Some of the best Irish dishes are the simplest ones, such as Apple and Barley Pudding. With good quality ingredients, not fancy but simply prepared, Irish cooks respect basic flavors and the way the ingredients interact with other foods.
- 4 Tablespoons pearl barley
- 1 1/2 pounds eating apples*
- 2 ounces sugar
- 3/4 Tablespoon double cream
- 1 liter water
- * Peeled, cored and sliced.
- Put the barley in the water and bring to the boil. Add the sliced apples and continue cooking gently until the barley and apples are soft.
- Press through a sieve, or put through the blender, and put back in the saucepan. Add the sugar and lemon juice and bring to the boil again.
- Remove from the heat, allow to cool, and then chill.
- Serve cool with the cream stirred in.
This recipe for apple barley pudding was clearly developed to deal with those out-of-season apples and a little of the spare barley that would always be hiding somewhere in the kitchen. Cooking the apples down to a puree both removes the problem with their texture and infuses the barley with the apples' pectin, another effective gelling and thickening agent. Then the final result is sweetened a little, sharpened further with lemon juice, and chilled. The finished product is surprisingly light and delicate, with a tart kick: the cream mellows it all down and adds amazing richness.
Food Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 0 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates