I’m super excited to write about what I did to celebrate my favorite holiday! Being of Irish ancestry, along with 56 Million other Americans, I have always celebrated St. Patrick’s (Padraig, if you’re hardcore) Day with flourish and enthusiasm. Since early in my life I have not attended school (grade school, high school, college) or work on St. Patrick’s Day. This was no exception.
I had planned my menu on the 16th to prepare for St. Patrick’s Day. I would be making Shepherd’s Pie, Boiled Cabbage, Soda Bread, and dessert. Alright, I hadn’t chosen dessert yet, but I wanted to find something “authentic”. I finally found what sounded like a good dessert to accompany our meal: Apple Amber. Not a fancy dish or one that plays off of any Irish beverages.
I used the Shepherd’s Pie recipe that I had found last year and have made several times. I did use lamb in it this time, which made the Hubs very happy. I didn’t eat much, as I prefer not to eat lamb. He said it was the best I’d ever made and I should only ever make it with lamb. Well, it would keep from eating it…so that might be a good thing!
Daughter Number Two does not eat red meat, and gave up all meat (anything with a face) for Lent, so she volunteered to make the mashed potatoes to top the Shepherd’s Pie so she could make a large bunch in order to ensure she had something to eat. She peeled and mashed 5 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes, by hand. That’s what I call dedication.
I invited my mother down for St. Patrick’s Day dinner. I’m so glad we invited her and even happier that she came. We had a great time around the table, laughing and reminiscing about our trip to Ireland. The dinner was delicious (don’t tell my mom it was lamb) and the dessert was something I will definitely try again!
I found this recipe along with some history here…
- Pastry dough for a single-crust pie
- 4 cooking apples, totaling about 1 pound, cored and peeled
- 2 tablespoons water
- Juice of one lemon, strained
- 3 large eggs, separated, room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 3 Tablespoons
First, prepare the pie crust in a suitable pie dish. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Grate the apples on a coarse grater (or the grating disc of a food processor). Add the 2 tablespoons of water to a small heavy pot, heat until steaming, add the apples, and cook over medium heat until the grated apple reduces itself to a puree. (The apple bits do not have to completely disappear into the puree. It’s all right to leave some texture.) Remove from heat.
Beat the egg yolks slightly. Add the lemon and 1/2 cup of the sugar to the apple puree: then add the egg, and stir well. Spoon the mixture into the pie shell and bake for twenty minutes.
Meanwhile, start beating the egg whites, adding the remaining sugar gradually as you continue beating. Whip until stiff peaks form. When the pie has had its first twenty minutes in the oven, remove it and spread the meringue over the top of the pie, sealing it to the edges of the crust. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes, or until nicely browned.
As I said, I will make the Apple Amber again. I didn’t cook the apples long enough. Other than that it had a delightful taste and the meringue turned out perfectly!
We had some Guinness with dinner and some Irish coffees with / for dessert. It was a wonderful way to celebrate our Irish Heritage!