Irish soda bread.....
Irish soda bread, scones and apple pies are catching on again with the desire for comfort food in these recessionary times. No longer the 'preserve' of delicate ladies with hats, homemade Irish soda bread, jam, scones, apple pies & rhubarb tarts, tea brack and fruit cakes have never been more popular.
Another favourite is
or rhubarb tarts. Made with short crust pastry, and filled with either cooking apples sprinkled with cloves, or fresh rhubarb and grated ginger these feature on most desert menus throughout the country. Best served up steaming hot, with a dollop of fresh cream and a pot of Lyons or Barrys
Fresh rhubarb tarts in season (Spring) are rare but divine. Not so rhubarb and ginger jam which thankfully is available all year round.
Simple Brown Bread Recipe add a couple of ozs of melted butter to a generous lb of wholemeal flour with a good teaspoon of baking soda mixed through it, bind with buttermilk, knead lightly into a round cake, cross the top, say a prayer and pop in a hot oven for about 25-30 minutes. You will know its done when it is nicely browned and if there is a hollow sound when tapped.
The 10 best places in Ireland to sample home baking are....
1 An Fear Gorta Ballyvaughan, Clare lovely old stone cottage by the sea with a walled garden. Steven Spielberg stops by regularly (in his private jet) to sample his favourite cheesecake.
2 Avoca Handweavers known as the 'possibly' shops because they sell the most delightful homegoods and are 'beyond' pretty. Excellent food you can buy to takeaway as well.
3 Bewleys Grafton Street there is no where quiet like it in the world, a whiff of ground coffee and an almond bun, takes us right back to student days.
4 Gallery Cafe Gort, County Galway, fabulous fresh scones every day with jam and cream and a chocolate silk cake you would get up in the middle of the night for...
5 Claires Tearooms, Clarinbridge, Galway. This is the kind of place your Mum, Aunt or Granny would love, me too! Delicate bone china, light as air quiches & cup cakes.
6 Foxford Woollen Mills County Mayo, with more then enough organic healthy options you'd think I could resist the chocolate cake, eh...NO
7 Goya's Kirwans Lane, Galway. Apart from luscious cakes you can by or have made to order? the lemon meringue pie is about a foot high? they do a delicious liver pate salad for lunch, order extra toast!
8 O'Connors Bakery Galway, Ennis & Limerick, for the domestically challenged like myself? you can buy the best 'homemade' (no one will ever know) bread, cakes and apple pies. I have even manged to pawn off their Christmas cakes and puddings as my own.
9 Powerscourt County Wicklow, a lovely day out, you can take the grand tour around the house, or sit out regally with a hot chocolate or glass of wine, on the terrace overlooking the sugarloaf mountain.
10 Bunratty Castle & Folk Park where you can watch scones and apple pies being made and eat them afterwards in the tearooms.