1 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon finely grated nutmeg
1 cup vegetable shortening, such as Crisco, frozen and finely grated
1 apple, grated
2 cups fresh white bread crumbs
2 cups brown sugar
2 ounces slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups seedless raisins
1 1/2 cups currants
1 1/2 cups golden raisins
4 ounces dried apricots
1/4 cup chopped mixed candied citrus peel
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons molasses
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons dark rum
Fresh holly sprigs, to garnish
Sift together the flour, salt and spices into a large bowl. Stir in the grated vegetable shortening and apple, and other dry ingredients, including the grated lemon rind.
Heat the molasses until runny and pour into the dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk, rum and lemon juice and stir into the dry mixture.
Spoon the mixture into two medium size earthenware bowls or pudding molds. If using bowls, cover the puddings with wax paper, pleating the paper to allow for expansion, and tie with string. If using molds, fill about two thirds full and cover tightly with the lid.
Steam each pudding on a trivet in a large pot of boiling water for 10 hours. Replenish the water frequently (use boiling water) to keep the pots from boiling dry.
When ready to serve the pudding, steam for 3 hours. Cool slightly and turn out onto a serving platter.
Garnish with holly.
Cook's Tip: Let a pudding rest long enough for most of the steam to escape before unmolding it. Then it will be less likely to crack.
Makes 6 servings.