Irish Potato and Apple Pudding

St Patrick's Day

Tthe anniversary of his death in the fifth century (believed to be AD 461). St Patrick was born in Rome and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. Although he managed to escape, he returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people. Legend has it that he explained the Holy Trinity using the three leaves of a native Irish clover, the shamrock.

The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years. As St Patrick's Day falls during Lent, families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. The prohibition against eating meat was waived and people would dance, drink and feast.

I don’t know about you but during the winter months I do crave comfort food. All those wonderful warming meals of casseroles, cottage pies, rice puddings etc. With the approach of St Patrick’s Day it gave me the opportunity to try out this Irish Recipe. This dish has all the hallmarks of a good steamed pudding but without the use of excessive fats or suet. In fact, although it looks substantial, we found it quite light and easily digestible.

Ingredients - serves 4 to 6 people

3 tablespoons farmhouse cider 6 oz (175g) potatoes
3 tablespoons milk Brown or white sugar
2 large cooking apples Juice of ½ lemon
8 oz (225g) self-raising flour 2 whole cloves
2 tablespoons of butter  


  1. Boil the potatoes until soft. Drain and mash with the butter with a good pinch of salt.
  2. Add flour, and mix well, then add enough milk to make a soft, slack dough.
  3. Roll out and line a 2 pint (1 litre) basin with the dough, reserving enough for the lid.
  4. Peel, core and finely sliced the apples, and sweeten to taste with sugar.
  5. Add 2 whole cloves, the lemon juice and the cider (you can use water if preferred), taking care not to make it too wet.
  6. Dampen the pastry edges, and roll out the remaining dough to make the lid. Seal the edges by pressing down and trim the excess dough.
  7. Cover with foil (put a pleat down the centre of the foil to allow for the dough to rise) and secure with string.
  8. Place in a large lidded saucepan or steamer and add boiling water up to about 1½ inches from the top of the basin.
  9. Steam 2½hours checking the water level regularly.
  10. Remove from saucepan and remove foil. Place a large plate of bowl on top of the pudding and turn out.

Serve home-made custard. Scrumptious!



Cooking Apples