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Tip the sultanas, raisins, currants and candied peel into the largest bowl you have. Add the apple, citrus zests, orange juice, brandy and stout. Stir everything together, cover with a clean tea towel and leave overnight to soak.
Add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl along with ½ tsp salt and mix well to combine – don’t forget to make a wish! Set the slow cooker to low.
Butter the pudding basin and line the base with a circle of baking parchment. Spoon in the pudding mixture, pressing it down well, then make a gap in the middle using the back of the spoon. Cover the surface with another circle of baking parchment, then stack a sheet of parchment over a sheet of foil, fold a pleat in the middle and use this to cover the basin. Secure at the rim with kitchen string and add a looped handle. Carefully lower the basin into the slow cooker, then fill with water so it comes halfway up the sides of the basin. Cook for 10 hrs, topping up with water as necessary. Once cooked, remove the basin from the slow cooker and leave to cool completely before storing in a cool, dark place for up to six months.
On the day you’re ready to serve, return the pudding to the slow cooker set to low, and fill with water as before. Reheat for 4 hrs, then turn out onto a serving plate. Warm some triple sec in a small pan over a low heat, drizzle this over the pudding and carefully set alight. Serve with brandy butter or custard.