Uncle Arthur's Christmas Pudding

Yield: makes two puddings; each serves 6 to 8

Courtesy: Jack Devaney


Originally called Mr. Guinness’s Christmas Pudding, this is a recipe that appears in Georgina Campbell’s Classic Irish Recipes cookbook.  Uncle Arthur?, the affectionate name for the Guinness Brewery in Dublin. Since Christmas is a time for family, we thought that, in this case, Uncle Arthur would be appropriate.

Ingredients (for the pudding)
5 cups fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 3/4 cups currants
1 3/4 cups raisins, chopped
1 3/4 cups golden raisins
2 ounces chopped mixed peel
10 ounces shredded suet
1/2 level teaspoon salt
2 to 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
Grated rind of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup skimmed or low-fat milk
1 cup Guinness (If you’re in Ireland, use Guinness Extra)
Ingredients (for the Irish Whiskey Sauce)
2 cups milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup Irish Whiskey to taste (rum or brandy may be substituted)

Directions (for the pudding)
Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in lemon juice, eggs, milk and Guinness and mix well.  Generously grease two 2 1/2 pint pudding bowls and line each on bottom with wax paper.  Turn mixture into bowls. Cover tightly with several layers of wax paper and foil and leave over night. 

Place in boiling water and steam for about 7 1/2 hours. Top up with boiling water as needed and be certain         not to let the puddings go off the boil.  Remove from boiling water and allow it to cool.  When cool, re-cover the puddings and store in a cool, dry place.  When needed for a meal, steam for another 2 to 3 hours and serve with Whiskey Sauce. (Recipe follows)                                                                                         

Directions (for the Irish Whiskey Sauce
Melt the butter, stir in the flour and cook over low heat for a minute or two.  Boil the milk in a separate pan.  Gradually add the milk to the butter and flour mixture.  Simmer for a few minutes, and then sweeten to taste with the sugar.  Flavor with Irish whiskey.

Note: My friend, an Irish Tips guru, Ruth Mark, made this recipe last Christmas. She was concerned about how the puddings might turn out because she didn't make them until right before Christmas. No need to worry; she said that they were delicious!