Serve with lightly whipped cream for even extra festive flavour.
For the Fruit Topping:
- 100g (3½oz) orange marmalade
- 100ml (3½fl oz) orange liqueur
- 50g (2oz) dried cranberries, roughly chopped
- 50g (2oz) dried apricots, chopped
For the Pudding:
- 200g (7oz) butter, plus extra for greasing
- 200g (7oz) caster sugar
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 250g (9oz) plain flour
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 75ml (3fl oz) buttermilk
- To start, place the marmalade, liqueur, cranberries and apricots in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the mixture becomes slightly stickier, then set aside to cool.
- Next, make the pudding batter. Cream the butter in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer until soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, beating well between each addition.
- Sift in the flour, mixed spice, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and mix into the batter until just incorporated.
- Next, add the buttermilk and mix together to make a dropping consistency.
- Lightly butter the pudding basin. Pour the fruit mix into the base of the prepared pudding basin and spoon in the sponge batter.
- Cut out a sheet of baking parchment at least 4cm (1½ in) larger than the top of the basin, fold a crease in the middle (this allows the paper to expand as the pudding cooks) and tie the sheet over the lip of the bowl with heatproof string.
- Place the pudding in a saucepan not much larger than the basin and carefully pour in enough hot water to come three-quarters of the way up the basin.
- Cover and boil for approximately 1½ hours until a skewer inserted in the centre of the pudding comes out clean and it feels spongy to the touch. Keep the water topped up in the saucepan during cooking.
- Carefully remove the basin from the pan and turn out onto a warmed serving plate, allowing the fruit to fall down the sides. Serve with lightly whipped cream.