500 ml (2 cups) dried fruit, chopped (dates, raisins, cranberries, prunes, figs, etc.)
125 ml (1/2 cup) Cognac (or rum)
125 ml (1/2 cup) maple syrup
Butter as needed
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
15 ml (1 tablespoon) baking powder
Pinch of fine salt
5 ml (1 teaspoon) ground cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
45 ml (3 tablespoons) butter, softened
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) maple sugar
125 ml (1/2 cup) milk
250 ml (1 cup) white bread, crust removed, broken into small pieces
250 ml (1 cup) maple syrup
60 ml (1/4 cup) Cognac or rum
125 ml (1/2 cup) butter
60 ml (1/4 cup) instant flour
Pinch of salt
Macerate the dried fruit in the Cognac or rum and the maple syrup for 24 hours. Butter a 2-L (8-cup) pudding pan. Set aside. In a bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and the spices. Set aside. In another bowl, beat together the eggs, butter and maple sugar. Add the milk and the bread, mix to combine, then fold in the dry ingredients and the macerated fruit. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Cover with a layer of parchment paper and then aluminum foil; tie with a string to keep the cover snug. Place a towel or rack in the bottom of a very large pot. Place the pudding pan on top and pour boiling water around it until it is two-thirds submerged. Cover and simmer for 4 hours over low heat. Check water level periodically during cooking. Add water as needed to keep it at the two-thirds level. Remove pan from dish and let stand 15 minutes before unmoulding the plum pudding.
To serve, heat the maple syrup and 60 ml (1/4 cup) Cognac or rum. Brush pudding with warm mixture. Mix the butter and flour into what is left of the maple syrup mixture and reduce. Add the pinch of salt and serve alongside the pudding.
This sauce is simply divine! It makes a delicious side to any dessert.