400g glacé cherries
300g pecan nuts
70g fresh white breadcrumbs (made from rubbing together two small brioche rolls)
1 tsp mixed spice
100g molasses sugar
200ml Lady Grey tea (still warm)
Butter (for greasing)
100g self-raising flour
1 large Bramley apple (grated (you can substitute a grated carrot if you don't have an apple knocking about)
250g vegetable suet
Method1. Put sultanas, nuts, cherries and mixed spice into a large bowl.
2. Add the breadcrumbs, spice, sugar, tea and milk. Mix with a wooden spoon, cover with cling film and leave overnight in a cool place. The fridge is fine if you have room. (You basically need to keep it cold because of the milk.)
3. The next day, mix everything else into the fruit-and-nut gloop. Butter either 2x1l pudding basins or 10 small pudding basins. I tend to make one large pudding and a few little ones as a compromise.
4. Fill each basin three-quarters full then cover in the traditional way - a double layer of butter on the basin side down, pleated in the middle, greaseproof paper then tied with string just under the rim. There is no way I can do this without the help of either my teeth or my husband! Up to you which to choose. If you need instructions check out YouTube.
5. To cook, just pop an upturned saucer into a large saucepan and then sit the big pudding on top. Pour just boiled water into the saucepan until it comes to halfway up the basin. Cover the pan with a lid and bring back to the boil. Then simmer for 5 hours, checking periodically that the poor pud hasn't boiled dry. If it's in danger of this add more boiled water.
6. To cook the little puddings, preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Put the puds into a roasting tin and add boiling water until it comes to half way up the sides of the pudding basins. Cover with foil and bake for two hours total.
7. Once cooked remove from the pan and oven and let cool. I then tend to pop in the fridge (at back/bottom where they can be forgotten about until Xmas but another cool, dark place is fine. You can also freeze them too!)
8. Just defrost in fridge over 48 hours before reheating. To reheat you need about two hours steaming for the big ones and about one hour for the small ones in pan or oven depending on which size you went for. Same heat as before.
9. Serve with brandy butter or cream or custard or if you're two, ice cream.