Buttered Apples on Sugar–Glazed Barmbrack
SERVES 6 SUPER EASY
Barmbrack is the irish equivalent of a yeasted fruit loaf. Brioche would be a wonderful substitute, but a good quality white loaf would be fine too. Sweetening the cream and flavouring it with a dash of vanilla essence makes a delicious chantilly cream which is perfect with the barmbrack.
1 loaf barmbrack, fruit loaf or white bread
100 g (4 oz) unsalted butter 60 g (2½ oz) icing sugar, sifted
600 g (1¼Ib) Bramley cooking apples
juice of 1 lemon
150 g (5 oz) unsalted butter 100 g (4 oz) caster sugar
450 ml (15.fl oz) whipping cream
few drops of vanilla essence
Pre–heat the grill to high.
To prepare the barmbrack. Slice the loaf into 1 cm (½ in) thick slices. Either cut the crusts off and have a neat rectangle shape, or use a large pastry cutter and cut big rounds. Spread each side with butter and evenly sprinkle on some of the icing sugar. Set aside.
Peel and core the apples, rolling each in the lemon juice to avoid discoloration. Halve and cut each half into four even wedges.
Heat a large heavy–based frying–pan over a medium heat and add the butter. After it has foamed, toss in half the sugar and stir constantly until it turns a nice medium caramel colour. Toss in the apples and cook over medium to high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring and turning continuously, until the apples are a rich golden hue and can be pierced easily with a fork. If you don’t have a large frying–pan, cook in two batches to ensure even cooking and proper colouring of the apples. Remove the pan from the heat.
PlacE the buttered and sugared slices of barmbrack under the pre–heated grill and watch closely; You just want an even golden toasting. Turn over and glaze the other side in the same manner.
Whip the cream until it holds fairly firm peaks, then fold in the remaining sugar and the vanilla essence.
To serve, place the glazed barmbrack on to warmed plates and spoon a generous portion of the buttered apples on top. Scoop a dollop of the chantilly cream on top and serve immediately.