100g wholemeal breadcrumbs
120ml beer, preferably stout such as Guinness
2 free-range eggs, beaten
100ml sunflower oil
100g brown sugar
120g wholemeal flour
50g almonds, skinned and finely chopped
4 tsp mixed spice, or to taste
½ tsp grated nutmeg
zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
1 tsp salt
50g cooking apple, chopped
50g orange segments, chopped
1) Tip the breadcrumbs into a large mixing bowl, add the stout and leave them to soak for a few minutes while you get the rest of the ingredients together.
2) Add the eggs, sunflower oil and sugar to the bowl and mix until well combined. Then add the remaining ingredients,except the apple and orange segments, and stir for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is sticky and everything is thoroughly mixed together. Add the chopped apple and orange and stir them in well.
3) Grease a 1.2 litre pudding basin with butter and spoon in the Christmas pudding mixture. Cover with a double piece of greaseproof paper and a single piece of foil, then secure with string. Place the bowl on an upturned heatproof saucer or small trivet in a large, deep saucepan and add enough just-boiled water to come halfway up the sides of the basin.
4) Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid, place over a low heat and steam the pud in the simmering water for 6 hours. Check regularly and top up with boiling water as necessary.
5) Once the pud is steamed, allow it to cool before wrapping and storing it away until Christmas. Or, if you want a really trad look for a pudding to give as a present, wrap it in muslin.
6) On the big day, steam the pud again for 2 hours and serve with one of our delicious sauces.
Recipe from THE HAIRY BIKERS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS by Si King and Dave Myers, published by Orion. Food photography (C) Cristian Barnett