These fruity little bundles are reminiscent of the Christmas puddings from my childhood. The fragrance of cinnamon with orange zest, and that little hit of dark chocolate … om they are good! Perfect for a mid-week-mid-winter Christmas all by yourselves. Quick to make without too much prep or waiting, this is an ideal dessert for little ones (and my sister) to make :-)

I’ve used Granny Smith apples which are quite tart, the flavour holds well and the flesh is firm enough to retain its shape when cooked.




1 orange
1/3 cup dates, diced
1/4 cup dark chocolate drops (optional)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried apricots, diced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of flakey salt
4 green apples
1/2 cup water



Grate the zest of the orange into a small bowl. Peel the orange and cut the flesh into small pieces — add to the bowl along with the rest of the dried fruit, cinnamon, vanilla and salt and mix well.

Remove the cores from the apples with an apple corer and score a line around the equator of them with a sharp knife.

Take teaspoons of the mixture and push into the apple holes. Once they are full, push hard on the mixture and add a little more. Then again. Be tough.

Place the apples into a pot just large enought to fit all four of them, and pour in the water. Sprinkle over any leftover filling mix. Put a lid on the pot and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. Check occaisionally that there is still a little liquid in the pot.

Apples should be soft to the touch with a syrup in the bottom of the pot — if the liquid is too thin, remove the apples and boil until it reduces to the right consistency.

Serve hot with a dollop of coconut yoghurt, coconut cream (or softly whipped cream if you can tolerate dairy), or just eat as is.

Close your eyes and imagine a good Fir tree covered in lights — tell me they don’t taste like Christmas!

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