1.Combine fruit, the water, juice, honey, sugar and spread in a large saucepan. Stir over medium heat, without boiling, until spread melts. Transfer mixture to a large heatproof bowl, cool.
2.Grease a 2.25-litre (9-cup) pudding steamer, line base with baking paper.
3.Stir sifted dry ingredients into fruit mixture.
4.Spoon mixture into steamer, level top, cover with pleated baking paper and foil to allow the pudding to expand during steaming, secure with a lid or kitchen string.
5.Place steamer in a large saucepan with enough boiling water to come halfway up side of steamer; cover pan with a tight fitting lid. Simmer, covered, about 6 hours, replenishing pan with boiling water as necessary to maintain water level.
6.Stand pudding for 10 minutes before turning out.
Both soya and rice flour can be found in the superm arket or health food shops. To store pudding, wrap in plastic wrap and seal tightly in a freezer bag or airtight container, store in the fridge or freezer.
Aim to chop all of the dried fruit so that it is similar in size to one another. Snip the raisins into smaller pieces with kitchen scissors, if you like. Snip the dates also, or chop with an oiled chef’s knife to prevent them sticking to the blade.