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Put the mixed fruit, halved glacé cherries, mixed peel, carrot, and lemon and orange zest in a bowl with the sugar and spice. Pour in the lemon juice and alcohol, and stir really well. Cover and leave to soak overnight.
Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3 and put a full kettle of water on to boil. Grease a 1.5-litre pudding basin and put a disc of baking parchment in the base. Stir the eggs into the fruit mixture, then stir in the chopped nuts, flour and breadcrumbs. Finally, grate in the frozen butter, stirring the mixture frequently so that it evenly disperses.
For the topping, mix the soft butter and golden syrup together, and spread over the bottom of the basin. Pile in the whole cherries, orange segments and whole nuts, breaking the pecans in half as you add them. Try not to just make a thick layer of fruit and nuts on the base – ease some up the side too. Spoon in the pudding mixture and level the top, then cover with baking parchment and foil. Tie the top with string or an extra-large rubber band, then place in a roasting tin and pour in the water from the kettle. Cover the whole thing with a tent of foil to seal in all the steam, then place in the oven for 6 hrs. This gives a light pudding, so if you prefer a darker one, cook for up to 8 hrs. Will keep in the fridge for 1 month. If you want it to last longer, omit the orange segments.
To serve, steam in a large pan with an upturned saucer on the base for 2 hrs, then turn out and decorate with holly, if you like. Serve with Brandy syrup cream (see 'Goes well with').
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