By Lisa Skinner, guest Author
A fantastic food trend for 2021 is Heritage Cooking. It is a trend that I can take delight in. Heritage cooking is immersing yourself into a culture through the food. Delicious recipes that our ancestors before us have made. All over the TV and Internet, you will find heritage cooking from different cultures that make up the American Melting Pot. Throughout my life, I have tasted meals that my grandparents, and great-grandparents cooked during their lifetime that are Irish, German, and Scottish.
These recipe have been passed down to each new generation. Many cuisines connect the past with the present, and our Irish heritage is no different. Each recipe help us to learn about our roots and where our family came from. My family has a deep Scot-Irish heritage, I grew up tasting things like soda bread and brambrack. For Christmas and birthdays, I would receive Irish cookbooks from relatives. Always interested in my family tree, heritage cooking has helped me dive into the history of my origins.
One of my favorite Irish American dishes is that of Brambrack, usually baked in the fall and around Halloween and served with whipped honey butter.
1 cup tea (cold, strong brewed – we use Tazo Wild Orange)
3/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup candied orange peel (or the zest of 1 whole large orange)
1 large egg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
2 cups self rising flour (1 cup self rising flour equal to 1 cup all-purpose flour w/1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt)
In a bowl, combine the dark steeped tea with dried fruits and candied peel (or orange zest), cover with cling film, and allow to soak refrigerated overnight. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and line a loaf pan with parchment paper that has been greased. In a large mixing bowl, combine the tea and fruit with egg, spices (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg) and brown sugar. Stir to combine thoroughly, then add all of the self rising flour. Mix until all of the flour is incorporated into a wet dough, then transfer the dough into your loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour then check the color of your baked bread (if it is getting too dark, cover with aluminum foil to keep from browning too deep). Your bread should be fully baked between 1 hour and 15-30 minutes (mine is typically done at 75-80 minutes). Transfer the baked loaf to a wire cooling rack to cool before slicing and serving. *Baking times can vary based on the size of your loaf pan, oven temperatures, or if you baked a shaped or round loaf on a baking sheet.