I can’t believe it! Here it is, March already. And St. Patrick’s Day is a mere 17 days away! That means it is time to start my annual St. Patrick’s Day blog-a-thon. In the days leading up to March 17th I will be sharing a delicious assortment of Irish-y recipes. I’ve been doing this for several years now, so I’ve collected over 80 St. Patrick’s Days recipes at this point and that doesn’t take into account all the delicious dishes coming your way this year. If you’d like to take a peek at my past St. Patrick’s Day posts, you can click Runcible Eat/Recipes up at the top navigation bar and scroll down to the St. Patrick’s Day category. That’s where you’ll find them! And stay tuned here for my latest additions. I am very excited to kick off this year’s series of Irish recipes with these fantastic Irish Whiskey Marmalade Tarts. Yup…what I’m talking about here is flaky, buttery shortcrust pastry which has been filled with a delicious homemade Irish Whiskey Marmalade laced batter. Sweet, bright and citrus-y, it is like eating a burst of sunshine with every bite.
And I am so happy to tell you where you can find this recipe, as well as over one hundred other amazing seasonal fruit recipes. It can all be found in my good friend Theresa’s debut book: Fruit on the Table: Seasonal Recipes from the Green Apron Kitchen by Theresa Storey. Theresa and I met in college when she was finishing up her degree in botany. I can tell you first hand that she is an amazing cook, full stop. But fruit is by far her specialty.
After college, Theresa moved back to rural County Limerick and started her own business, The Green Apron, which is an artisan preserve company. Theresa grows much of the fruit and vegetables she uses in her preserves at her family’s orchards at Derryclough and in the walled vegetable garden at her parents 18th Century castle, Glenwilliam.
Her award-winning preserves are made in small batches by traditional methods using locally sourced, organic produce where possible and without artificial preservatives, colours or setting agents. The Green Apron has won 12 Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards, 7 International Great Taste awards and is listed not only in McKenna’s Guide, but also in Georgina Campbell’s Guide. The Green Apron is also now offering workshops on sustainable living, preserving and bee keeping.
Theresa’s book, Fruit on the Table is a top 10 best selling cookbook in Ireland , has won a Gourmond award there and has been selected to compete for an International Gourmond award. In her book, Theresa follows the seasons and tells you how best to keep fruit on your table all year round. It is an absolute treasure trove, filled not only with her family recipes for jams, jellies and chutneys but it also runs the full gambit of meals, including recipes for cocktails, snacks , mains and going all the way through to desserts. And it doesn’t stop with the mouthwateringly delicious recipes, Fruit on the Table also gives you the low down on growing your own fruit, the ins and outs of preserving, tips on foraging as well as drying fruit. I’m proud to be sharing several different recipes from her book this year, but I’m telling you, they’re only the tip of the iceberg. You’ve just gotta get ahold of this essential cookbook. And if you find yourself in Limerick, you simply must stop by the Limerick Milk Market and pay the Green Apron shop a visit!
Now back to these yummy Irish Whiskey Marmalade tarts. My first task here was to make up a batch of the marmalade. This Irish Whiskey Marmalade is a three fruit marmalade consisting of grapefruit, oranges and lemons and a good glug of Irish Whiskey. It is one of The Green Apron’s best-selling jams and won a bronze Blas na h’Eireann in 2015.
You will end up with much more of the marmalade than you require to make the tarts, but as you will see with some of my later posts, this marmalade is very versatile and you will be over the moon to have it around. Don’t forget to check back with me next week and see what else can be done with this scrumptious Irish Whiskey marmalade…besides eating it slathered over fresh-baked bread and scones. No brainer there…but believe me…there’s more!
Now once you have that delectable boozy marmalade, the tarts come together in a flash and would be wonderful to have on hand on St. Patrick’s Day. Perfect with a cup of tea, these tarts are slightly sweet and wonderfully fragrant. Ordinary tea time will become extra special with these irrisistible Irish Whiskey Marmalade Tarts on the table!
Irish Whiskey Marmalade Tarts
For the Irish Whiskey Marmalade:
- 1 ruby grapefruit
- 2 medium sweet oranges
- 4 lemons
- 3.4 l (6 pints) water
- 2.7 kg (6 lbs) sugar
- 60 ml (2 fl. oz.) good Irish Whiskey
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice (Please note, mixed spice is different from all-spice. Mixed spice, sometimes also called pudding spice is a British spice similar to pumpkin pie spice, containing cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. I have a link for it below, or here is a recipe for it.)
Place a saucer into the refrigerator to chill.
Wash the grapefruit, oranges and lemons. Remove any blemishes from the skin and cut them into quarters. Place in the food processor and process on high speed until the peel is reduced to 6-mm (1/4″) pieces. If you like a bigger peel in your marmalade, don’t process it for so long, and if you like very little peel, process it for longer.
Put the processed citrus in a preserving pot with the water, stir well and cook on a high heat, stirring occasionally, until the peel is cooked and smooshes to wee pieces between your fingers. This usually takes an hour.
Add the sugar, stir well and cook over a high heat, stirring occasionally, until the marmalade reaches setting point, with a marmalade this usually takes 20 -40 minutes.
Spoon a little of the boiling preserve onto the cold saucer. Let it cool and then push it with your finger. If it has reached setting point, the top of the blob of marmalade will wrinkle. Marmalades should have wrinkles at least 2 -3 mm hight.
Remove from heat. Skim off any seeds and sugar foam.
Add 60 ml (2 fl oz) of good Irish Whiskey and 1 teaspoon of ground mixed spice.
Pour into warm sterilized jars to within 6 mm (1/4″) of the top. Wipe any drips off the rims of the jars to make sure there is a good seal between the jar and lid. A dampened paper towel works well for this. Place the lids on and seal.
For the Irish Whiskey Marmalade Tarts:
*These tarts are baked in a bun tin rather than a muffin tin. Bun tins are similar to muffin tins but are much more shallow. If you don’t have bun tin, (there is an amazon prime link for one below – you could have it tomorrow :)) you could try filling a muffin tin half way, though I haven’t tried that and can’t speak to the results.
For the shortcrust pastry:
- 110 grams (4 oz.) butter (chopped)
- 225 grams (8 oz.) plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons cold water
For the batter:
- 75 grams (2 1/2 oz) all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 60 grams (2 oz) butter (chopped)
- 60 grams ( 2 oz.) sugar
- 1 large egg – beaten
- 1 Tablespoon Irish Whiskey Marmalade
Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs and then mix in the salt. Add the cold water, one tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until the pastry holds together. You may not need to use it all. Knead it a few times until it is smooth and then cover it and put it in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6).
Roll out the pastry on a floured surface until it is about 3 mm ( 1/8″) thick. Cut out circles slightly bigger that the size of the bun hole and put them into the tin.
Mix the flour, baking powder, butter, sugar and egg together until smooth. I do this in my food processor.
Fold in the Irish Whiskey Marmalade.
Put 1 teaspoon of the batter into each pastry case.
Bake the tarts for 18 – 20 minutes until golden brown.
Remove the bun tin from the oven. Let the tarts cool in the tin for a few minutes and then carefully take them out and place them on a wire rack to finish cooling.
Irish Whiskey Marmalade Tarts bought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)
Links for helpful kitchen tools & ingredients for Irish Whiskey Marmalade Tarts: