The day before you make the pudding, if time allows, put the sultanas, raisins, currants, in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with some brandy and stir into the fruit. Cover and leave to soak overnight.
Next day add in the flour, breadcrumbs, sugar, almonds, cherries and mixed peel and spices to the soaked fruit and mix well to combine.
Add lemon zest and juice orange zest, melted butter and eggs and mix well.
Place in a well-greased 2lb pudding bowl. Cover with two well-greased pieces of greaseproof paper making sure there is a fold across the middle. Place a double layer of tin foil, secured with string, or alternatively the lid of the pudding bowl on top.
Place the pudding bowl into a large saucepan half filed with water. Bring the water to the boil and then reduce to a very gentle simmer. Simmer for 4-6 hours, making sure that the water does not boil off. Top up with some additional water if required.
After the cooking time has elapsed remove the pudding from the water and remove the lid and greaseproof paper and allow the pudding to cool down completely.
When cold, re-cover as before with fresh paper and store till needed.
On Christmas morning, you can reheat the pudding either in the microwave or you can steam for in a large saucepan of water (as per the cooking method) for a further hour until thoroughly heated through.
Serve warm with brandy butter.