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Chefs Blog in Sydney


Christmas recipes from the Chef – Irish Christmas pudding

Hi again. This is Paul, Mercure Sydney ‘s Executive Chef. It wouldn’t be a Christmas feast without a pudding and this year ignore the packaged options and make one yourself! It’s easier than you think and it’s sure to impress the pudding connoisseurs in the family.

Christmas puddings are best made 2 to 3 weeks ahead of time and with a month until Christmas now is the perfect time to get prepared. This recipe keeps very well and the ageing process creates the best flavour.

Irish Christmas pudding recipe
• 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 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.  Tap them onto a plate and for the best effect, just before serving, it’s a tradition for us Irish to pour whiskey over the top and set alight (but have a fire extinguisher close by!!!).

I hope you and your family enjoy the recipe and we look forward to seeing you at Four Elements Restaurant when you are next in Sydney.

Paul Kavanagh
Executive Chef
Four Elements Restaurant, Mercure Sydney Hotel

P.S. I was only joking about the fire extinguisher.

Posted on Thursday, November 24, 2011 - Permalink


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    Mercure Sydney Hotel

    818 - 820 George Street
    Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

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