Butter your pudding basin.
Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the egg to the creamed mix, beating well after each addition.
Sift in the flour, add the fruit, nuts (if using) and almond essence. Add just enough milk to make a soft, slightly wet dough (dropping consistency). Pour batter into the pudding basin, cover, and steam for 2.5 hours OR microwave on high for 5 minutes (based on 750W microwave, adjust to your micro).
While cooking, make up some fresh custard. Enjoy!