Moy House in County Clare is one of the most delightful places to stay in Ireland. It is a charming country manor hotel, a little isolated, that has majestic views of the sea.
The level of hospitality is top notch and the food out of this world. It is the sort of place you could sink into and happily not emerge from for three days – a real haven. For those who prefer a more active vacation, it is also near two of the best golf courses in Ireland, both at the Lahinch Golf Club.
The restaurant has two young chefs, Matthew Strefford and Connor Madigan, who both farm in their spare time. The menu is always local and seasonal. The chefs grow all the vegetables and all the dairy products and meats come from their farms or other ones nearby. If you are going to be travelling in this part of Ireland, I highly recommend a stop here.
Their lemon tart is spectacular.
It is truly lemony with a very smooth curd and a more delicate texture than most. The very tasty pastry is easy to make. It will become a standard in your repertoire.
Ready time: 3 hours
The recipe is adapted from an old cookbook called For the Love of Baking by Lillian Kaplun. Her recipes were gems: The chocolate Neapolitan is still one of my favourite sweets, and her coffee cake is legendary. Kaplun’s seven minute frosting is the classic frosting for cakes that must be “pareve,” meaning made without milk products, so that they can be eaten after a meat meal.
My version is even quicker, easier and totally stress-free, not overly sweet and sufficiently light in texture so as not to overwhelm a delicate cake. I see honey cakes as a base for aromatic spices, but omit or change them if you prefer.
If you ever had the urge to make one of the honeyed Greek desserts, try this much easier version. Recipe developer Irene Matys says: “These easy little pies are a popular street food in Cyprus. My mom has been making these for us forever.” If you do not have a stand mixer, then add ingredients and beat with a mixer, turn out on board and knead for about 5 minutes or until dough is soft.
Claudia Egger has an outstanding Toronto bakery called Frangipane, where she makes superb French pastries. Candied bacon is the flavour of the month right now, but I actually like candied orange peel with this tart, too. The candied bacon has a short shelf life, as the sugar tends to run after a few hours. Make it ahead and, if it seems soggy, crisp in the oven for a few minutes before crumbling it over the tart. There will be leftover dough, which you can use to make a few good cookies. Although I baked this tart in a long rectangular pan, it works just as well in a round 8- or 9-inch one. Egger’s dramatic recipe serves 8, but it keeps well and even freezes.