Christmas pudding doesn't have to take so much effort when you can simply pop it into the trusty slow cooker
375 g packet dried mixed fruit
1 Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled, coarsely grated
200 g packet natural coloured glace cherries, finely chopped
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
½ cup brandy
cooking oil spray, for greasing
½ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup golden syrup
175 g unsalted butter, melted
3 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ cups fresh breadcrumbs
1 cup self-raising flour
3 tsp ground cinnamon
thick vanilla custard, to serve
- Combine fruits and brandy in a large bowl. Stand, covered, overnight.
- Lightly spray a metal pudding steamer (8-cup capacity) with cooking oil. Line base and side with five x 6cm wide strips of baking paper.
- Add sugar, syrup, butter, eggs and breadcrumbs to fruit mixture. Mix well. Stir in combined sifted our and cinnamon. Pour into prepared steamer. Smooth over top.
- Place a pleated piece of baking paper and foil over top of steamer. Tie firmly with string to secure. Cover with metal lid.
- Place a small, heatproof saucer (4cm deep) upside down in the centre of a removable bowl of a 5- to 6-litre capacity slow cooker. Sit steamer on the saucer. Pour in enough cold water (about 7 cups) to come 3⁄4 of the way up the side of steamer. Cover cooker tightly with two sheets of foil. Cover with lid.
- Cook on high for 6 hours. Pudding is cooked when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove steamer. Stand for 30 minutes. Remove lid and foil. Turn out pudding onto a plate. Remove lining paper.
- Serve warm pudding with custard.