. Add the almond meal, quinoa, cinnamon and spice to the fruit mixture. Stir to combine. Whisk the oil and eggs together in a jug. Pour over the fruit mixture and mix until well combined. Spoon into the prepared basin and smooth surface. Secure lid, or top with a layer of baking paper and foil, pleated down the centre. Secure with string.
  4. Place the basin in a saucepan on an upturned heatproof saucer. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up the side of the basin. Cover. Cook over medium heat for 3 hours, refilling boiling water when needed to maintain water level. Remove basin from pan. Stand for 10 minutes then turn out onto a serving plate.
  5. For the custard, whisk the sugar, eggs, yolk and cornflour together in a bowl. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until just starting to simmer. Slowly add to egg mixture, whisking until combined. Return to saucepan. Cook, stirring, over low heat for 3 minutes or until mixture thickens and coats back of a spoon. Remove from the heat. Strain to remove any lumps.
  6. Serve the Christmas pudding with custard.


  • You’ll need about 50g (1⁄4 cup) raw quinoa. Bring to the boil in a saucepan with 1⁄2 cup water. reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 12-14 minutes until water is absorbed.
  • To freeze, wrap in plastic wrap and place in a snaplock bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in the fridge. Remove plastic. Return to the basin and steam for 2 hours, as per method above.