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

Updated on March 18, 2016
Apricot almond pudding has lots of iron and no added sugar.
Apricot almond pudding has lots of iron and no added sugar. | Source

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 2 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 into 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

show route and directions
A markerFilzbach youth hostel, Filzbach, Switzerland, way up in the mountains. -
Filzbach, Switzerland
get directions

B markerZurich, from which we did not leave, being idiots, or perhaps just naive teenagers…. -
Zurich, Switzerland
get directions

C markerInnsbruck, Austria, from which we did leave for Filzbach. -
Innsbruck, Austria
get directions

The climb was worth it; the view is pretty impressive!
The climb was worth it; the view is pretty impressive! | Source

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 on the right suggests that yes, it was worth seeing. What is etched into my brain, however, is the meal we that evening.

The dinner at the youth hostel had only one course and it was 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 2 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, 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.

Apricot Almond Pudding version 2

The second version of the pudding, made with yogurt.
The second version of the pudding, made with yogurt. | Source

Baobab Powder is available on Amazon

Baobab Powder 2.2 lbs (1 kg)
Baobab Powder 2.2 lbs (1 kg)

Although this pack of Baobab powder is a little on the expensive side, it would last you a very long time.

 

Baobab or Lucuma Powder

Neither of these cakes are sweetened with sugar, but with the 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 is 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 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.

The Recipes for Apricot Almond Puddings

Cook Time at oven: 350°F/180°/160°fan oven or gas mark 4.

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

Ingredients for Version 1 :

110 gram/4oz/½ cup dried apricots (unsulphured)

100ml/4 fl oz/½ cup water

2 apples

110 gram/4oz/1 and a third cup of ground almonds

50 gram/2 oz/2 tablespoons wholemeal spelt or wheat flour or gluten free flour

2 teasp baking powder

1 teasp cinnamon

2 tablespoons Baobab or lucuma powder

2 large eggs

A handful of flaked almonds

Step by step photographic instructions for Apricot Almond Pudding version 1

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Place apricots in a pan with the waterFinely chop the applesThe apricots and apples after cooking in waterThe dry ingredients before sifting The mixture is much smoother after sifting Whisk the eggs till bubblyAdd eggs to dry ingredients and mix wellSpread half the mixture in a round 18 cm deep ovenproof dishSpread over all the fruit or fruit pureeSpread with the rest of the cake mixture and then top with flaked almonds
Place apricots in a pan with the water
Place apricots in a pan with the water | Source
Finely chop the apples
Finely chop the apples | Source
The apricots and apples after cooking in water
The apricots and apples after cooking in water | Source
The dry ingredients before sifting
The dry ingredients before sifting | Source
The mixture is much smoother after sifting
The mixture is much smoother after sifting | Source
Whisk the eggs till bubbly
Whisk the eggs till bubbly | Source
Add eggs to dry ingredients and mix well
Add eggs to dry ingredients and mix well | Source
Spread half the mixture in a round 18 cm deep ovenproof dish
Spread half the mixture in a round 18 cm deep ovenproof dish | Source
Spread over all the fruit or fruit puree
Spread over all the fruit or fruit puree | Source
Spread with the rest of the cake mixture and then top with flaked almonds
Spread with the rest of the cake mixture and then top with flaked almonds | Source

Expanded written instructions for version 1

  1. Place the dried apricots in a small pan, cover with the water and cook until soft. (Most of the water will be absorbed.)
  2. Peel and finely chop the apples.
  3. OPTIONAL STEP. Add the apples to the apricots and cook for a few minutes longer till apples soften. Cool slightly and then puree fruit.
  4. Sift together the dry ingredients (almonds, flour, baking powder cinnamon and Baobab powder.)
  5. Whisk the eggs.
  6. 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.)
  7. Spread half the mixture over the base of an 18 cm ovenproof dish
  8. Spread all the fruit on top.
  9. Spread the rest of the cake mixture over the fruit and smooth out. (It won’t be completely smooth.)
  10. Sprinkle flaked almonds on top.
  11. Bake for 30 - 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.

