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Two Easy, No-Added-Sugar Apricot Almond Pudding Recipes

Yvonne Spence loves to create healthy recipes and believes we don't have to give up enjoyment when we give up refined sugar.

Apricot almond pudding has lots of iron and no added sugar.

Apricot almond pudding has lots of iron and no added sugar.

Years ago, a friend and I went youth hostelling around Europe, travelling mainly by train, though first we hitched a ride across the North Sea on a lifeboat, landing in Norway. From Norway, we travelled on to Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany again, Austria and Switzerland. We travelled further, but for now, we’ll stop in Switzerland.

A relative had told me about a youth hostel we really had to visit. It was in Filzbach and was out of this world—beautiful, glorious, that sort of thing. It was a little out of the way, she said, and the train didn’t go all the way, but we really had to go.

From Zurich, Filzbach is a fairly straightforward journey. But we approached it from Innsbruck in Austria. If you put those two places into Google Maps and try to get directions for travel between them on public transport, Google’s response is that what you are searching for: “appears to be outside our current coverage area.”

Technology has advanced in 30+ years, it seems, but public transport is pretty much as it was then.

Nobody at the station in Innsbruck had even heard of Filzbach, so we got on a train heading for Switzerland and crossed our fingers. Several changes later, we reached a station in what appeared to be the middle of nowhere and so we thought we had arrived in Filzbach. But no, all we’d done was arrive in the middle of nowhere in our quest to get even further into the middle of nowhere!

We studied our map and hitched our backpacks onto our backs and set off up the mountain, glad to be off the hot and dusty trains and out in the sunshine. At least we were glad at first, but each bend we rounded expecting to see the youth hostel led instead to yet more road leading up yet more mountain. Our backpacks and our moods got heavier.

Map showing Filzbach

We got there eventually, of course.

Was it worth it? Was it out of this world? The truth is, I can’t remember, though the photo above suggests that yes, it was worth seeing. What is etched into my brain, however, is the meal we had that evening.

The dinner at the youth hostel had only one course—an apricot and almond pudding.

Once we got over the surprise of having a dessert as a main meal, we loved it. We didn’t get the recipe or even complement the chef, but every so often over the years, I would try to recreate that pudding. I’m not sure if I’ve ever got the same texture, and since I know that the accuracy of memory leaves a lot to be desired, it’s likely I don’t remember that pudding properly anyway.

Recreating Swiss Apricot Almond Pudding

In my attempts to recreate it, I have come up with two versions of Apricot Almond Pudding that I will now share with you. Both are adaptions of recipes I found in recipe books, one now long out of print, the other in Rose Elliot’s Vegetarian Dishes from Around the World. The recipe in Rose Elliot’s book that was my springboard is not from Switzerland but from Sweden.

The first version, which is the one in the photo at the top of this article, is made mainly with ground almonds and has a rich, cakey texture. The second version, shown in the photo below, has less ground almonds and more wheat. It also includes yogurt, which gives it a much spongier texture. I love moist, rich cakes, so my preference leans towards the first version, though I do love both.

The second version of the pudding, made with yogurt.

The second version of the pudding, made with yogurt.

Baobab or Lucuma Powder

Neither of these cakes is sweetened with sugar, but with fruit (apples as well as apricots) and with Baobab powder (from the African Baobab tree) or with Lucuma powder, which is from a similar South American fruit.

Both are low on the glycemic index and high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Baobab contains 9.6 mg of iron per 100 grams, which is more than red meat or spinach. However, the powder in this recipe could not be relied on as a source of daily iron as only a small quantity is added to the puddings. Even so, I like that it adds nutrients whilst also having a positive effect on the immune system, rather than using refined sugar, which has no nutrients and depresses the immune system.

Both these powders are available in health food stores or on Amazon, with Lucuma probably easier to find. If you don’t have access to either, you could use an extra apple (pureed and added to the cake mixture) or substitute agave syrup—or you could try it as it is.

Dried Apricots

Dried apricots are also high in iron. I recommend using unsulphured (sometimes spelled unsulfured) apricots. These have no additives and are brown in colour. They may not look quite as pretty as apricots preserved with sulphur, but some people are allergic to it. In particular, according to the Australasian society of clinical immunology and allergy, sulphur can contribute to asthma or rhinitis.

