Ingredients
  • Serves 8 to 10 people:
  • 110g shredded suet (we found that vegetarian suet works just as well)
  • 50g self-rising flour, sifted
  • 110g white breadcrumbs
  • 1 level tsp ground mixed spice
  • 4 level tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • A good pinch ground cinnamon
  • 225g soft dark brown sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 350g semi-dried figs
  • 150g sultanas or raisins
  • 25g mixed candied peel, finely chopped
  • 25 g almonds, skinned and chopped
  • 1 small apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • The grated zest of an orange
  • The grated zest of a lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml stout
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 2-pint (1.2 litre) pudding basin, lightly greased
Method
  • Take your largest, roomiest mixing bowl and start by putting in the suet, sifted flour and breadcrumbs, spices and sugars.
  • Mix these ingredients very thoroughly together, then gradually mix in all the dried fruit, mixed peel and nuts followed by the apple and the grated orange and lemon zests.
  • Now in a smaller basin measure out the rum, barley wine and stout, then add the eggs and beat these thoroughly together.
  • Next pour this over all the other ingredients, and begin to mix very thoroughly.
  • The mixture should have a sloppy consistency – that is, it should fall instantly from the spoon when this is tapped on the side of the bowl. If you think it needs a bit more liquid add a spot stouter.
  • Pack the mixture into the lightly greased basin, cover it with a double sheet of greaseproof paper and a sheet of foil and tie it securely with string (you really need to borrow someone’s finger for this!) It’s also a good idea to tie a piece of string across the top to make a handle.
  • Place the pudding in a steamer set over a saucepan of simmering water and steam the pudding for 8 hours. Do make sure you keep a regular eye on the water underneath and top it up with boiling water from the kettle from time to time.
  • When the pudding is steamed let it get quite cold, then remove the steam papers and foil and replace them with some fresh ones, again making a string handle for easier manoeuvring.
  • Keep it in a cool place away from the light. Under the bed in an unheated bedroom is an ideal place.