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  • The story of butter

    Ireland’s golden, salted butter is recognised as some of the best in the world. We know our tradition of churning butter goes back at least three thousand years. The grass-fed diet of Irish cattle is rich in beta-carotene, giving Irish butter a unique golden colour. Its distinct flavour is further enhanced by the salt used to preserve the precious butter – allowing Ireland to export butter from mid 17th-century onwards.

    Cork’s historic Butter Exchange became the world’s largest butter market, exporting to destinations as far-flung as Asia and South America. In the 18th- and 19th-centuries, Irish farmers regularly undertook long, grueling, round-trips from all over Ireland, walking the ‘butter roads’ alongside pack horses loaded up with firkins (wooden barrels) of hand-churned butter. Today, local farmhouse butter is making a come-back, being served with pride in top restaurants countrywide.

    Almond tart with strawberries and cream

    Strawberry and almond tart

    Quantity Ingredients
    For the pastry  
    175g flour
    110g Irish butter
    25g caster sugar
    2 egg yolks
    For the frangipane  
    250g ground almonds
    250g Irish butter
    250g caster sugar
    5 eggs, beaten (free range or organic if possible)
    1 packet Irish strawberries
    250ml cream
    100g cornflour
     

    Method

    1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.

    2. Line a 10" springform tin with buttered baking paper.

    3. To make the pastry, mix the flour and butter in a food processor. Whizz for a few seconds then add sugar and egg yolks, and stop just as the pastry starts to form a ball. Chill pastry for at least an hour. Roll out the chilled dough thinly and line the tin with it.

    4. Blend the butter and sugar together, add half of the ground almonds and then add the eggs a little at a time and mix slowly. Add the remaining almonds and sieved cornflour and mix all ingredients together.

    5. Pour the frangipane mix into the pastry lined tin and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. When cool, arrange strawberries on the tart and serve with cream.

    Did You Know?

    ... that Irish butter was traditionally salted for preservation, but butter was once kept in bogs for preservation. A 35kg (77lb) butter barrel found from the Iron Age in a Kildare bog is estimated to be approximately 3,000 years old.

    230x100 Sylivia-Meulmeester Original

    Find out more about the creator of this delicious recipe.

    Read more about Food Champion Sylvia Meulmeester

    This method of making pastry is very easy and I would recommend using Irish butter as its taste is far superior.


    Sylvia Meulmeester
    Greenes Restaurant, Co Cork