The day before you want to steam the pudding: In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the suet, brown sugar, sifted flour, breadcrumbs, allspice, clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Gradually mix in the currants, sultanas, raisins, candied peel, and almonds, followed by the apple and citrus zests. In a small bowl, whisk together the rum, barley wine, and stout, and then beat in the eggs. Pour this mixture over the dried fruit and nut mixture. Mix thoroughly. It should be somewhat loose; if it needs a little more liquid, add some stout. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
The following day: Butter a 1-pint pudding mold and pack the pudding mixture into it. Cover with a double piece of parchment and a sheet of foil and tie securely with a string across the top to make a handle. Place the pudding mold in a covered steamer set over a saucepan of simmering water, and steam for 8 hours. Check the water level, adding boiling water as needed. When the pudding is finished, let it cool and then remove the papers and foil. Replace with fresh paper and make a new string for easier maneuvering. Set in a cool place away from light (under the bed works well).
To reheat, set a saucepan with boiling water over medium heat and put a steamer on top. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, set the pudding in the steamer, cover, and let steam for 2 1/4 hours. Top up the water a bit if necessary.
To serve, remove the pudding from the steamer and take off the wrapping. Slide a palette knife around the pudding, and then turn it out onto a warm plate. Garnish with a sprig of holly. To flambe the pudding, warm a ladleful of brandy over direct heat, and when it is hot, carefully light the brandy. Place the flaming ladle over the pudding, but do not pour until at the table. When you do slowly pour it over the pudding, sides and all, watch it flame! Serve with rum sauce if desired.
This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.
Recipe courtesy of April Bloomfield