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What you’ll need

mixed dried fruit

500g mixed dried fruit

prunes plums

⅔ cup pitted, chopped prunes

dried cranberries

½ cup sweetened dried cranberries

dates

½ cup chopped dates

brandy

½ cup brandy

flour

1¼ cups The Healthy Baker Plain Flour

baking soda

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

nutmeg powder

1½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

ginger

1 teaspoon ground ginger

ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

butter

250g softened butter, plus extra for greasing pudding basin

brown sugar

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

orange

2 teaspoons orange zest

lemon

1 teaspoon lemon zest

eggs beaten

4 eggs, lightly beaten

treacle

2 tablespoons treacle

slivered almonds

⅓ cup slivered almonds, toasted

breadcrumbs

1 cup breadcrumbs, made from day old bread, crusts removed

1

Combine mixed dried fruit, prunes, cranberries, dates and brandy in a large bowl. Cover and stand overnight, stirring occasionally.

2

Liberally grease a 2 litre (8 cup capacity) pudding basin with softened butter and line base with a circle of baking paper.

3

Sift together flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices; set aside.

4

Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and rinds together until creamy.

5

Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition (do not be concerned if the mixture appears to curdle).

6

Add treacle and beat to combine. Add creamed mixture to fruit, along with the flour mixture, almonds and breadcrumbs; stir well to combine.

7

Spoon mixture into prepared pudding basin. Place a 30cm square sheet of baking paper on a similar sized sheet of foil.

8

Grease the paper with melted butter. Fold a pleat in the centre of the paper (to allow for expansion). Place over the basin, foil side up.

9

Tie a double piece of string just under the rim to secure cover. Tie a double piece of string to make a handle.

10

Place an upturned heatproof saucer into a large saucepan or stockpot (large enough to fit pudding basin). Rest pudding on the saucer.

11

Pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up pudding basin. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat.

12

Cover saucepan with lid; simmer for 4½ hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the pudding removes clean.

13

Check the water level periodically, adding more boiling water if necessary.

14

Remove pudding from saucepan and stand for 10 minutes.

15

Remove string, foil, and paper. If necessary, use a flat bladed butter knife to loosen pudding from tin.

16

Turn pudding out onto serving plate and serve hot with custard, cream or ice cream.

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