Hunters Hotel And The Apple Crumble
Hunters Hotel is tucked away in the Wicklow mountains and is worth the visit for the road trip alone.
I first came across Hunters Hotel in the autumn. We had an important and solemn family occasion which called for a place we could gather for lunch and be together in a comfortable space. The Hunter/Gelletlie family have been running the hotel since 1825 and they have hospitality down to a fine art. Between the cups of tea on arrival and the kindness of the staff to the one small child in our party, we were made to feel at home.
Hunters is the oldest coaching inn in Ireland and you feel a sense of days gone by when you first enter it. Although it is bright and roomy, it has not been renovated passed the point of recognition. There are real roaring fires in the fireplace in most rooms and even in some of the bedrooms. The art on the wall is as you would expect it to be, grandiose, eclectic and historical. The attached, walled garden, is welcoming and the ideal spot for a bit of hide and seek with a child you’re mad about.
The food is wholesome, local and seasonal. Nouvelle Cuisine it is not. The portions are more than generous. On the day, I chose a cured ham starter with some melon and figs, my main course was the lamb plate and my dessert a gorgeous apple crumble. I’m including the photos of the food below so you can see for yourself how beautiful, it all is.
When I came home from Hunters Hotel, I asked my food loving friends whether they had heard of it and most of them were familiar with it and had even stayed there. Not one of of these friends had ever mentioned it. They called it a hidden gem, I called them selfish. I get the pleasure in discovering somewhere, but surely, if all gems stay hidden, how will they survive?
So for me, there are two things I can do when I find somewhere I like as much as I liked Hunters Hotel and both are simple. First, I can tell you about it. And secondly, I can try and recreate what I enjoyed at home, in the comfort of my own kitchen. Rare are the places that make me want to write about them, as I am not a food critique.
In this case, I’m doing both, I was taken with the crumble and I had to try and recreate it at home. Crumble is never a go to option for me but this one was so succulent, it stayed on my mind. You will find the recipe for it after the photos.
The recipe comes with thanks to Michelle Wickham.
- 4 sharp apples (I used cooking apples)
- 100 g flour
- 100 g butter
- 100 g caster sugar
- 100 g almond flour
- Preheat your oven to 180 C
- Butter your dish and put your apples in it (cored, peeled and diced). I halved the quarters of my apples as I wanted large chunks that would keep a certain firmness.
- Put your butter in the freezer for 15 min and then when it’s cold and hard, grate it over the flour, sugar and almond flour. (Thank you Cat for that tip). Rub all the ingredients together so you have a nice even crumb.
- Pour the mixture over the apples and press your hand or fish on top to get the air out of the crumble. This ensure that although the mixtures cooks together and gives you a few nice lumps of cake instead of just crumbs.
- Cook for about 30 min or until the top is golden.