If you’ve been ‘blessed’ with last-minute guests for Christmas, there’s plenty of this pudding to go around.
Serves 8 to 10
130g dried mango
100g soft prunes
100g soft apricots
100g pack dried cranberries
3 tablespoons brandy
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
75g fresh white breadcrumbs
75g plain flour
2 teaspoons mixed spice
50g almonds, chopped
200g light brown muscovado sugar
100g butter, softened to room temperature
2 large eggs, beaten
Butter a 1.2 litre pudding basin and line the bottom with foil. Chop the mango, prunes and apricots into small pieces and place these and the remaining fruits into a large bowl, pour over the brandy, orange juice and zest, mix well and cover. If you have time, leave overnight so that most of the liquid is absorbed. Drain the fruit into a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pudding basin and cover with a pleated piece of buttered foil – this will allow for expansion.
Ensure the foil covers the edges of the bowl and tie in place with kitchen string, making a string handle so that it is easier to lift the hot basin out of the pan. Place the basin in a steamer above water or stand on a rack in a saucepan. Pour water into the pan so that it comes half way up the basin.
Bring to the boil, then simmer for about five hours for a light pudding or about eight hours for a darker pudding.
Remember to check the water level regularly as it will need to be topped up with boiling water.
Once pudding has cooled, remove foil and replace with a new piece. Store in fridge or freezer until needed.
On Christmas Day, steam for 90 minutes until piping hot, decorate with cherries, cover with brandy and light!