1 cup (3 slices) soft white bread crumbs, crusts trimmed and discarded
2 sticks (1 cup) cold butter, cut in small pieces
1 cup (1 medium) apple, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup dates, finely chopped
1/2 cup figs, finely chopped
1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup citron, diced (or substitute chopped, dried cherries)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
2 large egg yolks, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup whipping cream, stiffly beaten
In a large bowl, combine with hands bread crumbs, butter, apple, brown sugar, raisins, dates, figs, walnuts and citron (or dried cherries). Whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking powder. Combine with fruit mixture. Add beaten eggs and milk, and stir until blended.
Pour into a well-buttered 6 cup mold. Cover with aluminum foil. Place mold on a wire rack in bottom of large kettle that contains 1 inch of water. (Be sure the water does not touch the mold.) Bring water to simmer; cover with lid and steam on low for 3 hours. Remove from kettle; let cool for 30 minutes on wire rack before inverting on serving platter.
Combine sugar with water in small saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Place thermometer in pan and boil until syrup reached 250°F to 255°F (or, syrup forms a hard ball when dropped into ice water.) Add hot syrup gradually to bowl containing egg yolks, beating constantly until creamy; add vanilla. Just before serving, fold in stiffly-beaten whipped cream. Serve warm pudding with sauce.