- Put the dried fruit, bicarbonate of soda and boiling water in a medium heatproof bowl. Cover with cling film. Stand 15 minutes. Drain, discarding the liquid.
- Meanwhile, for the decoration, brush the pudding basin with softened butter. Place the almonds and glace fruit in the base of a 2 litre non-stick metal pudding basin with lid.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, mixed spice, salt and suet in a large mixing bowl. Mix well, then make a well in the centre.
- Add drained fruit, milk, sherry, golden syrup, juice and zest. Mix well. Spoon into pudding basin over glace fruit. Secure lid.
- Place an upturned heatproof saucer in the base of a large saucepan (big enough to hold the pudding). Place the pudding basin on saucer in the pan. Add enough boiling water to the pan to come 3/4 up side of the basin. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook covered, adding more boiling water as necessary, for 2 hours and 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean.
- Set aside for 5 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Serve with double thick cream.