Ol' St. Paddy himself and his Irish eyes are smilin' because today we have sun and blue skies...faith and begorrah, 'tis but a wee miracle for all of us in the Northwest who are Irish just for today! I don't think I have any Irish in me but I suppose it's possible given my affinty for Waterford Crystal - there could have been an Irishman "in the woodpile" (as my mother would say) a hundred years back! The mister is part Irish...I'll let you guess which part. He's so full of blarney he could pass for the real McDonnegal! So we celebrate St. Patrick's Day with all the trimmin's and fixin's, if you need some help on what those are, click this link and scroll down to see some great Irish recipes! St. Patrick's Day category.
This recipe has been around for as long as Leprechauns and it's the epitome of comfort food. Thick, creamy, sweet with orange zest, freshly grated nutmeg and just a hint of Bailey's Irish Cream - all baked into a golden pudding that is just as good warm from the oven as it is cold from the fridge. You'll never want to eat oatmeal any other way after tasting this!
When your Irishman returns home from the pub wearing more green than when he went out the door in the morning with maybe a few lipstick kisses on his cheeks, carefully remove his "Kiss Me I'm Irish" pin, slap him a few times to get his attention and then serve him up some of this pudding - it's the perfect ending to a day filled with celebrating.
It might not look like much, but this pudding is truly delicious - the flavors are so bright and fresh you might find yourself talking with a bit of a brogue! This is very much like a rice pudding, only with oatmeal...total comfort food. If you want the full monty, er, the real Irish taste, drizzle a bit of Bailey's over the whipped cream...but just a bit, if your Irishman starts singing Danny Boy you'll know you've gone too far!
Irish Oatmeal Pudding with Whipped Cream - Adapted from Irish Abroad via Ronnie Fitzgerald
1 1/3 cups quick cook steel-cut oatmeal, toasted
4 cups water
1 cup half and half
2 large eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted (Go crazy and buy Kerrygold Irish Butter!)
1 tablespoon orange zest (one large orange)
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream
1 1/3 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or if you want you can skip the vanilla and add 1 tablespoon Bailey's Irish Cream, if serving to adults, no one likes drunk kids!)
Optional: Drizzle a bit of Bailey's over top of the cream - might help you catch a Leprechaun!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 1 1/2-quart casserole or soufflé dish. Toast the oatmeal by spreading evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and set aside. (If you're short on time you can skip this step but I highly recommend it as it adds so much flavor!)
In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the oats, water and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl, whisk together the half-n-half, eggs, sugar, butter, orange rind, and nutmeg. Stir in the raisins and Bailey's Irish Cream, then stir in the oat mixture, a little at a time to temper the egg mixture. Pour into the prepared dish and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until lightly browned and set. Serve warm with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream on top. Drizzling a bit of Bailey's over the whipped cream is optional.
In the bowl of an electric mixer whip heavy cream until soft peaks form, add in the powdered sugar and the vanilla (or Bailey's if using) and whip until stiff peaks form. Serve with Oatmeal pudding. Serves 6 to 8.