If you are using alcohol, pour your chosen alcohol over your dried fruit and leave to soak overnight. This step is optional.
In a large bowl, add each ingredient in the order they are listed, stirring as you do. When it comes to the egg, ensure they are beaten well and all the ingredients are combined.
Generously grease a 2 pint pudding bowl with butter before spooning the mixture in and pressing it down with the back of a spoon.
With a piece of greaseproof paper large enough to cover your pudding bowl, fold a pleat in the middle before placing over the top of your pudding bowl. Repeat with a piece of tin foil and place on top of your greaseproof paper before tightly tying in place - around the top of the bowl - with a piece of string. Trim away the excess greaseproof paper and tin foil before cooking.
Steam your pudding in a large pan with simmering water and the lid on for around 5 and a half hours, keeping an eye on the pan so that the water doesn't run dry. Top up with boiling water as required.
Once completely cool, remove the pudding from the bowl, wrap in greaseproof paper, followed by tin foil and store in a cool place until required.
To reheat your pudding, place it back into the pudding bowl and steam again for about 2 hours before serving.