2. Combine plumped currants with remaining fruits and the walnuts in a large bowl. Sift together dry ingredients and add to fruit mixture. Add suet, bread and apple cider, brown sugar, eggs, and jam and blend well. Your hands or a wooden spoon will work best to combine the batter, as it is very sticky and heavy.
3. Spoon batter into prepared molds seven-eighths full and cover tightly with rounds of moistened parchment paper. Secure twice, first with rubber bands and then with pieces of cotton string (the rubber bands may break during cooking). Place molds in large roasting pans, and fill with boiling water to come halfway up molds. Cover molds and pan with aluminum foil and steam in oven for 5 to 6 hours, adding boiling water as necessary to keep water level up.
4. Remove molds from roasting pans and uncover puddings. Pour 1/2 cup of cognac or brandy over each one and re-cover with a circle of waxed paper and a fresh piece of moistened parchment paper. Secure with a rubber band and a piece of cotton string. Set molds in a cool place to ripen for 1 month.
5. To serve an individual pudding, heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Place mold on a rack in a large pan. Fill pan with boiling water to come halfway up mold. Cover with foil and steam in oven for 2 hours. Loosen sides of pudding with a thin metal spatula and invert mold onto a serving platter. Heat together 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 cup cognac, pour over warm pudding, and flame with a match. Serve with Hard Sauce (recipe follows).
note: Raw eggs should not be used in food prepared for pregnant women, babies, young children, or anyone whose health is compromised.