Yule Plum Pudding

4 ounces flour 
4 ounces currants 
1 tsp. salt 
4 ounces. sultanas 
1 tsp. allspice 
2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped 
1 tsp. ginger 
1 ounce cut mixed (citrus) peel 
1 tsp. cinnamon 
2 oz. shredded almonds 
pinch fresh grated nutmeg 
Juice and grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon 
4 ounces fresh breadcrumbs 
4 ounces molasses (treacle) 
1/2 lb. shredded suet 
4 large eggs 
4 ounces brown sugar 
2 tbsp. brandy 
4 ounces dried chopped apricots
4 ounces prunes 
4 ounces dates 

Sift flour, salt and spices into a large bowl. Stir in breadcrumbs, suet and sugar. Add fruits, peel and rind. Beat lemon and orange juice, molasses and eggs together and add to other ingredients. Steam for 6 hours -- a coffee tin filled with the mixture and placed in a steamer in a covered pan does well. A little vinegar and lemon juice in the water will prevent the pan from discoloration. After steaming cover in a cool place and let age as long as possible -- usually about 5 weeks. 

To serve, re-steam for another 3 hours. Remove from tin, douse with warm brandy and set it ablaze! If you haven't got six weeks before Yule to prepare a proper pudding (I never do) a tinned one will do fine. Just be sure to always heat the pudding first, no matter who made it, or all the warmed brandy in the world won't help. And don't forget the hard sauce! 


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