This is a very special recipe that has been handed down the Maguire family for generations. My Auntie Maureen, from Ballymahon, was kind enough to let me share this with you all, and I hope your family enjoys it as much as we do every Christmas.
This pudding is a dense, rich and utterly mouth-watering dessert. In fact, it's so rich that I serve it with lightly whipped cream, rather than the traditional brandy butter. Of course, you can serve it with either.
YOU WILL NEED
Â½ tsp mixed spice
Â½ tsp grated nutmeg
Â½ tsp ground cloves
50g/2oz mixed peel
50g/2oz chopped almonds
Â½ apple, diced
150g/6oz soft brown sugar
Â½ small grated carrot
Rind and juice of 1 lemon
150g/6oz butter, melted
10fl oz Guinness
Sift together the flour, mixed spice, nutmeg and cloves. Add breadcrumbs, raisins, sultanas, currants, mixed peel, chopped almonds, apple, sugar, grated carrot, rind and juice of lemon and melted butter.
Beat the eggs and gradually add to the mixture, along with the Guinness. Mix thoroughly, cover with a tea towel and leave overnight.
The next day, place the mixture in two prepared, two-pint pudding bowls. Cover with greased paper and a lid. Stand the bowls in a large cake tin and fill the tin three-quarters full with boiling water. Cover completely with foil.
Bake the puddings in a hot oven at 150Â°C/Gas Mark 2 for six to eight hours. Or you can steam for six hours in the usual way.
Cool, cover again with greaseproof paper and store in a cool, dry place.
On Christmas Day, cover again with greased greaseproof paper and a lid, then steam for two to three hours.
Serve the puddings with a dollop of lightly whipped cream.
Tip: If you must light the pudding, please be careful with the amount of alcohol you pour on. I find that one tablespoon of heated brandy works just fine.