CHRISTMAS PUDDING WITH SUGAR-FREE CANDIED FRUIT

I’m making several new recipes with candied kumquats and cranberries for the holidays. They probably won’t be up in time for you to make them this Christmas, but I’ll try to take pictures so I can post them soon. Some of them will be perfect for New Years Eve! 

In the meantime, I thought you might like to have my recipe for Candied Fruit. It is a variation on the one I used in the Mincemeat Pie and Fruitcake recipes from Carb Wars and the Christmas Pudding in Nourished. I am including the pudding recipe here too. Happy Holidays!

Candied Fruit and Syrup for Christmas Puddings

1 cup (3½ ounces or 100 grams) whole, frozen or fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons (½ ounce) fresh ginger root
2 tablespoons grated orange zest (amount from 1 medium orange)
¾ cup water
½ cup (3½ ounces or 99 grams) polydextrose
High intensity sugar substitute (such as sucralose, monk fruit, or stevia) equal to 1 cup sugar

To make candied fruit:
Cut cranberries in half. Peel ginger root and cut into very thin slices and then into small dice. Remove zest (thin, orange-colored part of peel) from orange in thin strips with a zesting tool or remove with a vegetable peeler and cut crosswise into thin strips.

Place halved cranberries, ginger, and orange zest in a shallow pan just large enough to hold them in one layer and add water. Stir in polydextrose and sweetener. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to simmer and cook on low heat, stirring, occasionally at first, and more often as the syrup thickens, until most of the water is evaporated and the fruit is very sticky and glossy, about 30 to 40 minutes. Lift fruit out with a slotted spoon and place in a strainer set over the pan so any liquid drains back into the pan. Set pan with drained juice and gooey residue, the utensil used for stirring, and strainer aside to make syrup for finished puddings. Reserve a few cranberry pieces for garnish.

To make syrup:
Put ½ cup water into the pan used for making Candied Fruit. Stir with original utensil and swish the strainer in the hot liquid to dissolve and recover any sticky residue. Cook over low heat until reduced to a thick syrup.

Christmas Puddings
A spectacular finale for a festive holiday meal.

1 recipe of Candied Fruit and Syrup, above
¼ cup (½ ounce) sugar-free Dried Cranberries, p. 12 in Nourished or purchased
1 cup nuts (4 ounces), roughly chopped
2 tablespoons (½ ounce) dried currants, optional (adds 1.4 net carbs)
¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar-free vanilla whey protein powder, divided
2 eggs, at room temperature
High intensity sugar substitute equal to ½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon black strap molasses or yacon syrup
2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons cream or coconut cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
½ cup (2 ounces or 57 grams) almond flour or other nut flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons (½ ounce or 15 grams) white whole-wheat flour or gluten-free flour*
A pinch of cream of tartar (omit if beating egg whites in a copper bowl)

Topping:
1 recipe (1½ cups) of Custard Sauce (p. 91 in Nourished).

Preheat the oven to 325º F. Butter 10 cups of a 12 cup muffin pan and a piece of foil to cover the top.

Place the drained Candied Fruit mixture, Dried Cranberries, and currants, if using, in a bowl and sprinkle with ¼ cup of the whey protein powder. Toss to coat, separating pieces by hand. Stir in nuts.

Separate the eggs, putting the whites in one mixing bowl and the yolks in another. Add sugar substitute and remaining 2 teaspoons whey powder to the bowl with the egg yolks. Beat until thick. Beat in the molasses, melted butter, cream, and extracts. In a third bowl, whisk the almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and whole-wheat or gluten-free flour together and then stir into the batter.

In a clean bowl, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until foamy; add the cream of tartar (if using), and beat to the stiff-peak stage. Gently fold one-fourth of the egg whites into the batter to lighten, and then fold in the rest of the whites. Pour the batter over the fruit and nut mixture and stir until evenly coated. Spoon the batter into 10 cups of the prepared pan. Cover the pan with buttered foil and bake
for 15 minutes until risen. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the puddings are firm in the middle and brown on the edges. Place the pan on a rack to cool for 10 minutes.

Remove the puddings from the pan. Invert onto serving dishes and drizzle with a spoonful of the syrup from the Candied Fruit. Serve warm, topped with Custard Sauce and garnished with reserved candied cranberries.

Makes 10 puddings of about ½ cup each.
Per serving—Net carbohydrate for pudding and cranberry syrup: 5.7 grams (6.5 net grams with 2½ tablespoons of Custard Sauce); Protein: 9 grams; Fiber: 13 grams; Fat: 15.5 grams; Calories: 211
Total weight: 1 pound ¼ ounce or 466 grams (excluding Custard Sauce)
Weight per serving: 1¾ ounces or 47 grams
Preparation time: 1 hour active; 1½ hours total

*You can substitute Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour for the white whole-wheat flour. I added 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum and it worked fine.

“Eat like Santa; look like Jesus.” – Tim Ferriss


Note:
POLYDEXTROSE:
Polydextrose has the texture and mouth feel of table sugar and adds missing bulk in recipes made with high-intensity sweeteners. It also browns and caramelizes like regular sugar, but it behaves like soluble fiber when ingested. It is widely used in commercial products to allow a reduction in the
amount of sugar or fat needed and to add beneficial fiber. One ounce has a total of 27 grams of carbohydrate and 25 grams of fiber for a net carb count of 2 grams.

Recipes were tested with Stay-lite III polydextrose from Honeyville Grain.

Recipes adapted from Nourished; a Cookbook for Health, Weight Loss, and Metabolic Balance.

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(c) 2014, Judy Barnes Baker, www.carbwars.blogspot.com

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