(Serves 8 to 10)
- Cashel Blue and Cider Ice
- 1 pint frozen lemon sorbet, softened slightly
- 3/4 cup Magners Irish cider, or similar fermented cider
- 3 ounces Cashel Blue or similar blue cheese, crumbled
- 6 tablespoons heavy (whipping) cream
Soda Bread Crust
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup Irish whiskey
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced crosswise (about 16 slices)
To make the ice: Spoon softened sorbet into a blender or food processor. Add the cider, blue cheese and cream. Process until smooth, then transfer to a plastic container, cover and freeze for 6 hours, or until firm.
To make the crust: In a small bowl, combine the raisins and whiskey and soak for 30 minutes. In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder and sugar. With a pastry cutter, 2 knives or your fingers, work or cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Drain the raisins and reserve the whiskey for the filling. Stir in the raisins and buttermilk and mix well until the dough comes together.
Dust a work surface with flour. Turn out the dough, and with floured hands, form it into a ball. Knead for 20 seconds, then roll or pat the dough into a circle 12 inches in diameter. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
To make the filling: In a 10-inch ovenproof, nonstick skillet, combine the superfine sugar, whiskey, butter and cardamom. Cook over medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the butter melts and the sugar caramelizes. Add the apple slices and cook, in batches, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender. Remove the apples with a slotted spoon and continue to cook the butter and sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the caramel thickens. Starting in the center, arrange the apple slices in concentric circles over the caramel.
Place the dough on top of the apples, tucking it around at the edge of the pan. Bake the tart for about 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Place a rimmed serving plate over the pan. With potholders to protect your hands, invert the tart onto the plate and remove the pan. Slice the tart and serve warm with Cashel Blue and cider ice.
Excerpted from Irish Puddings, Tarts, Crumbles and Fools by Margaret M. Johnson, photographs by Leigh Beisch (Chronicle Books)