To facilitate chopping the dried peaches, rub your knife with vegetable oil so that the fruit doesn't stick to it.
Start the pudding at least one day ahead to allow time for the fruit to macerate.
1/2 pound dried sour cherries
1/2 pound dried peaches, finely chopped
1/2 cup dark beer
1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons bourbon
14 tablespoons (7 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 1/2 cups fine brioche bread crumbs (4 ounces)
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Mint sprigs (optional) and lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving
How to Make It
In a medium bowl, combine the cherries, peaches, beer, and 1/3 cup of the bourbon. Cover and let macerate overnight.
Butter a 1 1/2-quart steamed pudding mold or soufflé dish. Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle or a hand-held electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar on moderate speed until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, add the grated orange and lemon zest. Sift in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg and blend just until smooth. Add the brioche crumbs and macerated dried fruit and its liquid and mix just until combined.
Bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Scrape the batter into the prepared mold. Cover with foil and tie with string to hold the foil in place. Set the pudding in the casserole, cover with a lid and steam over moderate heat until the pudding is set and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 1/4 hours. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 1/2 hour.
Run a knife around the sides of the mold to loosen the pudding, then invert the pudding onto a large serving plate. In a small bowl, whisk the confectioners' sugar with the remaining 2 teaspoons bourbon until smooth. Spoon the icing into a small sturdy plastic bag and cut off a very small corner of the bag. Drizzle the icing in a crisscross pattern over the top of the pudding. Garnish the pudding with mint sprigs and serve warm with whipped cream.
The pudding can be steamed (Step Three) up to 8 hours ahead; let stand at room temperature. Reheat in the water bath in the casserole for about 20 minutes.
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