• 180 g dried figs, chopped
  • 130 g seedless raisins
  • 50 g dried apricots, chopped
  • 75 g mixed peel
  • 90 g brown sugar
  • 180 g beef suet, grated
  • 100 g plain flour
  • 90 g dried breadcrumbs
  • grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 vanilla bean, sliced open, seeds removed
  • 1 nutmeg, grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 75 ml brandy
  • 600 ml milk
  • butter, for greasing

Brandy custard

  • 500 ml thickened cream
  • ½ vanilla bean, split
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 100 g castor sugar
  • 35 g cornflour
  • 35 ml brandy, or to taste


  1. To prepare the pudding, mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl, then cover the bowl with plastic film and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Grease a large pudding bowl with butter and spoon in the pudding mixture. Wrap the bowl tightly with several layers of plastic wrap to make it waterproof.
  3. Place the pudding bowl in a large saucepan, then fill the pan with water until it is 2 cm from the top of the bowl. Cover the pan with aluminium foil, bring the water to the boil then boil for approximately 4 hours, replenishing the water every 40 minutes or when required. Check to see that the pudding is cooked – a wooden skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.
  4. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and allow to cool to room temperature.
  5. Remove the wrapping from the pudding and seal with a new layer of plastic wrap. Store in a very cool place, or for longer storage, keep it in the refrigerator.
  6. To prepare the brandy custard, pour the cream into a medium saucepan, add the vanilla bean and bring to the boil. Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl. Add a small amount of the cream mixture then stir well. Gradually add the remaining cream and cook gently for about 10 minutes until thickened, stirring constantly.
  7. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and set aside to cool.
  8. Add the desired amount of brandy just before serving.
  9. When ready to serve, reheat the pudding in a steamer for about 30 minutes then serve with the warm brandy custard.

Image from