On 17th March it will be St. Patrick's Day and although I am not Irish, this special day always reminds me of my Auntie Lily because she used to make the most amazing Irish Brack, a really scrumptious type of fruit loaf that we would all enjoy liberally spread with the finest butter. Auntie Lily was a brilliant cook and taught me my love of baking. I remember helping her in the kitchen as she made all kinds of delicious treats and I like to think that I am following in her footsteps, although I come a very poor second when it comes to all the other handicrafts at which she seemed to excel! There didn't seem to be anything that she couldn't turn her hand to.
Anyway, back to the Brack. Irish Brack, or Barmbrack, was traditionally served at Halloween in Ireland and various items would be baked into the bread. Each item, when received in a slice, was supposed to signify a meaning for the person concerned, a bit like a fortune telling game. Nowadays I don't think the Irish continue much with this custom. A shame really as it sounds quite good fun.
You can find Barmbrack on the supermarket shelves most of the year round now but this recipe is so simple and delicious that once you have tried it you won't want to buy another Barmbrack ever again. So, in honour of St. Patrick's Day, I am sharing with you the recipe for my Auntie Lily's amazing Irish Brack. Deliciously moist, sweet and packed full of fruit, you will definitely be coming back for more!
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