Preparation / Directions:
Sift the flour, baking powder and spice into a large bowl. Add the butter and eggs.
Place treacle in a measuring jug, add the stout and rum if using, alternatively, add an extra 2 tablespoons of stout. Pour into the flour mixture and mix all the ingredients well together.
Next add the apple, nuts, currants, mincemeat and grated orange and lemon zest.
Mix together with a spoon and then divide the mixture equally between the 8 well-buttered pudding basins.
Cover each basin with a small circle of buttered greaseproof paper, following with a square of foil, large enough to fold under the edges of the basins, using a ''pleating'' motion to seal.
Place the basins into a shallow roasting tin. Place in a preheated oven 180ø C, 350ø F, Gas Mark 4 and pour 1cm ( 1/2 inch) boiling water into the roasting tin. Bake for 45-50 minutes, allow to cool in the basins for 10 minutes, then carefully run a knife around the edge of the puddings to turn out onto a serving plate.
Delicous served hot or cold with brandy butter, cr‚me frâiche or doubl