Photograph: Martin Poole
Break up the ginger cake and whiz it to crumbs in a food processor. Tip it into a large bowl with the breadcrumbs, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, flour, sultanas, raisins, cranberries and pecans. Mix everything together well. Scatter over the grated butter and apple, then toss them into the dry ingredients in the bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine the beaten eggs with the orange zest and juice, then pour over the other ingredients in the large bowl. Stir thoroughly until everything is combined. Pile the mixture into both halves of a 2-litre buttered ball mould (see below), then join them together. Steam the pudding for 4 hours. Cool completely; remove the pudding from the mould and wrap in nonstick baking paper and foil; store until needed.
Steam the pudding in the mould for a further 2 hours on Christmas Day.
To make the ginger sauce, heat the cream and ginger wine in a pan to simmering point – don't let it boil. In a bowl, mix together the egg yolks, cornflour, sugar and ground ginger. Pour the cream over the egg mixture, stirring until combined. Return the sauce to the pan and heat gently, stirring with a wooden spoon, until it thickens and coats the back of the spoon easily.
Place the pudding on a serving plate, top with a little of the sauce and decorate with cranberries and bay leaves. Serve the rest of the sauce alongside.
Kitchen secret: the pudding can also be steamed in a 2-litre pudding basin. Cut out a square of nonstick baking paper big enough to cover the top of the basin and butter one side. Cut out a square of foil the same size, then place both over the top of the basin (buttered paper-side down) once the mixture is inside the basin. Make a pleat in the middle to allow the pudding to expand as it steams. Tie string around the rim of the basin to secure the paper and foil and make a string handle so you can lift the cooked pudding out of the pan easily.
You can buy 2-litre ball moulds from specialist cookware and bakeware shops such as Jane Asher.
We’ve replaced suet with grated butter and some of the usual breadcrumbs with ginger cake, so the pud remains light but is full of flavour. The apple and cranberries keep the pud juicy, and the final flourish is a dash of ginger wine stirred into the sauce – a twist on tradition.