Irish Puddings, Tarts, Crumbles, and Fools: 80 Glorious Desserts
Margaret M. Johnson & Leigh Beisch
Chronicle, 2004 (2004)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
n her introduction, Margaret Johnson explains the source of the recipes in
Irish Puddings, Tarts, Crumbles, and Fools
- her mother's legacy as well as many gleaned during visits to Ireland. The cookbook is interspersed with lovely color photos and descriptions that made me nostalgic. There are also fascinating tidbits of history. I especially enjoyed the account of how
spread to the United States. Each chapter (
Crumbles and Crisps
Fools and Flummeries
Tea Breads and Cakes
) begins with information on that type of dessert. The book's large color photos of edibles made my stomach rumble in anticipation.
he ultimate comfort dessert in Ireland is
, and I've baked and eaten many - the Irish whiskey that goes into this one makes me want to try it, and variations like
Rhubarb Bread Pudding
appeal as well. I will definitely try the recipe for
Queen of Puddings
, which was a childhood favorite; I can taste it already. The cover photo made me salivate -
Tipsy Pudding in Spiced Wine with Honey Cream Cheese
, yummm! My grandmother used to serve us
. The recipe here for
Apple Tart with Hazelnut Crust and Crumble
sounds more sophisticated and delicious, as does
Delphi Plum Tart with Hazelnut Praline and Cabernet Syrup
. We often had
, and the ginger addition here sounds tasty.
ever did have a Fool or Flummery as a child, but they look scrumptious - especially
Bailey's Blueberry Mousse
. I've often made scones (from my grandmother's recipe), soda breads, jam tarts, shortbread, and rock cakes for afternoon tea with friends, but the Tea Breads and Cakes section here will extend my repertoire - I especially like the sound of
Warm Chocolate Cake with Grand Marnier
. The last chapter in this engaging cookbook covers Christmas Treats, from
Irish Whiskey Christmas Cake
Shortbread Mince Pies
, with stops along the way for various Christmas puddings and fruitcakes,
Bantry House Guinness Cake
(Grandpa would have loved that one!) and
Royal Apple Pies
. The book concludes with fascinating facts on the '
Hunting of the Wren
' on St. Stephen's Day, December 26th.
rish Puddings, Tarts, Crumbles, and Fools
will satisfy both your sweet tooth and a craving for photos and facts from the Auld Sod. My copy will be well thumbed.
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