Christmas Pudding

75g plain white flour
1/3 teaspoon baking powder
175g soft dark brown sugar
75g shredded suet
75g white breadcrumbs
35g ground almonds
1/3 teaspoon ground mixed spice
pinch grated nutmeg
pinch cinnamon
60g prunes (stoned and chopped)
60g carrots (peeled and grated)
1 small apple (peeled and chopped)
270g raisins
Juice and grated zest of 1 orange
2 small eggs
1 tablespoon black treacle
2 tablespoons golden syrup
40 ml rum
100ml Southern Comfort or Guinness

1) Sieve the flour and baking power together.

2) Add the sugar, suet, breadcrumbs, ground almonds, spices, prunes, carrots, apple, raisins, orange juice / zest, eggs, treacle, syrup, rum and Southern Comfort and stir well.

3) Check appearance and flavour. If it looks dry, add a little additional rum and Southern Comfort. If it needs more spices, add them and stir again.

4) Leave the mixture in the fridge for two to three days for the flavours to blend and for the fruit to soak up the alcohol.

5) Butter and scatter flour over the surface of a 2lb pudding basin.

6) Fill the basin with the mixture and cover the top with a circle of greaseproof paper.

7) Cover the top with foil, ensuring you leave a fold to allow room for the pudding to rise.

8) Place the pudding basin in a large pan with water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for four hours, not forgetting to top up the water now and then with boiling water from the kettle.

9) Leave to cool then store in a cool dark place until use.

10) When using, place again in a pan with water. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours and serve with Ice Cream, Cream or Rum Butter.

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