Not one to brag (all the time!)… but this pudding has always been met with rave reviews. One neighbour whispered conspiratorially it was better than her mother-in-laws, who has been baking puddings for their family for years. Enough said…. here it is.
This recipe makes enough for two puddings. Once cooked the puddings mature for up to 1 year – I make mine in October and they never make it past Christmas!
Note: You need to soak the dried fruit overnight, and the pudding needs to be steamed (for the first cooking) for 6 hours. So plan ahead!
Also, if you buy a 500ml can of Guinness you can enjoy some special brew as you cook!
500g/1lb20 mixed dried fruit
100g/4oz stoned dates or prunes, chopped
100g/4oz stem ginger, drained and chopped, plus 2 tbsp syrup
zest and juice of 2 oranges
Mix together dried fruits, ginger, syrup, orange zest and juice and Guinness. Store in Tupperware container or similar and leave overnight in the fridge (in Singapore). Counter top in cool climate is fine too.
butter for greasing
50g/2oz whole almonds, roughly chopped
2 eating apples, grated
100g/4oz dark brown sugar
5 tbsp black treacle
100g/4oz self-raising flour
85g/3oz soft white breadcrumbs
100g/4oz ground almonds
1 tbsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2tsp ground cloves
3 large eggs
Grease 2 x 1.2 litre pudding basins. Boil a full kettle of water. Place an upturned bowl or soup dish in the bottom of a saucepan. The dish should fit snuggly in the bottom, and when the pudding basin is placed on top, you need to ensure there are at least 4-5 centimeters above the top of your pudding and the saucepan lid.
Add all remaining ingredients to the dried fruit mixture and stir well. Make sure all the flour is stirred in. Divide the mix between your two basins. Cover with greased baking paper and a foil lid.
For your baking paper, take a square, fold it in half, and then do a parallel fold and fold it back on itself approx 3-4 cm along. This fold allows a gusset for the pudding to rise a small amount during steaming. Tie with string around the top of the basins and make a handle for easy lifting in and out of the saucepan. I discovered I was out of foil at this stage (!) so used upturned foil baking trays instead.
Stand the puddings on the upturned plates or bowls in your saucepans. Pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of your basins. Cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 6 hours. Remember to top up the water so they don’t boil dry!
To serve, reheat in the steamer for 1 hour until piping hot the whole way through.