Friday, August 31, 2018

Apple-Blackberry-Marmalade Crumble and a Giveaway

Did I mention I’m in Ireland? (Only a few dozen times, right?) Whilst perusing a local book seller’s wares, I came upon a lovely cookbook: Irish Cooking, by Clare Connery. Yes, Of course I have a number of Irish cookbooks (in Massachusetts), but this one is particularly nice, because the recipes are easy yet authentic, and there are gorgeous full-page color illustrations throughout.


Earlier in the week I noticed that there were blackberries growing wild in every hedgerow, including the one across from my little property. I decided I had to use them, so went out berry picking one evening. Of course, this being Ireland, a delightful older man pulled up in a battered vehicle and introduced himself. Turns out he was actually born in “my” house 79 years ago, and he still lives down the road, where he raises bees and makes honey (he gave me a jar). We had a lovely chat. Then my neighbor behind stopped by and gave me a jar of her own zucchini-ginger jam (she has an extensive garden, and has already given me carrots, onions, and a humongous round zucchini. The Irish not only love to talk, the try to feed you. I’m not complaining!

So I sallied forth to make a recipe from the cookbook, using my handpicked blackberries. Also Bramley apples, which I love—they may look a bit lumpy, but they cook well and last a long time.



 
Apple, Blackberry and Marmalade Crumble

From Clare Connery’s Irish Cooking (with a few tweaks)
 
Ingredients:


1 lb. Bramley apples, peeled, cored and sliced (this turned out to be 2 apples)

1 Tblsp lemon juice
3 oz. caster sugar
2 fluid oz. water
2 Tblsp marmalade
4 oz. fresh blackberries, washed (I actually used a bit more)
 
Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  [Important note: this was my first excursion with my new Neff Slide-and-Hide oven, as seen on The Great British Baking Show. While it took a bit of time to decipher the icons which are the only instructions, we are now getting along just fine. And the door really does gently slide under the oven compartment, which is a big plus in a small kitchen.)

Grease and butter a 1-1/2 pint (or larger) ovenproof dish.



Put the prepared apples in a saucepan along with the lemon juice, water and sugar. Cook over low heat until the apples begin to soften—about 10 minutes—stirring occasionally. Stir in the marmalade and blackberries and mix gently.


Pour the mixture into the oven-proof dish and prepare the topping.




Crumble Topping:




Ingredients:

1-1/2 oz. butter

3 oz. plain flour
1-1/2 oz. demerara sugar

Instructions:

Rub the butter into the flour, then stir in the sugar (the mixture should look like coarse crumbs). Scatter the mixture over the fruit in the dish and press down slightly.



Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until the topping is golden. (Depending on your dish, you may want to put a cookie sheet on the shelf below in case the crumble overflows.)


According to Connery, you can substitute rhubarb, gooseberries or plums for the apples (leaving out the blackberries). You can also substitute quick-cooking oats for some or all of the flour in the topping.




Giveaway alert! Since I’m between books, I’d like to offer a copy of the expanded Connery book, which includes comments on Irish folklore, myths and history as well as most of the same recipes and pictures. Leave a comment below, and tell us what your favorite Irish recipe is!

My house is the little one on the left with the two chimneys





38 comments:

  1. When I visited Ireland, I was most impressed by the simply cooked seafood, including fish varieties the we don't have here in the Pacific Northwest. But I most often cook good Irish scones.

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  2. I'm not sure I know any Irish recipes, but I love cookbooks and this one sounds wonderful.
    Wendy
    clarksrfun at gmail dot com

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  3. Irish soda bread is the only one I attempted, and it was good.
    browninggloria@hotmail.com

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  4. I was just about to ask where I can find that cookbook! I'm not sure i ever prepared a true Irish recipe. Perhaps the Soda Bread was since it came from someone's Irish grandmother!
    jmpurcel at hotmail dot come

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  5. I love cabbage and ham. Irish stew is good in the winter. worwichistory101@hotmail.com

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  6. Irish Soda Bread is likely the only Irish recipe that I make. But my family and I love it especially in winter, served with good butter and soup or stew.
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

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  7. Corn Beef and Cabbage is soothing during the winter and stew as well. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. Sheila dear, what, pray tell, is "caster sugar"? A name Google doesn't know for granulated sugar?

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    Replies
    1. From FOOD52:Caster sugar goes by a variety of names, including castor sugar, baker’s sugar, and superfine sugar, the last of which alludes to what exactly it is: a finer granulated sugar. If a grain of granulated sugar is big and a grain of powdered sugar is tiny, caster sugar would be somewhere in between.

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    2. Yup, the fine white stuff (not superfine). I'd take pictures of the offerings of sugar at the market, but it would take a whole series of pictures. And don't get me started on the kinds of salt.

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  9. I enjoy fish recipes the most since they are unique to each area. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  10. I'm not totally sure it's Irish, and I love the creamed salt cod my mother used to make over 50 years ago - we had to soak/rinse/repeat the cod (which came in a little wooden box) for days, or so it seemed. Good stuff! pjcoldren[at]tm.net

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  11. I have a blackberry bush and enjoy picking them whenever I want them. This Irish book would be cool to read as I'm part Irish through my grandmother's parents. My comfort food is Colcannon. bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

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  12. I don’t know how authentic it is but I like Irish stew.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

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    Replies
    1. I love Irish stew--already made it here once on this trip, with spring lamb.

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  13. We are so used to you going to Ireland it seems almost routine, but then I stop and think wow, Ireland! Beautiful photo. There is always corned beef and cabbage of course, but a couple of years ago I found a recipe for colcannon and I loved it. Thanks for the giveaway.
    sallycootie(at)gmail(dot)com

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  14. Am I the only person who does not really know what caster sugar and demerara sugar are? I can find neither in the store where I shop. What would be good substitutes? jmpurcel at hotmail dot com

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    Replies
    1. Wisegeek.com:Demerara sugar is a type of unrefined sugar with a large grain and a pale to golden yellow color. It is suitable for a number of cooking and baking projects, and tends to be very popular as a sweetener for tea and coffee. Many grocers stock demerara sugar along with other specialty sugars, often in small packages for consumers who simply want to experiment with it

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    2. Fields in Skibbereen has an aisle filled with different flours and sugars. The demerara sugar adds just a bit of crunch to the topping here.

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  15. My husband uses a recipe from an Irish cookbook for brown bread.
    I need to try making this crumble. I have a bunch of wild dewberries in the freezer that would work well! My Irish "cooking" has been limited to oatmeal and Irish whiskey.
    patdupuy@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. Even if you don't cook with it, the pictures are wonderful!

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  16. A lovely recipe AND the prospect of the cookbook!
    Fantastic!!!
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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  17. A great looking recipe. I don't know of any Irish recipes, but I'd love to get to know some!! Have a great time in Ireland. Thanks for a chance to win!! ljbonkoski@yahoo.com

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  18. You can't have too many Irish cookbooks, right? I've made potato pancakes before, but I'm not really sure if they count as Irish.
    turtle6422(at)gmail(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. Boxty is an Irish potato pancake I've made using both mashed and grated potatoes in the same batter. Sometimes they're made in a loaf pan and sliced, others served like a pancake, or a crepe. It's all good!