This recipe, adapted from Constance Spry, makes a pudding with great texture and flavour, including whole almonds and masses of dried fruit. It's the one my mother has always used. Serve with brandy butter or ice-cream.
For 2 medium-sized puddings or 1 large pudding
For 15–20, this is dense and filling, so no one will eat huge amounts)
- 225g self-raising flour
- 350g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 450g currants
- 450g sultanas
- 450g raisins
- 350g suet (vegetarian or meat)
- 110g chopped candied peel
- 50g almonds, whole or slivered
- 1 Bramley apple, grated
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 300ml brown ale or milk
- 450g light brown sugar
Mix all the ingredients together. Lightly oil two medium-sized (1.5 litre) pudding basins or one large (2.5 litre) one and fill with the mixture. Cover with a double layer of greaseproof paper, secure with string and boil.
Use a huge saucepan with a cushion of crumpled foil in the bottom and fill with water to two-thirds of the way up the pudding basin. Cover tightly and simmer for 5–6 hours, topping up with boiling water when necessary. Allow them to cool.
Then re-cover the puddings with another double layer of greaseproof paper, secured with string. Cover them with aluminium foil (don’t use foil next to the pudding, as the fruits will react to the foil) or muslin and store them in a cool larder, fridge or freezer until you need them.
Before serving, boil or steam the puddings for another 3 hours.
This recipe featured in the Sarah Raven 2015 Calendar.