Pudding can be made up to one month ahead. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. To reheat, invert pudding onto a microwave-safe plate lined with baking paper. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Microwave on low power (30 per cent) for about 15 minutes, or
375g packet dried mixed fruit
1 Granny Smith apple (150g),cored, peeled, coarsely grated
200g packet red glace cherries,finely chopped
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1⁄2 cup brandy
Cooking oil spray, for greasing
1⁄2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1⁄2 cup golden syrup
175g unsalted butter, melted
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1⁄2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1 cup self-raising flour
3 tsps ground cinnamon
Thick vanilla custard, to serve
Combine fruits and brandy in a large bowl. Stand, covered, overnight.
2. Lightly spray a metal pudding steamer (8-cup capacity) with cooking oil. Line base and side with five x 6cm wide strips of baking paper.
3. Add sugar, syrup, butter, eggs and breadcrumbs to fruit mixture. Mix well. Stir in combined sifted our and cinnamon. Pour into prepared steamer. Smooth over top.
4. Place a pleated piece of baking paper and foil over top of steamer. Tie firmly with string to secure. Cover with metal lid.
5. Place a small, heatproof saucer (4cm deep) upside down in the centre of a removable bowl of a 5- to 6-litre capacity slow cooker. Sit steamer on the saucer. Pour in enough cold water (about 7 cups) to come 3⁄4 of the way up the side of steamer. Cover cooker tightly with two sheets of foil. Cover with lid.
6. Cook on high for 6 hours. Pudding is cooked when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove steamer. Stand for 30 minutes. Remove lid and foil. Turn out pudding onto a plate. Remove lining paper.
7. Serve warm pudding with custard.