This pudding is a staple of Christmas plus with the bragging rights to tell people you made it all yourself
450gdried mixed fruit (use a mixture of sultanas, raisins, and snipped apricots)
1 small cooking apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
4tbs orange juice
1 grated orange rind
4 tbsp brandy, sherry, or rum, plus extra for flaming
75g dairy free spread, plus extra for greasing
100g light muscovado sugar
½ a cup of apple sauce or 2 eggs
100g self-raising gluten free flour
1 tsp mixed spice
40g fresh white gluten free breadcrumbs
40g whole shelled almonds, roughly chopped
Measure the sultanas,raisins, apricots and apple into a bowl with the orange juice. brandy stir and leave for a couple of hours
Mix butter, sugar, spice and grated orange rind into a large bowl and cream until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, add a tiny bit of flour if the mixture starts to split.
Fold in the flour, almonds and bread crumbs
Grease the pudding basin cut a small disc of foil or baking parchment and press into the base of the basin.
Spoon into the prepared pudding basin and press the mixture down with the back of a spoon. Cover the pudding with a layer of baking parchment paper and foil,both pleated across the middle to allow for expansion. Tie securely with string and trim off excess paper and foil with scissors.**
To steam, put the pudding in the top of a steamer filled with simmering water,cover with a lid and steam for six hours, topping up the water as necessary.
To boil the pudding, put a metal jam jar lid, or metal pan lid, into the base of a large pan to act as a trivet. Place a long, doubled strip of foil in the pan, between the trivet and the pudding basin, ensuring the ends of the strip reach up and hang over the edges of the pan. This will help you to lift the heavy pudding basin out of the pan of hot water when it has finished cooking.
Lower the pudding onto the trivet and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the side of the bowl. Cover with a lid, bring the water back to the boil, then simmer for about seven hours, until the pudding is a glorious deep brown colour, topping up the water as necessary.
Too cook in an oven in a glass or ceramic pan put boiling water and sit the pudding in it cook for 6 hours topping up the water regularly
Place the pudding in your slow cooker and pour in boiling water from the kettle upto 1-2 inches from the rim of the pudding basin. Put the lid on and cook on low for 8 hours.
When cooked through, remove the pudding from the pan and cool completely.Discard the paper and foil and replace with fresh. Store in a cool, dry place.
** If making in advance you can leave uncooked and add 2 tbs of liquid(normally brandy) every week
To make brandy butter to serve with mix 125g diary free spread with 125g Icing sugar then add 2tbs of boiling water and 3 tbs of brandy (Or for an alternative any flavoured liquor) mix and keep refrigerated