Thursday, March 12, 2009

Apple and Bramble (Blackberry) Cake and Other Irish Recipes

Here is a delicious and beautiful cake I found searching for Irish recipes and St. Patrick's Day.  It's called Apple and Bramble Cake.  A bramble bush is a name for any prickly berry bush but specifically means blackberry in this recipe.  Filled with Bushmills' whiskey-flavored custard it is luscious! This would be a lovely way to celebrate autumn and freshly picked apples also. 
Below, you see some Leek and Bacon Tarts before baking.  I'm sorry I wasn't able to capture an 'after' photo because it was too dark.  They were delicious with the cheese, leeks and bacon!

Next up is Champ, a traditional mashed potato recipe with green onion and lots of butter.  Mmmm!

Irish Honey-Glazed Carrots anyone?

And no Irish meal would be complete with Shamrock-shaped dinner rolls :)

A few of the cookbooks I used for my Irish inspiration:

I hope you enjoyed my round up of Irish Recipes for St. Patrick's Day!  Below you will find all of the recipes.


Leeks and Bacon Tart
~Irish Cooking by Biddy White Lennon & Georgina Campbell

4 large leeks
1-1/4 cups milk
8 rashers (strips) of streaky bacon, trimmed and sliced (optional)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup single cream (half & half)
1 T mild Irish mustard
3/4 cup grated cheese (optional)
S & P

Slice the leeks into fairly large chunks (approx 1" thick on the diagonal). Put them into a pan with the milk. Season and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until tender. Drain well and turn the leeks into a buttered shallow baking dish, reserving the cooking liquor.

Meanwhile, if using the bacon, put it into a frying pan and cook gently to allow the fat to run, then turn up the heat a little and cook for a few minutes until it crisps up. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and sprinkle the bacon over the leeks.

Rinse the pan used for the leeks. Blend the beaten egg, single cream and Irish mustard together and mix it with the reserved cooking liquor. Return to the pan and heat gently without boiling, allowing the sauce to thicken a little. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the sauce over the leeks and bacon.

Sprinkle with grated cheese, if using, and brown for a few minutes under a broiler.

My Notes: I halved the recipe and did not use the cheese. Since I did not have Irish mustard I used a stone ground with horseradish mustard. Very good!


Adapted from Full-On Irish by Kevin Dundon

Champ is a traditional Irish potato dish that has recently enjoyed a renaissance in contemporary cooking.

Serves 4-6

1-1/2 lbs potatoes, well scrubbed
7-1/2 Tablespoons milk
4 scallions or spring onions, finely chopped
½ stick butter
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Cover the potatoes with cold water in a pan and add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until completely tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.

Heat the milk in a pan with the scallions for 5 minutes, or until the scallions have softened. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then peel while they are still hot. Push through a potato ricer or sieve, using a spatula. Beat 1-1/2 oz of the butter into the warm mashed potatoes and then mix in the milk and scallion mixture. Season to taste.

To Serve, spoon into a warmed serving dish and make a slight dip in the middle. Add the remaining knob of butter and allow it to melt into the champ.


Honey-Glazed Carrots
Adapted from Full-On Irish by Kevin Dundon

1 lb carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal
¼ stick butter
1-1/4 Tablespoons honey
½ pint vegetable stock or water
1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place carrots in a small pan with the butter, honey and enough stock or water to just cover the carrots. Bring to the boil, then cook over a moderate to high heat for about 12 minutes, until the carrots are tender and all of the liquid has evaporated, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent stocking.

Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds in a heavy-based frying pan. Tip on to a plate and leave to cool. When the carrots are cooked, add the sesame sees and toss until evenly coated. Season to taste.

To serve, spoon the honey glazed carrots into a warmed serving dish.


Shamrock Rolls

Here is a link to a delicious no-knead bread recipe.

Simple prepare the dough as instructed or use your favorite roll dough recipe. Place 3 small balls of dough (about 1 to 1-1/3 inches in diameter) next to each-other in a triangle on a silipat-lined baking sheet.  Roll one small rope of dough about 2 inches long and place beneath the 3 dough balls to form the 'stem'.  Bake for about 10-15 minutes at 375F or until golden brown. 


Apple and Bramble cake with Bushmills Custard

- By Margaret Johnson

• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
• 1 cup sugar
• 4 eggs
• 3 cups self-rising flour
• 2 cooking apples, peeled, cored, and diced
• 1/2 cup blackberries
• 4 dessert apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
• 3 tablespoons apricot jam, for glaze

Bushmills Custard
• 1 1/4 cups milk
• 1 1/4 cups cream
• 4 egg yolks
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup Bushmills Whiskey


The oldest part of The Bushmills Inn was originally a coaching inn that could date back to as early as 1608. Located in the County Antrim town where the Old Bushmills Distillery was granted the world's first ever license to distill whiskey, the town and inn are so closely associated with the classic malt that it's no surprise it frequently turns up in recipes. This ultra-fruity cake that uses two apple varieties, brambles (blackberries), and an apricot jam glaze is delicious on its own, but the whiskey-flavored custard gives it a definite Northern Ireland flavor.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan and line with waxed paper.

