Irish Christmas Pudding Recipe
1/2 C. currants
1/2 C. sultana raisins, chopped
1/2 C. citron, chopped
1/2 C. preserved cherries, chopped
2 C. brandy, divided
3/4 C. all-purpose flour
2 C. bread crumbs
1 C. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 C. beef suet or vegetable shortening, finely chopped
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. ground allspice
1/2 t. ground ginger
1 C. almonds, chopped
1 baking apple, peeled and grated
Rind and juice of 2 lemons
4 large eggs
1 C. Guinness stout (or apple juice)
1 T. butter
Blend together the currants, Sultanas, citron, and preserved cherries in a glass bowl. Pour one cup of brandy over the dried fruits and let stand for 12 hours.
Mix together the flour, breadcrumbs, brown sugar, suet, salt, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger in a large mixing bowl. Add the almonds, grated apple and brandy-plumped fruit to the dry ingredients. Add the lemon rind and fresh lemon juice and blend the mixture well.
In a separate mixing bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the stout or apple juice to the eggs, and blend the wet ingredients with the dry flour mixture. Work the eggs and stout in a little at a time, blending well after each addition.
Grease two 6-inch bowls with the butter. Pour the raw pudding mixture into the prepared bowls until each is about two-thirds full. Top the bowls either lightly floured muslin or with two layers of well-secured wax paper.
Place the bowls in one large kettle or two medium-sized separate kettles, and add enough water to the kettles to rise up to about three-quarters of the height of the bowls.
Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 to 6 hours, making sure to add water from time to time in order to maintain the cooking height on the bowls.
Remove the bowls from the kettles, then remove the muslin or wax paper covers. Allow the puddings to cool thoroughly before removing them from their bowls.
Place the puddings on plates and pour the remaining one cup of brandy over the top of each pudding filled plate. Allow the pudding to stand to soak in the brandy.
Wrap the puddings in cheesecloth and place them in airtight containers. Refrigerate the puddings in this manner for 2 to 3 weeks.
To serve the Irish pudding, place the pudding back into their original cooking bowls. Simmer them in water, uncovered, for 2 or 3 hours. Remove the puddings from the kettles again, and cover with a bit of brandy to flame just before serving.
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