Irish Soda Bread with Whiskey Soaked Raisins

I think this is the first time I've been organised enough to make something for St. Patrick's Day in this to post. I was trying to create something with a rainbow, but then came across the idea of soaking the raisins in whiskey idea, and all was lost. I knew I was going to be making this.

And then things took a turn towards the let's also make, I ended up with a mini batch of blueberry jam, and a little whiskey butter for the spreading, but I'll go into those later, First Irish Soda Bread, 

So traditionally made with only four ingredients, I believe flour, baking soda, buttermilk and butter, (or maybe salt?), today's version is completely Americanised. 


1/2 cup raisins 
1/4 cup Whiskey (Irish Whiskey if you've got it.) 

3 cups flour 
1/2 cup cornmeal (or other ground grain of your choice) 
3 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp salt 
4 tbsp butter, chilly and chopped

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Soak raisins overnight in whiskey. 



Place dry ingredients in a bowl.

Whisk together.

Add butter and buttermilk.

Mix with spoon into dough.

Drain the raisins, saving the liquid. Add raisins to dough.

And incorporate.

Knead the dough a few times, but stop before it's too firm a dough.

Place in a greased cast iron pan. Cut a cross onto the top.

Bake at 425 for around 40 - 45 minutes.

It's done when it sounds hollow tapped on the bottom.

Wait for it to mostly cool before slicing.

Onto whisky butter.

Mix two tbsp room temperature butter with one tbsp whisky raisin juice.

I added this in bit by bit, tasting as I went, and liked the flavor at this point most, but you may need to adjust for taste.

Slather on bread and serve.

I felt it needed a little jam, and while homemade raspberry was nice.

I wanted blueberry, and for some reason I think making jam is less bother than going to the store. Am I alone in this?

Blueberry jam

3/4 cup frozen wild blueberries, they are so small and so rich in flavor compared to the fresh
1/3 cup sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1 stick vanilla, snapped in half.

Place all ingredients in small saucepan.

Bring to a boil on medium and reduce to low.

Cook time will vary, I start checking after 20 minutes. Testing to see how thick is by dropping a few drops on a ceramic plate or glass (something cool to the touch.) When it feels thick enough for you stop cooking. I like it on the thinner side, but if you keep cooking it thickens more.

I cool it in the pan, pour it into an old jam jar and refrigerate. It's a small enough amount for us to handle and finish off in a month or so.

Serve with mascarpone on Irish Soda Bread.