To many people, Nicholas Mosse Irish Country Shop is a home from home, it’s a place to find solace in a cup of tea and a home baked scone on a cold damp Irish day; some come for that special gift for a loved one - the heirloom in its first stage of life; some come for a little something to add to their own collection; some bring guests to show them true Irish craftsmanship at work.
Whatever the reason that brings the visitor they all feel welcome when they arrive; the greeting is warm and friendly-faced with questions about how far you’ve travelled, where you’re going to next and a quick recommendation of some other special place to visit if you have the time.
There is a lovely feeling of an Irish home with all the best items on show in antique Irish dressers; and a warren of rooms with beautiful things to adorn your own home. Through the viewing windows you can look into the factory and watch the skilled artisans making beautiful pieces of pottery and almost hear their muted conversation and laughter through the glass.
The scent of fresh baking and good coffee draws you upstairs into the café; with offerings to revive even the weariest of traveller and there amongst the wonderful historic collection of spongeware pottery you will find, in a mother’s pride of place, the first pottery tea set Nicholas made for his own mother over 55 years before. Beyond the café a little hidden away, as all the best things are, is the seconds department where all good shoppers go to rummage around and find that little piece of treasure that’s just perfect for them. We all have different reasons for visiting but we all have a part of Nicholas Mosse Irish Country Shop that is home to us. What’s yours?
(This recipe is the very essence of 'home' and shows the rustic simplicity of Irish country cooking. It depends on the quality of ingredients: apples are at peak harvest time now so this is particularly timely. Try the local farmers' market if you don't have an apple tree. Serve with homemade custard or Irish whipped cream; this simple, homemade pudding will take you to an idyllic Irish childhood, even if you didn't have one. It is from Alex (see above), one of our pottery cookery wizards.) S.Mosse
Ingredients4 large cooking apples (about 1kg/2.5lbs in total)
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 ½ tbsp water
40g/1 ½ oz butter, plus extra for greasing
4 tbsp caster sugar
For the topping150g/6oz butter
200g/7oz caster sugar
200g/7oz self-rising flour
4 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ tbsp boiling water
Whipped cream or custard
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350/Gas 4 (170C fan oven).
- Peel, core and roughly chop the apples.
- Add the apples to a saucepan with the lemon juice and water.
- Stir, cover and cook briskly for five minutes until the apples are soft.
- Add the butter and caster sugar and stir.
- Transfer to a lightly greased 1800ml/3-pint capacity ceramic gratin dish, about 5cm/2in deep. A Nicholas Mosse Medium Oval Oven dish would be perfect.
- Leave to cool while you prepare the topping.
- For the pudding topping, cream together the butter and caster sugar until fluffy and light.
- Fold the flour and egg in alternate spoonfuls into the sugar mixture until blended, being careful to keep folding - this will keep air in the mixture and fold in.
- Fold the boiling water into the mix.
- Spoon the mixture over the apples. Cook in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the topping is puffy and golden. Serve with cream or custard.