Traditional Irish Plum Pudding

Traditional Irish Plum Pudding

Traditional Irish Plum Pudding

It’s too late to make this for your Christmas dinner, but you can always save it for next year.  It should be started about 4 months ahead of time. 

Traditional Irish Plum Pudding
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Irish
Author: Marsha Powell
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 15
Ingredients
  • 10 eggs
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 4 ounces chopped almond pieces
  • 1 grated apple
  • 1 pound light brown sugar
  • 1 medium carrot, grated (this optional ingredient probably crept into the recipe during WWII when fruits was in short supply)
  • Rind and juice of an orange and a lemon
  • 3 pounds raisins, use some currants, some yellow, and some sultanas. The more variety in fruits, the better the pudding.
  • 8 ounces candied cherries or natural dried cherries
  • 24 ounces bread crumbs
  • 12 ounces candied peel (candied pineapple chunks, citron, mixed peel)
  • 1 pint of Guinness
  • 5 tablespoons of hard liquor
  • 1 pound butter or finely minced suet if preferred
  • Brandy Butter:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup brandy (or whiskey, Irish or otherwise)
Instructions
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Rub the raisins and other fruits with the flour and spices. The flour adheres to the stickiness of the fruits and gives the pudding a nice even texture.
  2. Cut the butter into fine pieces and mix well with the dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the liquid ingredients. When the liquids have been well stirred, add them to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix all together very well.
  4. The batter should be a bit loose, a little thicker than a cake mix. If it’s dry like bread dough, add more Guinness.
  5. Grease a big square of unbleached muslin and pour the pudding into this, tying off the top with string. In these modern times, heat-proof bowls are an acceptable substitute for the cloth bag method … and much easier.
  6. Line the bowl with parchment paper; fill to within an inch of the top of the bowl. Cover the batter with parchment paper and use a lid for steaming. Sealing the top of the bowl with foil will work if there is no self-lid for the bowl.
  7. Fill the pot in which you are steaming the pudding to just below the top of the pudding bowl and gently boil for at least 12 hours. I use the slow cooker for this and it works very well. Depending on the size of the bowls used, you may get about three puddings from this recipe.
  8. When the pudding has cooled, remove it from the bowl, dribble brandy (or any other whiskey-type stuff) over the top of it, letting as much sink in as possible.
  9. Seal the puddings in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. (Don’t let the aluminum touch the pudding as there is a reaction that dulls the foil and I suspect this is not good for the pud or the people eating it.)
  10. Let it sit for as long as possible before serving. Three or four months is not too long. Occasionally dribble the pudding with a shot of the spirit of your choice: brandy, whiskey, bourbon, etc.
  11. Traditionally, the pudding was steamed again for an hour before serving. There are two possible methods: Remove the wrapping, return the pudding to the original bowl, and steam again for an hour.
  12. Turn it out on a heat-proof serving plate and proceed to the lighting process (directions below).
  13. Brandy Butter:
  14. Soften butter. Beat the butter with an electric mixer until it’s fluffy.
  15. Slowly add an equal amount or more of confectioner’s sugar. You will see that the mixture changes in texture.
  16. Slowly add the brandy after this textural change in the sugar/butter blend. Beat further until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.
  17. Spoon the brandy butter into serving dishes and chill until firm. When turning the mixture into the serving dish, finish off the top by swirling it into a circular pattern with the bottom of the spoon for a decorative effect.
  18. Lighting the Pudding:
  19. To light the plum pudding, pour a generous cup of Brandy on top. There’ll be a little puddle on the plate. That should light pretty easily and the blue flames will creep up the sides.
  20. Douse the lights in the dining room to bring in the pudding to the acclaim of all at the table. Don’t be disappointed if the flame is out quickly. That’s how it goes.
  21. I have no idea or wish to know the carb count of this wonderful traditional food. Save one pudding for New Year’s Day dinner if you can. Leftover pudding is generally fried in a little butter in a cast-iron pan the next day.

 


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