Ingredients for Version 2

110 gram/4oz/ dried apricots

100 ml /4 fl oz/½ cup water

4 apples

110g/4oz/1 cup wholemeal spelt or wheat flour

50gram/2 oz/2 tablespoons ground almonds

1 teasp baking powder

I teasp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

1 teasp cinnamon

2 tablespoons Baobab or lucuma powder

2 medium eggs

175ml/6 fl oz/ ⅔ cup yogurt

Photographic instructions of stages 6 - 10 of version 2

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Add the yogurt and beaten egg to the dry ingredients.Mix thoroughly.Spread half the mix inside an ovenproof dish. (This pudding rises more than version 1 so make sure to use a deep dish.)Spread all the fruit over the base. This photo shows pureed fruit, but it works fine with chopped fruit too. Now layer over the rest of the pudding mixture and then top with flaked almonds.
Add the yogurt and beaten egg to the dry ingredients.
Add the yogurt and beaten egg to the dry ingredients. | Source
Mix thoroughly.
Mix thoroughly. | Source
Spread half the mix inside an ovenproof dish. (This pudding rises more than version 1 so make sure to use a deep dish.)
Spread half the mix inside an ovenproof dish. (This pudding rises more than version 1 so make sure to use a deep dish.) | Source
Spread all the fruit over the base. This photo shows pureed fruit, but it works fine with chopped fruit too.
Spread all the fruit over the base. This photo shows pureed fruit, but it works fine with chopped fruit too. | Source
Now layer over the rest of the pudding mixture and then top with flaked almonds.
Now layer over the rest of the pudding mixture and then top with flaked almonds. | Source

Instructions for version 2

Follow steps 1 - 3 as 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. | Source

Nutritional comparison between the 2 versions of Apricot Almond Pudding. (These figures do not include the Baobab powder.)

 
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
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.

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    • How to - Answers profile image

      L M Reid 5 years ago from Ireland

      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.

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 5 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      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 :(

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      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?

    • Mommiegee profile image

      Mommiegee 5 years ago from Alabama

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

    • Duchessoflilac1 profile image

      Rebecka Vigus 5 years ago from Johns Island, SC

      Love that this is sugar free and gluten free

    • urmilashukla23 profile image

      Urmila 5 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

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

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 5 years ago from Georgia

      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!

    • LawrenceS profile image

      Lawrence Stripling 5 years ago

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

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      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!

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      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.

    • profile image

      summerberrie 5 years ago

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

    • Melovy profile image
      Author

      Yvonne Spence 5 years ago from UK

      How to Answers,

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

    • Melovy profile image
      Author

      Yvonne Spence 5 years ago from UK

      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!

    • Melovy profile image
      Author

      Yvonne Spence 5 years ago from UK

      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…

    • Melovy profile image
      Author

      Yvonne Spence 5 years ago from UK

      Mommiegee, Duchessoflilac1 and urmilashukia, thanks for your comments!

    • Melovy profile image
      Author

      Yvonne Spence 5 years ago from UK

      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.

    • Melovy profile image
      Author

      Yvonne Spence 5 years ago from UK

      LawrenceS, thanks for your comment and for pinning!

    • Melovy profile image
      Author

      Yvonne Spence 5 years ago from UK

      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.

    • Melovy profile image
      Author

      Yvonne Spence 5 years ago from UK

      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.

    • Melovy profile image
      Author

      Yvonne Spence 5 years ago from UK

      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.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      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!

    • Melovy profile image
      Author

      Yvonne Spence 5 years ago from UK

      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.)

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 23 months ago from Northeast Ohio

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

    • Melovy profile image
      Author

      Yvonne Spence 23 months ago from UK

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

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 23 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      I might do it this fall and let you know.

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