About the Product
Hailing originally from County Armagh, the Bramley apple can be traced back to the days of Saint Patrick and is world-renowned, not only as one of the most prominent culinary apples, but also as the only apple solely used for the purpose of cooking. Around one third of the world’s supply of the Bramley is grown in Ireland, particularly in County Armagh - better known as the Orchard County.
Since 1809, the business of apple-growing has remained within Armagh families, passed down from generation to generation, with growers taking pride in their ability to achieve the finest cooking apples to be used in drinks, desserts and savoury dishes.
The Merchant Hotel takes great pride in using local ingredients and produce a number of fine recipes based around this locally significant, protected status apple to create delectable dishes in the hotel restaurants throughout the season.
Take home the taste of The Merchant Hotel with two of the hotel’s favourite Bramley apple recipes.
Apple Brandy and Bramley Soufflé
Serves 4 people
· 15g unsalted butter, softened
· 100g caster sugar
· 380g Bramley apple
· 4 tsp cornflour
· 15ml Calvados (apple brandy)
· 2 large eggs, separated
· Cinnamon and icing sugar to dust
1. Brush the melted butter to coat the insides of 4 ramekin dishes and dust with a little caster sugar
2. Peel and core the apples, chopping them into small pieces. Place in a pan with 50ml water and half of the sugar. Cover and bring to the boil, before lowering the temperature and cooking until soft. Remove the lid and continue to cook until the mixture is smooth and thick
3. Blend the cornflour with a little cold water to make a smooth paste then add to the apple mixture and cook through until the mixture becomes thick
4. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool
5. When the apple mixture is cool, stir in the apple brandy and egg yolks
6. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until they are stiff.
7. Add the remaining sugar and whisk again until the mixture is thick and shiny. Stir a spoonful of the egg whites into the apple mixture then gently fold in the remainder
8. Spoon into the prepared ramekin dishes and level the tops. To ensure a good rise, run your thumb around the edge of the dish making a slight indent in the edge of the mixture. Bake at 200°C for 10-15 minutes or until risen and golden brown on top
Bramley Tarte Fine
Serves 4 people
· 4 Bramley apples
· 4x12cm discs of puff pastry
· 160g unsalted butter lightly softened
· 40g caster sugar
1. Place the puff pastry discs on a heavy-based baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Using a fork, pierce each pastry disc a few times to create a vent
2. Divide the butter amongst the pieces of pastry and spread until each disk is covered evenly.
3. Peel and cut each apple in half, carefully removing the core so that the halves remain intact Place the halves on a chopping board and slice into 1mm thick pieces
4. Once all of the apples are finely sliced, arrange them in a very tightly packed spiral pattern on top of the puff pastry and butter, leaving a 1cm rim on the outside of the pastry. Take your time at this stage, as if the apple is not tightly packed, it will not hold the shape of the tarte
5. Once each disc is filled with apple, fold the edges of the pastry inward and sprinkle with sugar before placing upside down on a baking tray
6. Cook at 180°C for 16-20 minutes