Caramel Apple & Irish Whiskey Clafoutis

March 8, 2014

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Have mercy! Is it the weekend yet? I’ve got just the perfect weekend lazing around and drinking early brunch dish for you. A Caramel Apple & Irish Whiskey Clafoutis! Wowzers right?!! A clafoutis is a french dessert that consists of baked fruit (usually cherries) in a flan like batter. I found this wonderful whiskey splashed Irish twist on that classic French dish over at Edible Ireland  (love that site! – great recipes, beautiful photography – what more could you want)and just couldn’t wait to make it. (as if the weekend could mosey on up any slower…)

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Now I know of few of you folks out there are probably smirking and thinking “Yeah, so much for her lazy weekend if she was making some sort of French thing, which you just know has to be time-consuming, complicated and annoying!” Oh I am so happy to say that you would be wrong. This dish, impressive – yet rustic – as it looks was quite easy to make and delicious to boot!

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But if you’re still being a doubter, perhaps you would perk up a bit knowing that you can make the apple caramel mixture up the night before. That way when the weekend arrives, you won’t have to spend one more extra precious moment than necessary “slaving away” in the kitchen. You just heat the apples up, mix up the batter, add the apples in and pop it into the oven . Easy peasy. Then you can just sit around sipping your mimosa (or Buck’s Fizz). Before you know it that decadent brunch treat will be ready and your weekend will be off to a fantastic whiskey-caramel-apple-y start!

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Caramel Apple & Irish Whiskey Clafoutis

recipe from: Edible Ireland

Ingredients:

for the batter:

  • 80 g (2/3 cup) flour
  • 75 g (1/3 cup) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder (optional – but it will keep the clafoutis from sinking as quickly when removed from the oven)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100 g (6 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

for the apples:

  • 30 g (2 tablespoons) butter
  • 4 crisp eating apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 60 g (1/3 cup) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons Irish whiskey*

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Butter a 25 cm (10 inch) pie plate or cast iron skillet or large individual ramekins.

To make the caramel apples, melt a knob of butter in a large pan over a medium-high heat. When it’s sizzling, reduce the heat to medium and tip in the apples, sugar and cinnamon, stirring to coat the apples in the butter and sugar. Cook the apples for about 5 minutes, until they have softened and the sugar has turned syrupy. Keep warm.

Whisk the flour, sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, melted butter, milk and vanilla. Pour half of the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, whisking until it looks like a paste, then add in the rest of the liquid, whisking until the batter is smooth and well blended. (Alternatively, you could just place all the batter ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth.)

Place the pie plate or skillet on a baking sheet to catch any drips when the clafoutis is cooking in the oven. Pour in the batter, then using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples to the plate or skillet, leaving as much of the caramel sauce in the pan as you can and making sure the apples are evenly distributed. Bake the clafoutis in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the clafoutis is puffed up and golden brown and the centre is set.

About 5 minutes before the clafoutis is done, reheat the caramel in the pan to loosen it again, then stir in the whiskey and allow to cook for 1 or 2 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Serve the clafoutis warm with the caramel whiskey sauce drizzled over.

*If you’ve had a “whiskey incident” and know you couldn’t smell, much less taste whiskey first thing in the morning, switch it out for some brandy or calvados.

** This is also a great dessert recipe. Just imagine serving it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with that caramel whiskey sauce. Yum!

Enjoy!

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Chranachan (Toasted Almond Pudding) & Irish Butter Shortbread

March 16, 2011

You actually get two recipes in one posting today, but they go together so well, I couldn’t resist. Chranachan is a unique dessert more commonly found in the North of Ireland, where there is a strong Scottish influence. This recipe does feature Irish whiskey, so I’m satisfied it is Irish enough to be included in my St. Patrick’s Day recipes. An interesting aside about the spelling of “whiskey”- I’m sure you’ve probably seen it spelled both “whisky” and “whiskey” in various places. “Whisky” without the “e” indicates that it is a product from Scotland, Wales, Canada or Japan. Whiskey, spelled with an “e” indicates that it is a product of Ireland or the United States. However, just having said that, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms decreed in 1968 that “whisky” would be spelled without an “e” in America. Many distilleries had been producing their whiskey for quite a while at that point and chose to keep spelling it with the “e”.  So you’ll actually find both spellings in the US. While we are on the subject of whiskey, the word “whiskey”  was borrowed by the English from the Irish Gaelic uisce beatha, which is pronounced like ish-ge bah-hah. It  means “water of life”.

 

Jameson Irish Whiskey...of course!

Back to the pudding-it really is quite yummy. You might want to keep it away from the young kids, the Irish Whiskey is pretty prominent! You can serve it in a cosmo glass, like I did, or I think it would look lovely in a tall glass as well. I drizzled a little Baileys over the top of the pudding (cause there just wasn’t enough alcohol in it!) and served it with some Irish Butter Shortbread. I painted a little Celtic design on the shortbread in white chocolate which I dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy!

Chranachan

2/3 Cup uncooked rolled oats

1/3 Cup slivered almonds

1 1/4 Cups heavy whipping cream

4 Tablespoons Honey

5 Tablespoons Irish Whiskey

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Baileys Irish Cream-to drizzle on top

Strawberries or raspberries to garnish

Directions:

On a baking sheet, toast the oatmeal and almonds at 300° F for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Whip the cream.

Stir in the honey and whisky. Gently fold in almonds and oatmeal. Stir in the lemon juice. Divide into individual glasses. Drizzle some Baileys over the top. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Garnish with berries and serve with Irish Shortbread.

Recipe from Celtic Folklore Cooking by Joanne Asala

Irish Butter Shortbread

Ingredients:

1 Cup Irish unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar

2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. With the mixer on low, slowly add flour. Continue mixing until dough comes together to form a ball.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface; roll out dough to about 1/4 ” thickness, dusting rolling-pin with flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Using a 2″ cutter, cut out dough. Transfer to prepared baking sheet, spacing about 1″ apart. Gather up any scraps, gently re-roll, and repeat cutting process. Take care not to over work dough.

Transfer baking sheet to oven and bake until shortbread just begins to turn golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Shortbread may be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Recipe from Rachel Gaffney


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