450g dried fruit
1 small cooking apple (peeled, cored and grated)
Zest and juice of 1 orange
50ml brandy or rum (don’t forget extra for feeding and flaming)
100g light Muscovado sugar
100g self-raising flour
1 tsp of mixed spice
40g white breadcrumbs (use fresh breadcrumbs, not stale)
• Take a 1.4-litre pudding basin and lightly butter. Press a small square of foil into the base.
• Place the fruit, apple and orange juice in a bowl, add the rum or brandy and marinate for 1 hour.
• Whisk the butter, sugar and orange zest in a large bowl, gradually beating in the eggs. (Add a small amount of flour if the mixture starts to curdle).
• Sift the flour and spices together. Then fold into the mixture along with the nuts and breadcrumbs. Next add the dried fruit, apple and liquid. Stir well until mixed thoroughly.
• Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin. Press down the mixture and level the top with the back of your spoon.
• Cover the pudding with greaseproof paper and foil. Pleat the paper and foil across the middle to allow for expansion. Tie with string and trim off excess paper and foil.
• Place the pudding in the top of a simmering water-filled steamer. Cover and steam for 8 hours, replenishing water as needed.