What’s in Season
Meat, Game, Poultry
Grouse, Goose, Hill Lamb, Partridge, Pheasant, Venison, Chicken, Turkey, Pork, Bacon, Beef.
Oysters, Cod, John Dory, Plaice, Scallops, Squid, Lobster, Prawns.
Chestnuts, Cabbage, Potatoes, Leeks, Pumpkins, Broccoli, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Parsnips.
Quinces, Pears, Apples.
Recipes this Month
“Time to prepare for Christmas”
My Christmas Cake
Traditional Christmas Pudding
(Served with Brandy Butter & Whiskey Cream)
Phone No: 087 2304986
Facebook: Midwest Radio Facebook page
My Christmas Cake
700g/1½lbs mixed fruit 227g/8ozs. brown sugar
100g/3½ozs.almonds, blanched and chopped 255g/9ozs. plain flour
70g/2½ozs.ground almonds 7.5ml/1½ tsp. nutmeg
Grated zest of 1 lemon Grated rind of 1 orange
5 large eggs, free range 6.25ml/¼ tsp. mixed spice
170g/6ozs. glacé cherries (wash, dry, cut in half) 45ml/3 tbsps.rum
198g/7ozs.butter(room temp) 113g/4ozs. mixed peel
- Place the fruit and the rum in a bowl, stir well, cover with cling film and leave to soak overnight.
- Prepare a 9” (23cm) round cake tin (for a deeper cake use an 8cm tin). Line the inside of the tin with a double thickness of baking parchment and the outside with a double layer of brown paper.
- Preheat the oven to 140°C, 275°F, Gas 1.
- Sieve the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
- Beat the butter and sugar together. Mix in the beaten eggs, flour and fruit until well combined. Stir in the lemon and orange rind.
- Place the mixture in the prepared tin and smooth the top with a wet metal spoon.
- Bake in the preheated oven for approx. 3½ hours.
- Test, remove from the oven. Place on a wired rack and leave to cool in the tin. (If wished, pierce the top of the warm cake with a skewer and drizzle over extra rum.)
- Wrap in a double layer of parchment and then tin foil. Store in a cool, dry place.
I use rum in my rich fruit cakes. It gives a lovely flavour and keeps it moist.
Mixed fruit may vary-try raisins, sultanas, dried cranberries, currants, chopped dried apricots or crystallised ginger.
- If wished, use a square tin and cut the baked cake into smaller portions, and decorate in the usual way.
- If you are not going to ice the cake, at stage 6, when the mixture is in the tin, you can arrange some whole blanched almonds over the surface. Do not press down too hard or they will sink into the cake. Do it lightly.
- When the cake is cold, wrap well in a double thickness of baking parchment and store in an airtight tin. I like to feed the cake occasionally by removing the paper, making a few holes in the cake with a skewer and pouring over a few spoons of rum, which will soak into the cake. Repeat occasionally.
- Once cut, if you find any fruit too dry, simply cut up half an apple and place it in the tin with the cake.
Traditional Irish Christmas Pudding
(One of the most delicious puddings I have tasted)
227g/8ozs.White Breadcrumbs 454g/1 lb Currants
170g/6ozs. Self-Raising flour 340g/12ozs. dark brown sugar
5ml/1 level tsp. Cinnamon 227g/8ozs.Sultanas
2.5 ml/½ level tsp.ground nutmeg 227g/8ozs.Raisins
227g/8ozs Butter or Margarine (melted) 113g/4ozs.mixed peel
Grated rind of 1 lemon and Orange 113g/4ozs.Cherries
57g/2oz Chopped Almonds
3 eggs, 30ml/2 tbsp. Whiskey, ½ pt. Guinness – beat together.
- Place all dry ingredients into a large basin and mix together. Melt butter/margarine and mix in. Pour in the eggs, whiskey and Guinness into the mixture and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
- Grease 3 x 1pt. pudding bowls, and divide mixture into each bowl.
