Margaret Doyle of Baltimore wrote recently and asked us t help her duplicate an Irish apple tart. Margaret told us she and her husband had enjoyed the tart while in Ireland.
Once Margaret bought a recipe booklet in an Irish castle bookshop in an attempt to recreate the tart at home. "The recipe was given in European measurements. When I tried it at home I used charts giving equivalent measurements in American terms but with dismal results."
We contacted Baltimore's International Culinary College, which operates a school in Ireland. John O'Connor, managing director of Baltimore International Culinary College's Europen Educational Centre in Virginia, County Cavan, Ireland, sent us this recipe.
O'Connor says Irish apple tart is a traditional dessert throughout Ireland. This is a family recipe from northwest Ireland, he says.
Irish baking products are very different from their American counterparts, O'Connor says. Extra-fine granulated sugar is available in most grocery stores.
Irish Apple Tart
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup extra fine grain sugar
1 1/4 sticks (5 ounces) margarine
5 tablespoons water
Let margarine sit at room temperature to soften. Combine 1 3/4 cups flour with sugar, water and margarine. Mix to a smooth paste using mixer at a slow speed. Then fold in the remaining flour using a fork. Knead the dough by hand, until smooth. Chill for one-half hour before using.
3 large cooking apples, peeled and finely chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons regular granulated sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Juice from one-half orange
Combine apples with sugar, flour and nutmeg. Divide pastry roughly in half. One half should be slightly larger. Roll out the TTC larger half and line the base of a nine-inch greased pie plate. Set aside the other half of the dough for the top crust. Fill the pie plate with apple mixture. Sprinkle with orange juice. Roll out remaining pastry and cover the top. Wet the edges of both the top and bottom curst and press closed between finger and thumb. Cut two small holes in the top of the tart to allow steam to escape. If desired, lightly paint the top with a little beaten egg or milk to create a golden shine. Bake at 400 degrees, in a pre-heated oven, until golden brown. When done, sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. Serve with whipped cream and cinnnamon sugar if desired
Recipe Requests * Phyllis H. Kneip of Towson wants the house dressing recipe from Perring Place restaurant -- or a close substitute. The creamy dressing has lots of Parmesan pepper and a "slightly beige color." Phyllis says it might also have an Italian base.