This is based upon the Time/Life book The Cooking of the British Isles (1973), with a few personal modifications.
Makes 2 1-quart puddings
3/4 c dried currants
1 c white raisins
1/2 c mixed candied peel
1/2 c dried sour cherries
1/2 c blanched slivered almonds
1 tart cooking apple-peeled, quartered, chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 T grated orange peel
1 t grated lemon peel
1/4 lb chopped beef suet
1 c all-purp flour
2 c bread crumbs, from white homemade type loaf
1/2 c dk brown sugar
1/2 t ground allspice
1/2 t salt
1/2 c brandy
1/8 c fresh orange juice
1/8 c fresh lemon juice
additional brandy for feeding the pudding & flaming
Combine until well mixed: currants, raisins, candied peel, dried cherries, almonds, apple, carrot, orange & lemon peel, & beef suet. Then add flour, bread crumbs, br. sugar, allspice, salt.
Beat eggs until frothy in a separate bowl. Stir in 1/2 c brandy, citrus juices, & pour this mixture over fruit mixture. Beat with a wooden spoon until blended. Place damp kitchen towel over bowl and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
Spoon the mixture into 2 1-quart English pudding basins or plain (heat resistant) bowls, filling them to within 2 inches of the top of the basins. Cover each basin with buttered foil, turning edges down and pressing the foil tightly around the bowls. Place a clean, damp kitchen towel over each basin and tie in place with kitchen string around the sides. Make 2 corners of the towel meet, tie securely in a knot. Repeat with the other pudding.
Put basins in a large pot with enough boiling water to come 3/4 up the sides. Bring water to boil over high heat, cover pot tightly, then reduce to lowest flame possible & steam for 8 hours. Add additional boiling water into the steaming chamber as necessary.
When done steaming, remove from water & let cool to room temp. Remove towels & foil & recover with new foil. Refrigerate for at least 3 weeks before serving. May be kept for a year in the fridge, wrapped in cheesecloth. Can feed brandy to the pudding, replenishing as cloth dries out. I keep mine in a ziploc bag and flip over to redistribute brandy at first sign of drying out.
To serve, resteam for 2 hours to gently heat through. Serve with Cumberland rum butter sauce or brandy butter.