Monday, March 16, 2009

A Saint Patrick's Day Recipe - an oddity but goodity!

 
Happy Saint Patrick's Day one and all...above is a logo I designed a couple of years ago which celebrates the deep friendship between Eire and  The United States of America. I circled the flagpoles with a Claddagh ring in honour of my parents who were born in Galway. The Claddagh ring is the adopted symbol of that town and is given as a token of love.
 

 
A-ha, you may not think that this little delight pictured above looks that odd but you might be wrong, because, it is not your regular pie, it is in fact a potato and apple cake (don't know why it's called a 'cake'...but there you go!) from Irish Traditional Food by Theodora FitzGibbon. It is basically an apple pie made with a potato crust. I love unusual recipes and I have been eyeballing this one for a while and isn't today the perfect day to try it out so tomorrow all over the western world people can be making pie crust with mashed potatoes and not the usual green beer and boiled ham and cabbage (YUCK!!!...the smell of that when I was growing up put me off for life, I'll have you know) Well...here's the very simple recipe to which I have added more sugar and a sauce from my sticky toffee pudding recipe , a sauce which I think can be added to almost anything sweet and improve it.


POTATO AND APPLE CAKE: CACA PRATAI AGUS ULL (Gaelic)
1lb freshly cooked potatoes (I always cook spuds in their skins to give them a more earthy taste, in this instance I did peel them whilst still hot for cosmetic reasons but most times I will leave the skins on them for more vitamin content...your call)
2 tablespoons salted butter
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1lb of tart apples like Granny Smiths, peeled, cored and sliced...the recipe said 2lbs but there was NO WAY I could fit them all into the size of pastry I made with 1lb of spuds!!
4 tablespoons of flour
1. Mash the spuds very well whilst still nice and hot with the butter and 2 tablespoons of sugar and ginger.
2. Add enough of the flour to make a pliable (but I found slightly sticky) dough.
3. Knead the dough a little.
4. Roll out into two rounds, one slightly larger than the other.
5. Make sticky toffee sauce with 1 1/2 ozs butter, 2 1/2 ozs sugar and 2 tablespoons of cream...bring to a gentle boil in a saucepan and add apples to coat.
6. Mound caramel coated apples in the middle of the larger round of spud pastry.
7. Cover with the smaller round of pastry and use a fork to press the edges together to seal the pie, sorry 'cake'.
8. Cut a vent in the top of the 'cake'...or if the same happens to you as it did to me the pastry coveniently cracked and you already have a vent (the pastry is delicate!!)
9. Sprinkle more sugar all over the 'cake'
10 Bake for about 45 minutes...or longer if necessary, at 375F, until the 'cake' is golden and the apples are cooked.
11. Should be served hot. I bet you could put a little cream on there too!!
FYI...mine started out very tall and ended up as flat as you see in the pictures above.
This ia subtle and not very sweet dish for those of you who don't like a lot of sugar but you have to admit it is intriguing and a new direction for St. Pat's Day (my patron saint by the way!) ...and HEY couldn't this also be a Maine dish...apples and potatoes??
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