Wednesday, August 20, 2008

McNeill Irish Oatcakes With Blue Cheese and Pear

This recipe is named after my great great grandfather who claimed on his 100th birthday that these crunchy little bites and plenty of Irish tea were the secret to extending long life. Of course the Irish have been making oatcakes for centuries cooked on a griddle over an open fire, and next week I may publish another blog touching on this…

These versatile bites can be served with cheese as an elegant appetizer or eaten the way my two little boys devour them when getting home from school, with butter and jam. When making these oatcakes, go shopping for Scottish Oats otherwise known as ‘Stone Ground Whole Grain oats’. They are available often in the organic section of most US grocery stores, and can be found with some searching. As I may have mentioned before, Scottish Oats are different from rolled oats. They are made by grinding the whole oat kernel to produce a coarse meal. These Oatcakes have a ‘wee taste of Ireland’ in every bite.

(makes 12 Oatcakes)
1 cup of Stone ground Scottish oats
6 Tbsp all purpose white flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ cup butter
2 Tbsp boiling water
2 Tbsp brown organic sugar
3 Tbsp Apricot Preserves
1 pear (thinly sliced)
3 oz Blue Cheese crumbled (Irish Cashel Blue or Stilton)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the oats, all purpose white flour, baking soda, sugar and salt. Make a well in the center with a large metal spoon.

Pour boiling water over butter to melt. Combine with the dry ingredients and mix.

Sprinkle surface with flour and roll dough out in a circle ¼“thick. Use a small 1 ½” cookie cutter to form 12 oatcakes or cut with a knife in to 8 triangles. Transfer to a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake oatcakes in at 325 degrees oven for 20-25 minutes, or until hard and crisp. Leave them in the oven with the light on to dry out for a few hours or even better overnight for a crisp oatcake. Cool on a wire wrack.

To serve appetizers spread oatcakes with a little apricot preserves. Crumble blue cheese over preserves and broil for a few minutes to melt. Cut pair in half and remove center core. (Leave the skin on for color). Place pear on top of preserves and place cheese on top.

Assemble pear on top of melted cheese and serve straight away.

Enjoy!...(and watch out for my next blog to see how old oatcakes really are!)

1 comment:

  1. Amazing! I have to say the photographs blow me away. I cannot wait for your cookbook, and I have a line of family and friends who are also excited!


Feel free to leave me a comment on the food, or any other aspect of Irishness. Enjoy!