Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
Put the dates in a bowl, pour over
250ml boiling water and set aside.
Butter a 1.5-litre pudding basin and
put a disc of baking parchment in the
Put the butter, sugar, flour, baking
powder and eggs in a large bowl, then
beat with an electric hand whisk until
well blended. Add the cooled date mix
and beat again to make a sloppy batter
Stir in the fruits, pecans and ginger,
then pour into the pudding basin and
cover the basin with pleated baking
paper and foil (see tips, below). Put the
basin in a roasting tin half-filled with
boiling water, then steam in the oven
for 3 hrs until a skewer inserted into the
pudding comes out clean.
Meanwhile, make the brandy syrup. Put
the sugar and 75ml water in a pan and
stir over the heat until syrupy. Stir in the
brandy and remove from the heat. When
the pudding is ready, remove from the
oven, take off the foil and paper, and
push a skewer into the centre – it should
come out clean. Pour over the brandy
syrup so it soaks into the pudding, then
cover until ready to serve. Will keep in
the fridge for a week.
To serve, warm the pudding in the
turned-off oven once you have taken
out the potatoes, or microwave on High,
covered with cling film, for 5 mins. Warm
the butterscotch sauce (see related recipes) in a pan or
in the microwave on Medium for 2 mins.
Turn out the pudding onto a plate, pour
over some of the sauce and serve the
rest in a jug. Top with the holly sprig and
serve with good-quality vanilla ice cream