If – after making this – the smell of your kitchen doesn’t make you feel festive, then I don’t know what will! I think it is the combination of the mixed spice – the cloves in particular – and orange peel that does it for me.
This pudding is rich, tangy and tastes surprisingly indulgent for something so healthy. Cranberries are super Christmassy but a tad sour, hence I combine them with the ripest pears possible (try Rocha or Williams). I find this pudding sweet enough by just using the date purée, but you can add a spoonful of maple/agave syrup or honey to the cranberry mix and also the crumble. You might want to sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of coconut sugar on the crumble too.
This recipe makes enough to fill a 21 x 21 cm pie dish, 4 cm deep.
Ingredients (serves 6)
8 Medjool dates (stoned)
250 ml water
300g fresh cranberries
2 very ripe pears
2 x tsp coconut oil
2 x tsp cinnamon powder
2 x tsp mixed spice
Zest & juice of 2 large oranges
100g nuts – I like to use macadamias and hazelnuts here
175g porridge oats – gluten free/conventional
Maple/agave syrup or honey (optional)
Coconut sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven on 160(fan)/180 (conventional)
- Stone the Medjool dates and leave to soak in hot water for 10 minutes or so.
- Grind up the nuts into smaller chunks/coarse crumbs by either giving them a few blasts in the food processor or put into a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin. Leave to one side.
- Blitz up the dates with 250 ml of water – use their soaking water and top up if necessary.
- Put the cranberries into a saucepan and pour most of the date purée over them – reserve a little bit, say about a quarter, to sweeten and moisten the crumble topping. Add the zest of both oranges, the juice of one and a teaspoon each of the mixed spice and cinnamon. Stir well and let the cranberries simmer very gently on a low heat until they soften and you are left with a sticky purée. This will take about 15 minutes.
- Dice the pears into bite sized chunks and stir in. Taste for sweetness, adding a tablespoon of maple/agave syrup or honey if necessary, then transfer the fruit mixture into your pie dish.
- Using the same saucepan, melt the coconut oil, the rest of the date purée, juice the remaining orange and throw in another teaspoon each of mixed spice and ground cinnamon and stir to combine. Add the nuts and oats and mix well until they are coated with the sticky, spicy juice.
- Dollop the oaty crumble on top of the cranberries, using your hands to spread it evenly. Sprinkle the top with a little coconut sugar if you like. Cook for about 20 minutes until the crumble has dried out and is beginning to turn golden and the fruit layer is starting to bubble through.