INGREDIENTS: (Serves 10 - 12)

   500gms (18ozs) dried apricots
   1/2 cup brandy
   1/2 cup lemon juice
   200gms (7ozs) butter
   4 eggs - lightly beaten
   3/4 cup s.r. flour
   3/4 cup plain flour
   1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs * [directions below]
   1 1/2 cups soft brown sugar (firmly packed)
   1 tsp baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
   1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
   1/2 tsp baking spice
   Pinch of salt
   1 tbsp brandy (extra)


Dice dried apricots and mix well with brandy and lemon juice, cover and stand overnight.

In a medium non-stick saucepan, combine butter, soaked apricots and brown sugar.

Stir until butter melts, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for approx 8 mins.

Remove from heat, stir in baking soda and allow mixture to cool completely.

Sift together s.r. flour, plain flour, baking spice, nutmeg and salt.

Add beaten eggs into the cooled apricot mixture and stir well.

Stir in the sifted dry ingredients, breadcrumbs and the extra tbsp. brandy

Pour mixture into a well-greased pudding bowl and cover the top with aluminium foil.

Place pudding bowl in a large boiler with enough boiling water to come at least halfway up the side of pudding bowl.

Cover boiler and steam for approx 4 hours, replenishing with more boiling water as necessary.

When cooked, remove pudding bowl from boiler and allow to cool slightly.

N.B.   At this stage, the pudding can be stored in refrigerator and re-steamed for about an hour before serving.

When ready to serve, remove aluminium foil cover, place a plate over the bowl and carefully invert the pudding onto the plate.

Serve warm with custard or cold with ice-cream, as desired.

Leftover pudding can be foil-wrapped, stored in refrigerator and re-steamed or served cold, as desired.

* I made the fresh breadcrumbs by coarsely grating 3 frozen thick (toast) slices of bread.




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