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    Irish Halloween Treats

    By Dawn Rainbolt, PR Manager
    More by Dawn

    Trick or Treat?

    Ireland is the country that provided us with many of the good things in life, from St Patrick’s Day to Irish trad music, Riverdance and Irish dancing, the idea of leprechauns (and the strange superstition that they must be hiding pots of gold)… and the origins of Halloween. Here, that eerie time of year is called Samhain, and the night between October 31st and November 1st is the time of year when the curtain between worlds falls, and moving from one side to the other is briefly possible.

    There are a few Halloween goodies and traditions we’d like to share with you, for you to replicate at home if you’re missing the Emerald Hills of Ireland.

    Purdy Pudding: Lost Traditions of the North

    “Purdy pudding” or potato pudding is just about the most Irish dessert you can think of – after all, its main ingredients are potatoes, and apples!

    Purdy pudding is a traditional recipe from the North of Ireland and is made at Halloween time. It used to take days to make before the advent of the slow cooker, which has revolutionised both cooking and baking traditional, labour-intensive dishes. And if you don’t have a large enough slow cooker, you can borrow another one from a neighbour and use two pots.

    Traditionally it’s eaten hot with a knob of butter. Or you can skip the butter and eat it cold.

    Purdy Pudding Recipe

    Purdy Pudding ingredients all lined up and ready to go!

    What you need:

    • 4 Large potatoes
    • 3 cooking apples
    • Granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup Plain Flour
    • A large slow cooker


    • Peel, boil and mash the potatoes, then allow them to cool
    • Once cooled, fold in the flour and make a rough dough out of the mixture
    • Roll it out about an 1/8th of an inch thick
    • Cut circles out of the potato bread
    • Peel & slice the apples

    Layering the pot:

    • Put a layer of sliced apples, followed by a layer of sugar, then a layer of the potato circles.
    • Repeat this process until you get to the top of the top.
    • The last layer should be the potato, known as the “lid”


    • In a slow cooker, allow to cook for 9 hours until it begins rising
    • Once it has risen, stick a skewer in the middle and it should sink
    • Stir the mixture throughly and allow to sit & cool
    • It will turn a nice golden colour when it’s ready to eat!


    • 2 ½ cups chopped dried mixed fruit
    • ½ cups hot brewed tea
    • ½ cups flour
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 egg
    • 1 ½ cups sugar
    • ¼ cup lemon marmalade
    • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest


    Step 1: Soak the dried fruit in the hot tea for 2 hours, then drain and gently squeeze out excess tea.

    Step 2: Preheat oven to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F). Grease a 9 inch Bundt pan. Stir together the flour cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda; set aside.*

    Step 3: Beat the egg, sugar, marmalade, orange zest, and tea-soaked fruit until well combined. Gently fold in the flour until just combined, then pour into the prepared Bundt pan.

    Step 4: Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Allow to cool in the pan for 2 hours before removing. Continue to cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Press the objects of choice into the cake through the bottom before serving.

    *There is another variant in which you can bake the cake in a slow cooker on high for 2 hours.

    Find the original recipe here. 

    Seasonal Delicacies

    Roast Pumpkin, Lentil & Goat Cheese

    Okay so this isn’t a traditional recipe. But it’s seasonal and also very delicious. During the month of October, the shops abound with round, orange pumpkins, Most will be carved. But have you ever thought of eating one?


    • Your choice of: a large pumpkin, a large butternut squash, several sweet potatoes or a combination
    • Red split lentils (uncooked), about 300 g1
    • Soft Goat’s cheese
    • A pinch of cinnamon
    • A pinch of salt
    • 1 tsp of cumin
    • 1 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1 tsp chilli
    • 1 can of diced tomatoes
    • 1/2 can tomato sauce


    Peel your selected combination of pumpkins, butternut squash and/or sweet potatoes, and chop them into wedges. Remove the seeds and set aside.* Preheat the oven at 200 C (400 F). Space wedges evenly, and top with sugar and cinnamon. Roast wedges for about 25 mins.

    Cook spring onion and garlic spices on a pan for 5 minutes, and add in the rest of the spices, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add in the lentils with about 700ml of water, and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the lentils become tender.

    Top the pumpkin slices with the lentils and goat’s cheese of your choice for an easy and delicious seasonal specialty!

    *As a side dish, wash the pumpkin seeds, scatter on a baking tray, top with olive oil and salt, and roast for 25 minutes or until toasted. This makes for an irresistibly tasty seasonal treat!

    Find the original recipe here.

    Visit Ireland Next Season

    Meet the Author: Dawn Rainbolt

    American by birth but European in spirit, Dawn has called the US, Costa Rica, Spain, England, Poland, France and now Ireland home over the years. While she has travelled to more than 30 countries, she has fallen in love with the rich Irish culture and sweeping landscapes of Ireland. Armed with a Masters Degree in Tourism Marketing and a love of writing and photography, she is Wilderness Ireland's Marketing Executive since 2017.

    View profile More by Dawn


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