WW2 Vegan Christmas Pudding Recipe Review
My WW2 Vegan Christmas Pudding Recipe Review revives an old recipe from the 1940s that provided many people with a delicious Christmas pudding during the Second World War.
The Christmas Pudding recipe is included within British celebrity chef Marguerite Paton’s (1915-2015) book Nostalgic Food and Facts From 1940-1954 (2002 Edition).
During the war years and even afterwards, rationing of food limited the ingredients that could be utilised within everyday kitchens, and substitutions had to be found.
This Christmas Pudding recipe subs in grated potato and carrot! And subs out eggs and butter.
Although, you can not actually taste the potato and carrot.
All the ingredients work together to give the pudding the flavours of a toffee x gingerbread cake x Christmas pudding experience! I even got a hint of Jamaican ginger cake.
I have to say that this Christmas pudding is now my favourite, as it is not heavy on the stomach or too rich.
Also, my son does not usually like Christmas pudding but he did enjoy this one.
So, if you or a family member is not keen on Christmas puddings then I encourage you to give this easy recipe a go.
You might be pleasantly surprised!
Ingredients are really simple, store-cupboard basics:
- Plain flour
- Vegetable suet
- Mixed dried fruit
- Granulated sugar
- Grated potato
- Grated carrot
- Mixed spice
- Bicarbonate of soda mixed with 2 tbsps of hot plant milk such as oat or soya.
And nothing else!
Quick note about measurements:
The original recipe is measured in cups. I have weighed each ingredient and included the quantities in grams.
I used a measuring cup that stated 250mls was a cup.
Also the pudding basins/bowls I use are measured in pints.
To convert to quarts: 1 pint is equivalent to half a quart and 2 pints is a quart.
- Large saucepan with lid, big enough for your pudding bowl to fit,
- Two-pint pudding bowl/basin (heatproof and suitable for steaming/simmering) grease well with some plant-based margarine. (Some pudding bowls come with a lid that can just be snapped onto the pudding basin. If you have one of these then you don't need the greaseproof paper, string and kitchen foil that I've added below). To prepare 2 smaller Christmas puddings then use 2 one-pint pudding bowls and split the mixture between the bowls, which is what I did. Each pudding will in general serve 4.
- Mixing bowl
- greaseproof/baking paper
- kitchen foil
- 1 cup plain flour, (115 grams)
- 1 cup breadcrumbs, (50 grams) I just used a slice of stale white tiger bread whizzed up in my mini food processor
- 1 cup mixed dried fruit, (145 grams)
- 1 cup sugar, (190 grams) I used granulated sugar
- ½ cup vegetable suet, (60 grams)
- 1 cup grated potato, (150 grams)
- 1 cup grated carrot, (110 grams)
- 1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda, mix well until dissolved into 2 tbsp of hot milk
- 1 tsp mixed spice, I actually used 1 tbsp
- Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix well.
- Tip into the greased pudding bowl.
- Cover with greaseproof paper and kitchen foil. I will link to the method for preparing a pudding bowl lid below in the notes.Or if you have a pudding basin with a lid then snap it on and for extra precaution you can add a tight layer of kitchen foil around the lid. Just scrunch and press the foil around lid.Boil a kettle full of water.
- Pour the hot water from the kettle into your saucepan. Don't pour directly onto your pudding basin but aim for the saucepan sides.Add enough hot water so that it sits at half way up the pudding basin.
- Bring back to the boil.Lower heat so its at a steady simmer.Place the lid on the saucepan.Simmer for 4 hours.
- Check your water level regularly to maintain the water at half of the way up the pudding bowl.Top the water up when necessary with more boiling water.
- After 4 hours turn off the heat and leave to cool slightly before removing the pudding basin.
- Remove the lid and check the pudding for doneness. Watch out for escaping steam. If the pudding looks too wet or not completely cooked in the middle then steam again for 30 minutes and check again.
- Tip the pudding upside down and place on a serving plate. If the pudding does not slide out easily, use a butter knife and loosen the sides and tip upside down. It should slide out.
- Serve hot or cold with vegan custard or cream. I used some Oatley cream.
- If keeping for a few days until Christmas, then keep the pudding in the basin with the lid. Completely cool and then store in refrigerator for 3-4 days. Or freeze until Christmas. Allow the pudding to defrost and come up to room temperature before re-heating.
- To reheat, place pudding back in the saucepan and steadily simmer for 60 minutes to reheat thoroughly.
- Enjoy your delicious dessert and piece of history!
Recipe Notes and Tips for WW2 Vegan Christmas Pudding
Make sure you place a lid on your saucepan when cooking as it helps cook the pudding evenly. The recipe did not state a lid to be applied so initially I did not use the lid. However, after 4 hours the pudding was not cooked in the centre so I added a saucepan lid and the pudding quickly cooked through! Lesson learned! Old recipes often do not give specific cooking details so trail and error is necessary.
I used two 1 pint pudding basins/bowls as that’s all I had. Therefore I had to steam the puddings in separate saucepans. Which was a faff! But it did mean that I could keep one separate to enjoy a few days later, and one to munch immediately after cooking! Next time for simplicity, I will use a 2-pint bowl and cook in one saucepan. I have ordered a two pint bowl from Amazon UK and will up-date this post as to how I get on with steaming the pudding when I prepare another one nearer Christmas time.
Here is that video I promised that explains how to create a lid for your pudding basin:
The recipe does not state that the pudding can be frozen but I’m sure it will cope fine. Freeze in the pudding basin well wrapped with tin-foil. Remove from the freezer the day before using and let sit on your counter so that it can come back to room temperature before reheating.
An idea for using up leftovers:
Cut pudding into slices. Toast under a grill or within a panini machine. Spread the toasted pudding slices with a little plant-based margarine, and enjoy as a snack or afternoon tea treat!
Traditionally, leftover Christmas pudding is fried and often served with a cooked breakfast. Nowadays, I don’t tend to fry my food in oil very often. Instead I use an electric pancake/crepe maker which is just a non-stick hotplate. This means I can ‘fry’ stuff in no oil! Food actually does get crispy. I have successfully made vegan French toast, pancakes, and flat breads on my pancake maker. My pancake maker hotplate is definitely one of my favourite kitchen appliances. I love it!
Looking for some more dessert ideas?
Check out my Vegan Traditional Old-School British School Dinners Jam and Coconut Sponge:
Or for something more savoury, my Vegan Lentil Soup:
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