*Dried fruit is high is fructose, we recommend that you do not have an excessive amount of this dessert, however it is a Christmas dessert, not a daily treat.
Put all the ingredients for the pudding into a big bowl and stir together until well mixed. Don’t be put off by the consistency of the mixture – it is quite wet. Lightly oil a 1.5 litre pudding basin.
Tip the mixture into this and press down. Make a cover for the pudding basin using a double layer each of oiled greaseproof paper and aluminium foil.
Make a pleat in the middle of these sheets to allow for expansion of the pudding. Press it over the top of the pudding basin and secure it well with a double piece of string. Use a little extra string to make a handle for ease of lifting in and out of the boiling water.
Cook the pudding in a large pan with a well-fitting lid. There should be enough boiling water to come two-thirds up the sides of the basin at all times – so keep an eye on it. Cook the pudding for 3 hrs.
To make the topping, cook the cranberries in the maple syrup until they burst open and become syrupy. Once the pudding is cooked, remove the cover and carefully tip it onto a large serving plate. Spoon the hot cranberry and maple syrup over the top and serve straight away.