I know, it’s a strange one; what on Earth took me to decide to make Eccles Cakes? I have never been to Manchester, I actually never went to England either, one of these “too close yet too far” thing, it just never happened. I remember selling them in a cheese shop I used to work in, the owner was from London I think, very, very British if you don’t mind me saying and if that even makes sense… Something “very French” probably suggests a certain “je ne sais quoi”, a cliché, some guy on a bicycle with onions hanging out and a Mariner’s top… Hang on! Isn’t this the description of an “Onion Johnny” from Brittany? Well that’s just great! Something “very Irish” tends to be a bit pejorative, an unpleasant trait and thankfully only used and identified by the locals… So, very British uh? By Jove, I am not sure… All I know is that you don’t need to go too far to experience the echoes of the old empire around here, so when niece Tara visited last week, I suggested a little stroll on the grounds and garden of Tullynally Castle, three hundred and fifty years in the making… I don’t know if you’ve heard of the Irish mythology “The Children of Lir”? Oidheadh Chloinne Lir, tale of a jealous step mother who turns her King of a husband’s children into Swans… Well, that is pretty much there, over looking Lough Derravaragh in Westmeath…
Tag: Flaky pastry
Damson “Tarte Tatin” Style
Autumn fell on the isle of Ireland like a North Korean missile in the Sea of Japan… Quickly and without warning. No seriously, it was great, a relieve from the horrible muggy and still typical ( tropical?) August that has me as happy and calm as Martin Sheen in a Vietnamese hotel room. The skies were bright again, I could see the end of the lake again, I could breathe…
Quick Provençale Tart
Oh man! Between my ornithological outings, and organising our 8th annual Irish Food Festival at work ( plus a disastrous broadband at home), blogging recipes and stories has been have been a bit of a challenge! Anyhoo, I couldn’t let this little ripper being unshared! I make this great recipe in the summer, to put me in the mood I guess; I call it “Tarte provençale” or ” Provençale Tart” it’s all good I swear, all good!
Smoked Haddock Buckoulibiac
After a February outing to the north-west shores of co. Sligo, looking for Barnacle Geese, I was trying to find a dish reflecting the Polar circle, something with Northern flavours I guess; I got inspired by “ Coulibiac”, a salmon and rice dish in puff pastry from Russia but quite popular in Scandinavia. I used instead Smoked Haddock from West Cork, and a buckwheat flaky pastry to reflect my Breton origins. I also made it to a size that could be easily brought for a picnic, after a long winter stroll birdwatching along the west coast of Ireland, for example that is… Here it goes folks!
Bara-Kornekoú with Stewed Apples and Custard
“Bara-Kornek” means “bread crescent”in Breton. A Hungry Breton’s creation…
To celebrate the apple season and the end of September, I wanted to do something a bit special. Also to illustrate my previous story I posted a couple of days ago, “Boxin The Fox”, when I had to raid an orchard as I was so hungry on the road… I hope you will like it, this is not a traditional recipe, rather original… You never know, it might enter a Traditional Breton cookbook one day?
First, I decided to make a nice flaky pastry, cut them into discs, fill them with homemade thick vanilla custard ( or Crème Patissière) and gently stewed cubed apples from the garden… This is how it went!
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Apple and Caramel Pie
I love apple compote. It reminds me of my grand parents’ house, where we used to make batches and batches with the apples of the garden. Where I am from, apple compote is mostly used at breakfast, on bread instead of jam, to flavour a natural yogurt or inside those wonderful “turnovers” my mother used to buy after school… Another thing that is synonymous with Brittany, is a love for salty caramels… Oh yeah. I got some beautiful cooking apples at the weekend and decided to put the two together; sure, what could go wrong with those flavours?