Irish Christmas Pudding (Plum Pudding)

This Irish Christmas recipe needs a little explanation.

First thing is this is called “plum” pudding, but it doesn’t contain plums. I think this just refers to the raisins in it.
The second thing is that this pudding takes a long time to cook. It is usually made 2 to 3 weeks or more ahead of time. It keeps very well. It is said it needs to age at least this long for the best flavor. If you really don’t want to wait that long you can just buy a traditional plum pudding .
This recipe makes 2 puddings
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1/2 cup Sultana raisins, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped citron
  • 1/2 cup preserved cherries, chopped
  • 2 cups Irish whiskey
  • 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped suet
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 apple peeled and grated
  • Zest of 1 lemon rind
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup Guinness
  • 1 tablespoon butter
In a large non-metal bowl mix the first 4 ingredients of fruit with one cup of the whiskey. Cover and let stand for at least 12 hours.
Later in another large bowl combine the flour, breadcrumbs, sugar, suet, salt and spices. Mix well. Add the almonds, grated apples, the whiskey soaked fruit, lemon juice and lemon zest. Again mixing well.
In another bowl beat the eggs to a froth and add the Guinness. Slowly add this mixture to the flour mixture blending well.
Grease two 6″ bowls with butter and pour in equal amounts of the pudding. Cover the bowls with aluminum foil and over that tie on a piece of muslin with butcher’s string. Put the bowls in a large pot and add water to the pot until it is three quarters of the way up the bowls. Bring to a boil then turn down to a slow simmer. Simmer for about 5-1/2 to 6 hours adding water as needed.
Remove the puddings from the pot and remove the cloth and foil. Let cool. Put the puddings on a plate and pour on the other cup of Irish whiskey. Allow the puddings to completely soak up the whiskey. Wrap in cheesecloth and place them in a sealed container. Let them age in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.
To serve, place the puddings back in their bowls and put them in a pot of simmering water. Reheat for 2 to 3 hours.

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