An Irish Christmas dinner just would not feel like Christmas without plum pudding for dessert. I have taken my Moms old recipe, and given it an American spin, by substituting dried wild blueberries and cranberries for currants. I also use marmalade and dried pineapple for mixed peel, because I find the psychedelic food coloring in American mixed peel, is not very appealing.
I added extra butter to my recipe and omitted the traditional lard or suet. I just couldn't bring myself to throw it in, knowing how much saturated fat is in suet. A bit of butter will do no harm!! That's what I tell myself, anyway!
This Christmas pudding is a little lighter in color than my Mom's. If you like a darker one, just add some treacle or molasses instead of some of the brown sugar, and make sure you use dark brown sugar. Liquid browning can also be used to enhance the depth of color.
I use my favorite American kitchen appliance, the crockpot, to steam my pudding. My husband now calls me the Crockpot Crackpot.
Making a Christmas pudding is a lengthy process, but well worth the effort. Happy crockpot steaming!
1/2 cup orange marmalade (with large chunks of peel)
1/2 cup dried pineapple (chopped in small pieces)
1 and 1/2 cups raisins
1 and 1/2 cups golden raisins
1 cup dried wild blueberries
1/2 cup marishcino cherries (halved with stems removed)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dates (chopped)
1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)
1/2 cup almonds (slivered)
1 cup brown sugar
2 and 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 green apple (peeled and grated)
1 carrot (peeled and grated)
8oz melted butter (2 sticks)
1 lemon (juice and grated rind)
1 orange (juice and grated peel)
4 eggs (whisked)
2fl oz brandy
1 cup Guinness stout (8 fluid ounces)
Chop the dried pineapple into small pieces and mix into the marmalade. Cover and let stand for 1 hour before mixing the pudding.
Add the raisins, golden raisins, dried wild blueberries, dried cranberries, and chopped dates to a large mixing bowl.
Remove the stems and halve the maraschino cherries. Toss into the fruit bowl.
Add the chopped walnuts and slivered almonds to the mixing bowl.
Add the brown sugar and bread crumbs and mix well.
Sieve the flour, salt and spices, then stir into the prepared fruit and nuts.
Add the grated apple and carrot, the grated lemon and orange peel.
Pour the melted butter over the fruit mixture and combine well together.
Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl. Add the fruit juices and brandy and whisk again. Add the marmalade and pineapple mixture to the eggs. Mix together well before combining the egg mixture with the prepared fruit and nuts. Mix well together.
Pour the Guinness stout over the fruit mixture and combine together gently, but thoroughly, mixing the stout throughout the pudding mixture.
Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Leave the mixture for at least 12 hours before cooking, to allow the flavors time to blend.
Brush the inside of two glass pudding bowls, that can withstand boiling temperatures, with melted butter. This recipe makes one 1 and 1/2 quart size pudding, and one larger 2 and 1/2 quart size.
Place approximately two-thirds of the pudding mixture in the larger bowl, and the remainder in the smaller glass steaming bowl.
Cover the bowls with a large piece of parchment paper, with a fold creased into the center. Secure around the rim of the bowl with cotton thread. Cover the entire bowl and parchment paper top in aluminum foil.
Using cotton twine or thread create a handle around the prepared bowl for ease of lifting in and out of the crockpot. Place the bowl in a crockpot large enough for the pudding bowl to stand a minimum of a 1/2-inch away from the walls of the crockpot basin.
Add water to the crockpot to cover three-quarters of the height of the pudding bowl. Cook on high power for 1 hour, then reduce to low heat for an additional 5 hours for the smaller pudding and 6 hours for the larger pudding.
Remove the bowl from the crockpot and allow to cool for two hours before unwrapping the pudding.
Place a plate under the cooking bowl, turn it over, and allow gravity loosen the pudding onto the plate. Wrap the pudding in aluminum foil when fully cooled. Store in an air-tight container for 4 to 6 weeks prior to eating.
To reheat the pudding, place back into a steaming bowl. Prepare the bowl as outlined above and resteam on high for 1 hour in a crockpot.
Serve in slices with egg custard, or whipped cream, or brandy butter.