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Put the apricots and raisins in a small dish, pour over the brandy and leave to soak, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, beat the egg and sugar together in a medium bowl, then whisk in the custard powder with a balloon whisk until smooth. Warm the milk in a small non-stick saucepan; then, when it’s just coming up to a boil, remove from the heat and slowly stir into the egg mixture. Scrape in the vanilla seeds, drop in the pared lemon zest and vanilla pod and set aside to cool and infuse for 30 mins.
Whisk the crème fraîche into the cooled milk. Strain this custard through a sieve into a jug. Using ¼ tsp butter from the 25g, very lightly butter a shallow ovenproof dish, about 20 x 25 x 4.5cm.
Butter the bread on one side only with the rest of the butter, then spread over the conserve or jam. Cut each slice into 4 triangles, then lay half the triangles, jam side up, in the dish. Scatter over half the apricots and raisins, then lay the rest of the bread over the top, again jam side up. Scatter over the rest of the dried fruit and any unsoaked brandy, then pour half the custard over the bread. Leave to soak for 15 mins. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
Sit the dish in a roasting tin. Pour the rest of the custard over the bread, press the bread lightly into the custard then half fill the roasting tin with hot water. Bake for 20 mins, then raise the heat to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and bake for a further 5-10 mins until the bread on top is crisp and golden. Remove and let the pudding sit for 2-3 mins. Sift over the icing sugar and serve warm.
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