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Kitchen Index Irish Kitchen Library

Lemon Scones & Clotted Cream
Contributed by Hartson Dowd

For breakfast, teatime or even supper, scones are the age-old favorites of the quick breads, and for good reason. Whether prepared from basic dough or flavored with herbs and other seasonings, when split in half, these make the most practical as well as the most versatile, flaky and delicious base for your favorite toppings.

The dough for scones are a little richer than biscuits, because eggs, and sometimes cream, are included. The secret to making them light and flaky is to work the dough as little as possible but just enough to activate the gluten in the flour.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
Zest of 2 lemons, finely diced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/4 cup currants
1 egg beaten with 1-tablespoon cold water, for egg wash

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon zest and rub the butter into the flour by hand or cut in with a pastry blender. Combine the eggs and the cream and blend into the flour mixture. Fold in the currants. Do not over mix.
Gather the dough into a ball and divide in half. On a lightly-floured surface, roll into 2 circles 1/2-inch thick. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut the dough into rounds. Press together leftover dough, roll into a circle 1/2-inch thick and continue cutting out rounds until all the dough is used.
Place the scones 2 inches apart on 2 baking sheets and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Makes approximately 24 scones.

Irish Clotted Cream
To make the real thing, you must start with a cow and fresh, unpasteurized cream. Here is a variation of it for those without cows. The unsweetened cream is lovely with ripe berries and is a classic on scones with preserves.

1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream and lemon juice on medium speed until beginning to thicken, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Do not scrape down the sides while it is mixing. Turn up the speed to high and beat another few minutes. You should get a curd-like cream on the top and thick cream on the bottom. Mix the cream gently together.The consistency should resemble pudding before it is set. Serve cold.
Makes 1-1/2 cups.

Scones by Andrea Brooks
Berries and Cream by Owen Franken from All Posters Photos and Prints

Jams & Preserves
Contributed by Hartson Dowd

Saints preserved! No jams or spreads for scones or bread? Hartson, our resident Irish recipe guru, took a look at the index and saw that we are sadly lacking in this staple of the Irish larder. So, to make amends, here are four recipes from his Irish grandmother's recipe file.

Before you get started, successful jam-making requires observing a few rules: notations in my grandmother's recipe box say to rub the bottom of the pan with butter beforehand to make sure the fruit doesn't stick and burn. But keep stirring it all the time while it is cooking to make doubly sure! Don't skim the top - the scum will disappear gradually, and skimming only wastes the jam.* Cover the jam as soon as it is in the jar with a waxed paper circle, and make sure it touches the whole surface, not just part of it. Put the covers on the jam pots while they are still hot; label when cold, and you are sure the jam has set properly.
*To skim or not to skim? A couple of the following recipes mention skimming. This is left up to the cook. In my grandmother's day, it was thought best not to skim as it wastes the product. Today's cooks say to skim - it seems there is as much for as against the procedure.

Irish Ginger Marmalade
2 pounds bitter oranges (Seville type)
2 lemons
1-ounce root ginger
7 pints (140 fluid ounces) water
8 ounces preserved ginger, chopped
7 pounds granulated sugar

This recipe makes about 10 pounds of marmalade.
1. Wash and halve the bitter oranges and lemons. Squeeze out the juice and seeds.
2. Strain the juice into a bowl and tie the pulp, seeds (pips) and root ginger together in a piece of muslin or doubled/tripled cheesecloth.
3. Shred peel to the desired thickness and put peel and juice in a pan with the water and the bag of pulp and seeds.
4. Simmer gently for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the peel is quite soft.
5. Remove the bag of pulp (squeeze over the pan as you do) and add the preserved ginger. Measure liquid, add sugar and stir over low heat until dissolved. Boil rapidly to setting point, then store in sterilized jars or pots.

The Irish Kitchen isn't entirely without a single spread; click here for Irish Whiskey Marmalade.

Lemon Curd
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2- cup sugar
1/2-cup fresh lemon juice
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon peel -grated

In saucepan, combine all ingredients except lemon peel.
Stirring with a wooden spoon, cook over lowest heat, being careful not to let mixture boil or yolks curdle. Cook until mixture coats back of a spoon.
Pour into small bowl and stir in lemon peel. Allow to cool. It will thicken as it cools. Cover and refrigerate.
Note: As lemon curd doesn't last very long, don't make much at one time - just what you think the house will use up within a week to a fortnight.

Apple Ginger Jam
4 pounds of apples (all the same kind)
4 pounds of sugar
One quart of water
2 ounces essence of ginger

1. Pare and core the apples and cut them into shapes as much like ginger root as possible.
2. Boil the sugar with the quart of water for twenty-five minutes until you have syrup.
3. Keep the syrup boiling quickly while you put in the apples and add at least two ounces of essence of ginger.
4. Stir as little as possible; the mixture will take about an hour to clear and become yellow. Skim it well, pour into sterilized jars and cover.

Rhubarb and Orange Jam
2 quarts of young rhubarb, peeled and thinly sliced
2 good-sized oranges
The finely-sliced rind of six oranges
3 pounds sugar

Peel the oranges and remove the seeds (pips) and as much of the white inner pith as you can. Slice the fruit and place it in the preserving pan, with the finely sliced orange rind and the sugar. Have the peeled and sliced rhubarb ready; mix it with the oranges, and let simmer slowly for an hour, stirring and skimming well. At the end of this time it should be ready to pour into sterilized jars or pots.

Jam by Studio Nouvelles Images Art Print from All Posters
16 x 20 in

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Thu, Jul 9, 2015

"...the freshest of food and
the oldest of drink"
- Irish Proverb

Celtic Folklore and Cooking
by Joanne Asala

Feast days, festivals, and informal gatherings all have something in common--food. But choosing the right food for the occasion can be difficult. Celtic Folklore Cooking takes the guesswork out of planning a feast, with plenty of sumptuous ideas for an entire meal, from soup to dessert and even drinks. Joanne Asala gathers generations-old recipes from Wales, Cornwall, Scotland, Ireland, and England, associates them with appropriate festivals and times of the year, then sprinkles a dash of folklore between them. Perhaps you would like to learn the 400-year-old "Song of Harvest Home" while making Marigold Buns? Celtic Folklore Cooking is like having centuries of Celtic tradition in your kitchen, and it will help you find just the right flavor for your festivities. Review by Brian Patterson
Click here for Folklore & Cooking.

The New Irish Table
by Margaret Johnson

Margaret Johnson’s love of Ireland permeates page after glorious page of mouthwatering Irish dishes, from Smoked Salmon Chowder to Raspberry Buttermilk Tarts. Lavish color photographs of the food, the landscapes, and the people are woven through the text, making The New Irish Table the next best thing to sitting down to dinner in Ireland itself.
Click here for New Irish Table.

With simple ingredients and easy to follow instructions, these recipes will help the home chef create a rich, plentiful feast! Among the 200 recipes are classics like Irish Stew, as well as Mince Pie, which Oliver Cromwell unsuccessfully attempted to ban because of its then-religious Irish shape. Each of the eleven chapters that puts the food into its context - whether its prepared for a celebration, to welcome guests - or even to seduce! Info' from back cover.
Click here for Feasting Galore.


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March 4, 2011
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