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Boiled christmas pudding with brandy custard

INGREDIENTS 1/2 cup rum or brandy 500g butter, melted 500g currants 500g sultanas 500g raisins 250g chopped dates 250 g mixed peel 125g flour 1 teaspoon bicarb soda 125g slivered almonds 1 teaspoon vanilla essence 750g light brown sugar 375g fresh breadcrumbs 10 eggs, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon mixed spice 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Brandy custard: 1 cup (250mL) milk 1 cup (250mL) cream 1 vanilla bean, split 5 egg yolks 125g caster sugar 60mL brandy
PREPARATION 1. Add all fruit to a large bowl and soak overnight in the rum or brandy.
2. Sift in the flour and bicarb; add the almonds, essence, sugar, breadcrumbs, eggs and spices.
3. Mix all together (with hands is best) and divide mixture between three puddings cloths. Tie the ends of each cloth together with kitchen string.
4. In a stockpot large enough to hold all three puddings (or several large saucepans), bring water to the boil, add puddings and boil for 6 hours.
5. Check water level regularly and top up with boiling water if required.
6. Cool and store in a coo…