- Cover with greaseproof paper, make pleat in centre and put lids on and cover bowl completely with tin foil.
- Boil for 6 hours, keep water boiling, half way up the sides.
*Do not use plastic bowls if you are steaming the puddings in the oven.
86g/3ozs. butter – soft
86g/3ozs./ icing sugar - sieved
3 to 4 tablesps. Brandy
If wished add the finely grated rind of one orange
- Cream the butter and beat in the icing sugar.
- Gradually beat in the brandy or use food processor.
- Pile into a dish and chill.
8 fl. ozs. cream – whipped
2 to 3 tablesps. Irish whiskey
1 teasp. icing sugar - sieved
- Fold the sugar and whiskey into the whipped cream.
CrèmeFraiche (for Mince Pies)
Stir 2 teasp. Sieved icing sugar and rind of 1 orange into a 200ml tub Crème Fraiche.
227g/8 ozs. Sultanas
284g/10 ozs. Raisins
113g/ 4ozs. Currants
113g/4 ozs.dried apricots, chopped
113g/4 ozs.glacé cherries, chopped
113g/ 4ozs. mixed peel, chopped
57g/2ozs.blanched almonds, chopped
113g/4ozs.butter or margarine, melted
227g/ 8ozs.soft light brown sugar
2 medium cooking apples, peeled and grated
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
10ml/2 tsps. each of ground cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg
5ml/1 tsp. each of all spice and ginger
150ml/ ¼ pt./5 fl.ozs.Brandy
150ml/ ¼ pt./5 fl.ozs.Sherry
- Place the dried fruit, cherries and peel into a large bowl, add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Cover and leave in a cool place for 24 hours.
- Stir well.
- Spoon the mincemeat into clean, sterilised, dry jars, leaving a little space at the top. Seal and label.
- Store in a cool dry place for up to 2 months.
Makes 1.8kg/4 lbs.
Improve the flavour of “bought” mincemeat by adding 1 peeled and chopped (or grated) cooking apple and 2 tablesps. of sherry to each 1 lb./454g of mincemeat.
680g/1½lbs mixed dried fruit 113g/4oz mixed peel
1 (500ml tin) of cider 4 eggs - size 2
7.5ml/1 rounded tsp baking powder 227g/8ozs. butter or margarine
227g/8ozs. soft brown sugar 454g/1 lb plain flour (Sieved)
113g/4ozs. glace cherries, halved Finely grated rind of 1 orange
2 heaped teasp. mixed spice Pinch of salt
A little granulated sugar
- Place the fruit in a saucepan and cover with the cider.
- Over a gentle heat, bring slowly to just below boiling point and simmer gently for approx. 10 minutes, stirring occasionally (to allow the fruit to absorb the cider). Remove from the heat, then leave to cool or leave overnight.
- Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3.
- Grease and line a 23cm/9”round tin or 20cm/8”sq. deep cake tin with baking parchment.
- Sieve the flour, salt, baking powder and mixed spice into a bowl. Rub in the butter.
- Stir in the sugar, mixed peel, glace cherries and orange rind. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and set aside.
- When the fruit is cold, make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the beaten eggs and fruit. Stir well.
- Place the mixture in the prepared tin and level the top with the back of a wet spoon. Sprinkle with a little sugar.
- Bake in pre-heated oven for 1 hour, then reduce the oven temperature to 150°C/300°F/Gas 2 and cook for a further 1½ hours approx.
Leave the cake in the tin to cool.
This cake can be used almost immediately but will improve in flavour if left for a few days before cutting. Freezes very well. Serve sliced with butter.
When using mixed dried fruit, I like to incorporate golden raisins, dried cranberries, sultanas, currants and chopped apricots with the traditional fruit.
- If wished pour 30-45 ml/2-3 tbsp. of rum over the top of the cooked cake. (Pierce the top first with a skewer.)