A delicious and moist steamed pudding for the perfect end to a Christmas feast. The dried fruits are soaked in Vino Cotto to intensify their flavour and soften their skin.
This pudding may be made a few weeks in advance and kept refrigerated until required.
This recipe requires a 2.8litre pudding bowl. Dried fruits can be substituted to your liking.
200g plain flour
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
100g mixed peel
100g fresh dates, chopped
½ cup Vino Cotto
50g glace cherries
400g brown sugar
200g fresh breadcrumbs
1 apple, peeled, cored, grated
50g ground almonds
250g butter, melted
Juice of 1 orange
5 large eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp almond essence
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Sift together the flour, mixed spice and ground nutmeg.
In a large bowl, combine the sultanas, raisins, currants, mixed peel, dates and glace cherries. Add Vino Cotto, stir and set aside for an hour to allow fruit to steep. Best if refrigerated overnight.
In another bowl add the brown sugar, breadcrumbs, apple, ground almonds and the flour-spice mixture. Add the soaked fruit and any remaining Vino Cotto and mix.
Add the melted butter and orange juice to the bowl. Add the eggs, and the almond and vanilla essences. Mix thoroughly to ensure all dry ingredients are wet.
Brush a 2.8litre capacity pudding bowl with butter, line the base with a circle of baking paper and dust bowl with flour.
Pour pudding mixture into bowl and top with another circle of pleated baking paper to allow pudding to expand when cooking. Secure with lid or two layers of foil and tie with string.
Place pudding into a large saucepan with a tea towel lining the base or on a wire rack. Fill saucepan with enough water to come halfway up the sides of the bowl. Cover and simmer for 5 to 6 hours, topping up with boiled water as necessary.
When cooked, replace the baking paper and foil. Allow to cool in bowl. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and keep in refrigerator until needed.
To serve, steam pudding again for 1.5 hours (same method as for cooking).
Serve with ice-cream or brandy sauce.