170gm dried figs, stalks discarded, cut into small cubes
150gms dried cherries
100gms crystallised ginger
1/2 cup @prohibitionliquor Christmas gin
Zest of 2 oranges
150ml freshly squeezed orange juice (about 3 small oranges)
100g fresh white breadcrumbs
75gms self-raising flour
1 tsp ground mixed spice
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
150gm dark brown sugar
70g blanched almonds, finely chopped
2 large free-range eggs
1 tbsp molasses
2 tablespoon @awesomefoodcompany juniper oil
125g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
1 pear (approximately 180g), peeled, cored and grated
Mix the dried fruit, gin, zest and orange juice in a large bowl, cover with cling film and soak overnight.
Following day, put the breadcrumbs, flour, and a pinch of fine sea salt, spices, sugar and nuts in a mixing bowl and stir. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and molasses, then add to the dry ingredients with the melted butter, pear, soaked fruit and any juices left in the bowl. Mix well.
Using the basin as a template, cut one small disc of non-stick baking paper to fit in the base and another to fit just inside the top rim. Line the basin with the smaller disc, spoon in the mix and press the larger disc onto the surface. Cover with a piece of greased and pleated greaseproof paper, then tie with string just under the rim. Cover with pleated foil, then tie again. Tie string over the top to make a loose handle to help you lift the hot bowl. Trim excess paper and foil so it hangs 5cm below the string.
Put a trivet or upturned saucer in the base of a large deep pan (with a lid), add 5cm water, then bring to the boil. Lower the pudding into the pan, cover, then reduce the heat so the water is just simmering. Steam gently for 8 hours, checking the water level every hour and topping up with boiling water when needed. Remove the pudding from the pan and leave to cool. Replace the greaseproof paper and foil with new, then store
On the big day, steam the pudding, as above, for 1½ hours