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then sift in the flour. Stir in the diced apples and blackberries. Pour in the batter. Arrange the apple slices around the top of the batter. Bake until lightly browned, or a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in the pan. Loosen around the edges of the cake and turn over onto a serving plate. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the jam and brush over the top of the cake.

Bring the milk and cream to a boil over medium heat, then turn off the heat. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy. Slowly pour in the milk/cream mixture, whisking continuously. Return to saucepan over low heat and cook until custard is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. Stir in the whiskey. To serve, slice the cake and spoon the custard over each slice. Makes 8 servings.


  1. Susan, I love your new header .... another beautiful watercolor of yours??

    I love your Flashback.... Definitely a feast for the eyes and palate. You really created a complete Irish-themed menu.

    The Apple and Bramble Cake is just gorgeous.

    Lovely post...

  2. Thank you, Cynthia! Yes, another watercolor ;)

    I had to come back and add of photo of my table last year!

  3. Susan, it's decided. I'm coming to your house on St. Patrick's Day or any day! Oh, what marvelous food! And pictures. And I, too, love your watercolor. Amazingly beautiful.


    Sheila :-)

  4. Oh, and Happy Foodie Friday and St. Patrick's Day...



  5. Susan - I love the watercolor..did you have professional training or are you just a natural!!!

    The table - exquisite..the food - delicious... You can save a seat for me!!

  6. Oh, I love it all...a perfect dinner and a beautiful post..
    The header is just lovely..
    So G2B, you outdid yourself..
    Just wonderful!

  7. Such a yummy post! Very yummy! Thanks for sharing and Happy Friday!

  8. Such a yummy post! Very yummy! Thanks for sharing and Happy Friday!

  9. Your watercolors are always gorgeous! You have the prettiest blog! Perfect every time! Great menu, great post, it all looks super!

    LOL, Kathleen, took me a second. I got that :) G2B!

  10. Thank you, Barb, Kathleen, Chandy, and Carol! I did take some watercolor classes back in the 90s, Barb. That's when I did most of my paintings.

    Looking forward to next Tuesday too, Kathleen!

  11. everything looks beautiful and sounds delicious! Happy Foodie Friday! Have a great weekend ~ Susan

  12. Oh my, what a beautiful post. Your tablesetting and dinner are elegant. And mouthwatering.

    And I just love your watercolor of asparagus, Susan. You are one very talented lady.

  13. That is a fabulous meal - wow! Congrats on becoming a grandmother - you will love it. The cupcakes you made in the previous post are gorgeous! Linda

  14. Susan, you are one talented lady! I love the aspargus header. Everything is beautiful about your post. I look forward to joining you on the 17th at Kathleens!

  15. Fantastic foodie post... recipes and all! Wow ... your photos are great... but your watercolors... Soooo pretty... I love watercolors... Pretty blog.

    *Really Rainey

  16. This really looks good. Thanks for posting.

  17. Susan, what a feast... can't wait to see what you do for this year. Love your new header...yes, you are VERY talented!

  18. Are you back to painting? I see the Susan 2009!! Your watercolors are so beautiful.

    I love this beautiful table and food...everything you do is perfection!

  19. You are all so kind! Thank you, Susan, Cathy, Linda, Debbie, Rainey, Melissa, Jayne and Marsha!

  20. What a great menu and I am so impressed with all of the Irish cookbooks! The pictures are outstanding -- my mouth is watering even though it is way past dinner time and I'm stuffed!

  21. Hi Susan,
    I so do enjoy going through your blog...awesome photography!!Every entry is a joy to the senses.

    Happy St Patrick's Day

  22. oh yes...lots of green. I think I really like that steak recipe..I just might have to try it. Thank You.

  23. This all looks wonderful! I think I'm drooling.

  24. All of this is totally BEYOND fabulous. I love it all and don't know where to start. Oh, the steak and The leek and bacon tart is being made in this kitchen today. Oh, do I love your food, and your beautiful green dishes are the crowning touch.

  25. P.S. The header is beautiful.

  26. Thank you so much, Martha, Muna, Yira, MA Martha, and Gollum!

  27. Happy St-Patrick's day Nana!

    Wow..what a spread..
    So proud here of you:)

    Did you paint the asparagus? I LOVE them:) I just LOVE them.


  28. Thank you, Monique! Yes, a painting of mine, Merci :)

    N2B, G2B ♥

  29. great water color! do you do your own greens or do you buy them??? greens are so difficult to create!!!

    and by the way is there a difference between "irish" and "english" mustard???

  30. Thank you, Karyne!

    I normally start with Sap Green and then mix in other colors to get the shades I want. I did this painting this quite a while ago, so I don't remember which ones, sadly.

    I believe the difference in mustards is that Irish mustard is made with honey and/or Irish whiskey. I just used what I had on hand, which was Dijon.

  31. great! thank you so much! your menu is just impressive!!!

    i'm doing my best with water colors but I'm not as good that I would like to be!!!


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