- 4 cup (750g) mixed dried fruit
- 1 1/3 cup (185g) seeded dried dates, chopped coarsely
- 1 1/4 cup (185g) raisins, chopped coarsely
- 1 1/2 cup (375ml) water
- 3/4 cup (165g) caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 cup (200g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 250 gram (8 ounces) butter, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 3 eggs, beaten lightly
- 1/4 cup (60ml) dark rum
- 3 cup (210g) firmly packed fresh white breadcrumbs
- 1 3/4 cup (260g) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 2 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 60 centimetre (24-inch) square of calico
- 1/3 cup (50g) plain (all-purpose) flour, extra
- 2.5 (2.5 yards) kitchen string
- 1Stir fruit, the water, sugars and butter in large saucepan over heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves; bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 8 minutes. Stir in soda; cool.
- 2Stir egg, rum, breadcrumbs and sifted dry ingredients into fruit mixture.
- 3Fill a large boiler three-quarters full of hot water, cover; bring to the boil. Have string and extra flour ready. Wearing thick rubber gloves, drop pudding cloth in boiling water; squeeze excess water from cloth. Spread hot cloth on bench, rub extra flour onto cloth 40cm (16 inches) in diameter, leaving flour a little thicker in centre.
- 4Place pudding mixture in centre of cloth. Tie cloth tightly with string as close to mixture as possible. Knot two pairs of corners together.
- 5Lower pudding into boiling water. Cover with tight lid; boil 6 hours, replenishing water as necessary to maintain water level.
- 6Lift pudding from water, place in large colander; cut string, carefully peel back cloth. Turn pudding onto a plate; carefully peel away cloth, cool. Stand 20 minutes before serving.
You'll need a 60cm (24-inch) square of unbleached calico for the pudding cloth. If the calico hasn't been used before, start with an 80cm (16-inch) square of calico, soak in cold water overnight. Next day, boil it for 20 minutes, rinse in cold water and cut to a 60cm (24-inch) square. To store pudding, we prefer to remove the cloth rather than hanging the pudding, as mould can form in our climate. After removing cloth, allow pudding to come to room temperature; wrap in plastic wrap and seal tightly in a freezer bag or airtight container, and refrigerate for up to two months.