Several days to a week before you plan to cook the pudding take a large bowl and mix all the dried fruit and peel together.
Add the flour, breadcrumbs, spices and salt mix well with your hands.
Add lemon zest, grated butter, sugar, eggs and all the liquids and blend well.
Cover and set aside in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Lightly grease 3 x 1 litre ceramic pudding bowls with butter and line just the very bottom with a small circle of baking paper.
Stir the mixture and spoon it into the pudding bowls and smooth over the surface. Cover the mixture with the large double layered circle of baking paper. Place over this a double layered larger piece of foil, tied tightly just under the rim with string.
Keep the string place by lifting the foil upwards, preventing the string from rolling down.
You will need a very large heavy based saucepan for each pudding you plan to cook, and in each saucepan you will need to place an old saucer upside down in the saucepan. Place each of the pudding bowls into a saucepan of boiling water, enough to come to 2 1/2 cm below the rim of the bowl. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for 6 hours, topping up with boiling water from the kettle as required.
Remove the pans from the heat and allow the pudding to cool. Store in a large ziplock bag in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
To serve, prepare as many saucepans as you need (as above) and heat the puddings in simmering water for 2 hours.
For each pudding, gently heat 120 ml of brandy on the stove. Warning: – this is very flammable.
Turn the pudding out onto a plate. Carefully pour the hot brandy over, light with a match and present it to the table.
Serve with whipped cream, brandy sauce or homemade ice cream.
The pudding will store in the fridge for up to 6 months.