500 g mixed dried fruit , such as cranberries, cherries, apricots, sultanas, raisins
100 g dates
3 tablespoons crystallised ginger
125 g suet
125 g plain flour
125 g caster sugar
150 g fresh breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons Vin Santo or brandy
1 handful of chopped nuts , such as pecans, Brazils, hazelnuts
1 large free-range egg
150 ml milk
golden syrup , to serve
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Grease a 1.5 litre pudding bowl.
Destone and chop the dates, and roughly chop the ginger, then place in a large bowl.
Finely grate in the orange zest, then mix all the remaining ingredients together, except for the golden syrup.
Transfer the mixture to the greased bowl and cover with a double layer of tin foil. Tie a piece of string around the side of the bowl.
Place the bowl in a large saucepan, and pour in enough water to come halfway up the sides of the bowl.
Bring to the boil, place a tight-fitting lid on the pan, and simmer for 3 hours – don’t forget to check the water regularly, making sure that it never boils dry, because if it does, it will burn and the bowl will crack.
When the time's up, remove the foil, turn out on to a plate, drizzle with golden syrup and decorate it as you like. You can also light it with brandy if you want to be really fancy.