If fresh apricots are plentiful where you live, you could use them instead of dried, and there is no need to boil them first. You will need around 200 grams or 8 ounces if using fresh.

Pureeing the Fruit

Finally, although in these recipes the apricots and apples are pureed, this is a matter of personal taste. One of my daughters doesn’t like chunks of dried fruit in cakes and puddings, so I puree them, but you can leave out this step if you prefer.

Recipe 1 for Apricot Almond Pudding

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

40 min

55 min

6 portions

Ingredients

  • 110 grams/4 oz/½ cup dried apricots (unsulphured)
  • 100ml/4 fl oz/½ cup water
  • 2 apples
  • 110 grams/4 oz/1 and a third cup of ground almonds
  • 50 grams/2 oz/2 tablespoons wholemeal spelt or wheat flour or gluten-free flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons Baobab or lucuma powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • A handful of flaked almonds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C/160°C fan oven or gas mark 4.
  2. Place the dried apricots in a small pan, cover with the water and cook until soft. (Most of the water will be absorbed.)
  3. Peel and finely chop the apples.
  4. OPTIONAL STEP. Add the apples to the apricots and cook for a few minutes longer till apples soften. Cool slightly and then puree fruit.
  5. Sift together the dry ingredients (almonds, flour, baking powder cinnamon and Baobab powder.)
  6. Whisk the eggs.
  7. Add the eggs to the dry ingredients and mix well. The mixture will be fairly thick and will form into peaks. If it is extremely stiff, add a little water. (Be very careful not to add too much: the nuts make this cake moist.)
  8. Spread half the mixture over the base of an 18 cm ovenproof dish
  9. Spread all the fruit on top.
  10. Spread the rest of the cake mixture over the fruit and smooth out. (It won’t be completely smooth.)
  11. Sprinkle flaked almonds on top.
  12. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden on top. To be sure the pudding is fully cooked, insert a skewer into the middle of the cake, only as far as the top layer. If it comes out clean the pudding is ready. Another indication it is ready is if the edges of the cake are beginning to come away from the sides of the dish.

Recipe 2 for Apricot Almond Pudding

Prep time: 15 min Cook time: 40 min Ready in: 55 min Yields: 6 portions

Ingredients

  • 110 gram/4 oz/ dried apricots
  • 100 ml /4 fl oz/½ cup water
  • 4 apples
  • 110 grams/4 oz/1 cup wholemeal spelt or wheat flour
  • 50 grams/2 oz/2 tablespoons ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons Baobab or lucuma powder
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 175ml/6 fl oz/ ⅔ cup yogurt

Instructions

Follow steps 1–3 as in version 1.

4. Sift together dry ingredients.

5. Whisk egg.

6. Add eggs and yogurt to dry ingredients and mix well.

This mixture is much wetter than the first version. Instead of forming into stiff peaks as in the first version, it should drop off your mixing spoon.

It will also begin to rise as you mix because the yogurt reacts with the bicarbonate of soda.

Follow steps 7–11 of version 1.

Whichever pudding you make, bake it until golden.

 Bake for around 40 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

Bake for around 40 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

Nutritional Value of Apricot Almond Pudding (Not Including the Baobab powder.)

All values are approximate. The recipe has not been professionally evaluated by the FDA. Because the sites I use to work out nutritional value of recipes do not list Baobab powder, information for that is not included.

Version 1 Version 2

grams per portion

104

210

calories

215

255

total fat

10g

7g

saturated fat

1g

1g

carbohydrates

27g

43g

fiber

5 g

6g

sugars

15g

26g

protein

7g

9g

cholesterol

47mg

57mg

iron

1.9 mg

2 mg

vitamin A

746 IU

899 IU

vitamin C

1.9 mg

4.6mg

© 2012 Yvonne Spence

Comments

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on August 28, 2015:

I might do it this fall and let you know.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on August 28, 2015:

I hope you do, and enjoy it as much as I do!

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on August 28, 2015:

Delicious recipe, Melovy. It looks delicious. I would love to try it sometime!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on July 20, 2012:

HI RHW, it is definitely delicious! In fact, looking at the picture is making me want some right now too - and it's breakfast time here, not dinner time! Thanks for your comment.

(Sorry to hear your Chinese dinner wasn't good.)

