Have a 'Merry McCormick Christmas' with this decadent, rich and fruity dessert.
In a large bowl mix currants, sultanas, raisins, cherries, almonds, flour, breadcrumb, spices and salt, combine well. Add butter, brandy and eggs and mix to form sticky dough.
Drop a 60cm square of calico into boiling water and boil for 1 minute, then remove using tongs and gloves and squeeze excess water from cloth. Working quickly spread cloth onto a clean bench, sprinkle cloth with plain flour mainly in the centre area.
Place pudding dough mixture in the centre of the cloth on the flour and gather up the cloth edges tightly to form a wrapping around the dough. Tie cloth ends with (cotton) kitchen string to hold together.
Steam pudding in a large double boiler for 6 hours, replenishing water every 30 minutes to avoid boiler boiling dry. After cooking, remove pudding from steamer and suspend in a cool, airy place until completely cold. If the weather is hot and humid, store the pudding in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
To reheat pudding; steam in a double boiler for 1 hour or until heated through. Place pudding in a heatproof colander, and remove cloth. Cut string and carefully peel back cloth. Turn pudding onto a serving plate and stand 10 minutes before serving. Note: wash and dry pudding cloth for next time!
Garnish the pudding with roughly chopped glace cherries and orange peel.
To serve, simply heat 2 tbsp brandy in a small saucepan and light before pouring over the pudding immediately. Cut and serve with custard and cream.
If calico has not been used before, cut an 80cm square and soak in water overnight and then boil for 20 minutes, rinse in cold water and dry before using.
Pudding can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 months or 12 months in the freezer.
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