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Celtic Apple Crumble with Irish Whiskey Cream Sauce

“Apples have always played an important part in Irish folklore, tradition and diet, so it’s no surprise to find apple desserts in great supply and variety. This apple crumble, sometimes called ‘apple crunch’ when the apples are first cooked to soften them, is flavored with a respectable dose of Irish whiskey and topped with a buttery oatmeal crumble. Serve it with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or Irish Whiskey Cream Sauce (recipe follows),” said Margaret Johnson, Irish food expert and cookbook author.

Johnson uses Kerrygold Irish butter to make this crumble. The butter, churned from the milk of grass-fed cows that graze in Ireland’s lush pastures, has a creamy richness and a remarkably golden color from the beta-carotene in the grass. It is the preferred butter of many seasoned bakers.

Kerrygold butter is widely available in supermarkets throughout the U.S. For stores in your area, go to Where To Buy.

Filling
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-5 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Crumble
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
6 tablespoons Kerrygold Irish butter
1 cup quick-cooking (not instant) Irish oatmeal, such as Flahavan’s or McCann’s brand

To make the filling, in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the water and whiskey to a boil. Stir in the raisins and vanilla. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour, or until the raisins have absorbed most of the liquid.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter an 8- or 9-inch square glass baking dish. In a large bowl, toss the apples with the sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Stir in the raisins and cooking liquid and arrange in the prepared pan.

To make the crumble, combine the flour, brown sugar and butter in a food processor. Pulse 4-5 times to form coarse crumbs. Stir in the oats. Sprinkle the mixture over the fruit and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the topping is golden and the apples are tender. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6-8.

Irish Whiskey Cream Sauce
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Irish whiskey

In a deep bowl, beat the cream with an electric mixer on high until soft peaks form. Dissolve the honey in the whiskey. Fold the honey mixture into the whipped cream and spoon over the crumble.

Recipes by Margaret Johnson, Irish food expert and cookbook author; recipe adapted from her Puddings, Tarts, Crumbles, and Fools cookbook; recipe provided by the author.

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