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on July 19, 2012:

Hey Melovy - I was searching for another hub but - I had chinese for dinner and it wasn't very good - I got so distracted with the title it sucked me right in! This looks SO delicious I really would love to have some and right now!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on June 26, 2012:

Summerberrie, I also love almonds; I love the way their texture in cakes and puddings. Glad you enjoyed the info about Baobab, and thanks for your comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on June 26, 2012:

Maren Morgan, your comment touched on something I'd been wondering about as of course it's not really sugar free but no added sugar. I've changed the title.

Glad you enjoyed the recipes and story and hope you enjoy the pudding if you make one. Thanks for your comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on June 26, 2012:

Marcy, did you miss the section on Baobob powder? Maybe I could explain more. It's a sweet and fruity tasting powder, with a low Glycemic rating and loads of nutrients. So you use it instead of sugar. It's from Africa where I gather it's widely used. Depending how sweet you like things you could just leave it out as there's lot of fruit in this already.

Thanks for your comment and I'm pleased you enjoyed the story.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on June 26, 2012:

LawrenceS, thanks for your comment and for pinning!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on June 26, 2012:

Crystal, I also like to avoid refined sugar whenever possible as it general doesn't make me feel good. I found the Baobab powder in my local health food store. It is quite expensive, but you don't need much and it's got so many nutrients.

Thanks for your comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on June 26, 2012:

Mommiegee, Duchessoflilac1 and urmilashukia, thanks for your comments!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on June 26, 2012:

Thanks Susan, I'm glad you enjoyed reading about the adventure. I haven't written anything more about it, but you have given me an idea…

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on June 26, 2012:

Ha ha, Nettlemere, I love your comment. Made me laugh! Do pop by next time you are up our way and I will be glad to serve you pudding!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on June 26, 2012:

How to Answers,

It was quite a trip, and I'm glad you enjoyed reading that snippet. Thanks very much for your comment.

summerberrie on June 23, 2012:

Melvoy, this does look so good. I love almonds. Very interesting information about Baobab powder!

Maren Elizabeth Morgan from Pennsylvania on June 23, 2012:

This looks FABULOUS! You had me scared with the term sugar-free because I love my sweets. So, what you have in these is fructose --- the sugar found in fruits --- rather than added glucose (white sugar) and therefore I will try this out! Thanks for the recipes and the fun story.

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on June 23, 2012:

Pudding is one of my favorite desserts! It's comforting but delicious. This almost looks like it would be similar to bread pudding, which is heavily stuff. I hope to try one of these very soon. And your story of how you came upon it is charming!

Before I forget - what is Baobab powder? And what does it do to the recipe? Wondering if I'd need to substitute something for it, if it's not found here. Thanks!

Lawrence Stripling on June 23, 2012:

This looks very tempting, and the best part is it is sugar free. Thank you for sharing and enjoyed reading voted up and pinned

Crystal Tatum from Georgia on June 23, 2012:

Thank you so much for sharing a sugar free recipe! I've never heard of this powder. I have lots of issues with sugar and it's best if I avoid it, so I'll have to do some research to see if this powder will be a viable alternative for me. Voted up!

Urmila from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA on June 23, 2012:

Wow! Sugar free dessert. Look so yummy. Thanks for sharing it. Voted up!

Rebecka Vigus from Nancy KY on June 23, 2012:

Love that this is sugar free and gluten free

Mommiegee from Alabama on June 23, 2012:

This looks so yummy! My mouth started watering just thinking about how it would taste. Thanks for sharing.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on June 23, 2012:

Both of these recipes sound wonderful. I don't eat apricots all that often but would love to try making one of these puddings.

I enjoyed reading about your adventure and would love to hear more about it Do you have more hubs about this trip?

Nettlemere from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on June 23, 2012:

I'm trying to work out whether to it would be easier to kidnap you to make you become my personal pudding and cake maker or to turn up on your doorstep pretending be a homeless waif in the hope that you might feed me lots of your puddings! - because I'm mostly too lazy in the kitchen to do any making myself :(

L M Reid from Ireland on June 23, 2012:

What a great adventure you had on your travels! I too would be very surprised to be handed a dessert as a main dish but this apricot and almond pudding does look great.

No sugar either so that is a plus.

I love your travelling story and your easy step by step instructions and great photos.

Sharing and tweeting too. Voted 5 stars for the recipe. Awesome hub.