A rich and flamboyant dessert, Jamaican Rum Pudding will be the ideal conclusion to a super meal.
2 oz. raisins
2 oz. currants
4 oz. glace cherries
4 oz. dried apricots, chopped
8 fl. oz. dark rum
8 trifle sponges (small sponge cakes)
8 oz. sugar
4 fl. oz. plus
1 tablespoon water
12 fl. oz. milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1 vanilla pod, split in two
2 eggs plus
2 egg yolks
Place the raisins, currants, glace cherries and apricots in a medium-sized mixing bowl and pour over the rum. Set the bowl aside for 30 minutes.
In a small saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the water over moderate heat, stirring constantly. Increase the heat slightly and boil the caramel until it is deep golden brown. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the caramel into a 3-pint mould. Tip and rotate the mould until the bottom and sides are coated with the caramel. Set aside.
To make the custard, in a medium-sized saucepan, bring the milk and sugar to the boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. When the sugar has dissolved, add the vanilla pod to the milk. Cover the pan, remove it from the heat and leave the vanilla to infuse with the milk for 20 minutes.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the eggs and the egg yolks together with a wire whisk until they are well blended.
Remove and discard the vanilla pod and pour the milk gradually on to the eggs, beating constantly. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to warm 325 °F (Gas Mark 3, 170°C).
Drain the fruit and reserve the rum. Place 3 heaped tablespoonfuls of the fruit in the bottom of the mould.
Crumble the sponge cakes into pieces and sprinkle about one-quarter over the fruit. Pour
1 tablespoon of the rum over the crumbs. Place another
3 tablespoons of the fruit on top, scatter over another layer of cake crumbs and sprinkle over another tablespoon of rum.
Continue making layers until the fruit and cake have been used up, pouring over 1 table-spoon of rum on each cake layer.
Reserve the remaining rum.
Strain the custard carefully over the cake and fruit mixture.
Half-fill a baking tin with hot water and place the mould in the water. Place the baking tin in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until the mixture has pulled away from the sides of the mould and the custard is set.
Remove the baking tin from the oven and remove the mould from the water. Wipe the base of the mould dry.
In a small saucepan, heat the remaining rum over low heat. Place a serving dish, inverted, over the mould and turn the pudding out on to it. Pour the rum over the pudding, ignite it and serve immediately.