Christmas Plum Pudding
- In a large bowl combine dried fruit, glacé cherries, apple, orange and lemon rind and mixed spice. Add vanilla extract and brandy, mix well, cover and leave overnight (or even up to a week).
- Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Sift together flour, bi-carb soda and salt and stir into mixture. Add the macerated fruit mixture, almonds and breadcrumbs, combining all thoroughly.
- Tip mixture into pudding basin, pressing down firmly. Cover with a sheet of baking paper, then foil and tie securely with twine.
- Put the filled basin into a large boiler. Pour in boiling water to reach half way up the side of the bowl. Cover with lid and steam over low heat for six hours, keeping the water at a low simmer, adding more boiling water as needed.
- After six hours, turn off heat, take off lid, and cool in boiler. When cooled, remove from the boiler and take off paper and foil. Cover with plastic wrap and store in fridge.
- When ready to serve, remove from fridge, bring to room temperature, cover with foil and steam again for 1-2 hours before serving with the caramel brandy sauce.
- For the sauce, put the sugar, brandy and cream into a small saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Serve with the pudding, hot or cold.
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