- 150g dried figs
- 150g fresh dates
- 100g dried cranberries
- 100g raisins
- 200g demerara sugar
- 3 tbsp brandy or rum (or whisky or armanac)
- Zest and juice of 2 oranges
- 75g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 75g plain flour
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 50g almonds, finely chopped
- 100g butter, room temperature + extra for greasing
- 2 large eggs, beaten
Prep: 6 hrs | Cook: 6 hrs
1. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to snip the dried fruit into small pieces, about the size of a raisin (the actual raisins can stay raisin-sized, obviously). Pop all the dried fruit into a large bowl. Add the sugar, then pour over the brandy and orange juice and tip in the zest. Mix well and cover then leave overnight, or for at least 6 hours (at room temperature) so all the liquid absorbs and the sugar begins to dissolve.
2. Tip the soaked fruit into a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Make sure the butter is soft but not oily. Beat together till smooth.
3. Generously butter a 1lt pudding basin. Line the bottom with buttered foil. Spoon the mixture into the prepared bowl. Cover with a pleated piece of buttered foil (the fold in the foil allows for expansion) with the buttered side towards the pudding. Push the foil down around the edges of the basin and tie it in place with kitchen (or box) string, so no steam can escape. Make a string handle so it's easier to lift the whole thing out of the pan.
4. Place the basin in a steamer above some water or stand it on a rack in a saucepan. Pour water into the pan so that it comes half way up the basin. Bring to the boil, thne lower the temperature and simmer for 6 hours for a light pudding, or 8 hours for a darker one. Check the water level now and then as it may need to be topped up.
5. Allow the pudding to cool completely. Replace the foil with a new piece. Pop it in the fridge or freezer till needed. Thaw completely before reheating. To reheat the pudding, steam or simmer it in water for about 1 hour till piping hot. Turn the warm pudding out onto a plate and serve with plenty of brandy butter.