- 1 3/4 cup (280g) sultanas
- 1 cup (160g) dried currants
- 1 1/4 cup (185g) raisins, chopped coarsely
- 1 cup (140g) seeded dried dates, chopped coarsely
- 1 cup (200g) dried figs, chopped coarsely
- 1/4 cup (50g) red glacé cherries, quartered
- 1/2 cup (125g) glacé fruit (such as apricot, pineapple, peach), chopped coarsely
- 3/4 cup (180ml) brandy, port or dark rum
- 200 gram butter, softened
- 1 cup (220g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (180g) treacle or golden syrup
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup (185g) plain flour
- 1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, ginger and mixed spice
- 3 cup (210g) stale breadcrumbs
- 2 cup (500ml) milk
- 1 1/4 cup (310ml) pouring cream
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthways
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
- 2 tablespoon brandy
- 1Combine fruit in large bowl. Heat brandy in small saucepan over medium heat until hot; do not boil. Remove from heat; pour over fruit, stir to combine. Cover; stand at room temperature for 24 hours or store in a cool, dark place for up to one week, stirring every day.
- 2Grease 2-litre (8-cup) pudding basin or steamer. Line base with a round of baking paper. Place 30cm x 40cm sheet of foil on bench; top with baking paper cut the same size. Fold a 5cm pleat crossways through centre of both sheets.
- 3Beat butter, sugar and treacle in small bowl with electric mixer until combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix butter mixture into fruit mixture; stir in sifted dry ingredients and breadcrumbs. Spoon mixture into basin. Top with pleated baking paper and foil (this allows pudding to expand as it cooks); secure with kitchen string or lid.
- 4Place pudding in steamer with enough boiling water to come halfway up side of steamer. Cover with tight-fitting lid; boil 4 hours, replenishing with boiling water as necessary to maintain water level. Stand pudding 10 minutes before turning out.
- 5Meanwhile, make brandy custard. Bring milk, cream and vanilla bean to the boil in medium saucepan. Remove from heat; stand 10 minutes. Discard vanilla bean. Beat egg yolks and sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer until thick and creamy; gradually beat in warm milk mixture. Return custard to pan; stir, over heat, without boiling, until custard is thick and coats the back of a spoon. Stir in brandy.
- 6Serve pudding with custard.
It is fine to use just one 300ml carton of cream in the brandy custard. To store: Allow pudding to come to room temperature then wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate in a clean steamer, or seal tightly in a freezer bag or airtight container. Refrigerate for up to two months; freeze for up to 12 months. To reheat: Thaw frozen pudding for three days in refrigerator; remove from refrigerator 12 hours before reheating. Remove from plastic wrap and return to steamer. Steam 2 hours following instructions in step 4. To reheat in microwave: You can reheat up to four single serves at once. Cover with plastic wrap; microwave on high (100%) up to 1 minute per serve. To reheat whole pudding, cover with plastic wrap; microwave on medium (55%) about 15 minutes or until heated through.
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