Many years ago, when I first came to Ireland, I got completely hooked on this best of all Irish Christmas traditions. Back then, I watched my mother in law open a secret wall cupboard. In there she hid her stash of Irish Whiskey Christmas Pudding which she made for each of her ten children, every year. Fascinated, I watched, how she carefully poured a spoonful of Irish Whiskey over each of these little masterpieces several times a week. By the time Christmas arrived, I was full of excitement and couldn‘t wait to have my first taste of pure Irish bliss. And bliss it was. Rich flavors, soft moisture and the unforgettable taste of Irish Whiskey all blend together. Heavenly!
So for all those of you, who love all things Irish, or who miss having their Irish Whiskey Christmas Pudding. Here is my most beloved recipe dedicated to my Irish mother in law.
Shopping List for Your Irish Whiskey Christmas Pudding
- Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
- Grated rind and juice of 1 orange
- I large cooking apple, grated finely (this is less for taste but more for moisture and acidity; so use any apple you like; I sometimes even use Granny Smiths)
- 1 cup dried plums
- 1 cup raisins & sultanas
- 1 heaped tablespoon chopped or flaked almonds
- 1 heaped tablespoon chopped glazed cherries
- 1 tablespoon chopped mixed peel
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons mixed spice (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg)
- 3 tablespoons good Irish Whiskey ;-)))
- 1 cup fresh white breadcrumbs (they need to be slightly moist; in Austria they normally come dried, pour in a couple of tablespoons of warm milk and steep before using them)
- 1 cup self raising flour (or normal flour with some added ‚Backpulver‘, about 1/2 package)
- 2 eggs, beaten together
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 10 dkg Butter
This recipe gives you enough batter to make a pudding in a 1 pint (approx. 1/2 l) pudding bowl.
Tip: You can get these anywhere, e.g. from Amazon.
You will need some waxed or greaseproof paper to cover the pudding, or you can use a pudding bowl with a tight fitting lid (see ‚Tip‘).
You will need a little additional butter to grease the inside of the bowl before adding the mix.
Mix together all the ingredients from the first list, ending with the Whiskey, and stir them all together, in a large bowl. Cover and leave in a dark, cool and dry place for at least 3-4 hours. Better still, leave it overnight.
The next morning, stir the breadcrumbs through the fruit mix.
Using an electric blender, mix the flour, eggs, salt and butter together. Add to the fruit mix and stir well. If the mixture seems a little dry add a dessertspoon or two of milk.
Put the mixture into a bowl and cover tightly using the lid or a cover made from several layers of greaseproof or waxed paper held in place with string. Fold one grease in the middle of the greaseproof paper to allow the pudding to expand.
Place the bowl in a saucepan of water, with the water coming about two thirds up the side of the pudding bowl. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a bare simmer. Cover the saucepan with a well fitted lid. Simmer like this for about 6 hours. Top up with boiling water every hour!
After it is cooked, wrap the pudding in greaseproof paper and store in a dry, cool place (such as a secret wall cupboard :)). My mother in law’s secret ingredient was to prick some holes into the paper. And then pour a little of the Irish Whiskey over the little gems several times a week.
How to Serve your Irish Whiskey Christmas Pudding
The cooked pudding will keep for a good while. When it is needed, steam it again for about 2 hours in the bowl, or reheat in the microwave oven for about 5-10 mins.
Then serve with fresh cream, or indeed any other sauce you may fancy. Such as warm Vanillesauce, Brandy Cream and many others, that may come to mind.
And most of all, ENJOY!