Irish food is much more than stews and soda breads, although they are some of the dishes that first come to mind when thinking about Irish cuisine. Irish Puddings, Tarts, Crumbles, and Fools is dedicated to the desserts of Ireland, and there certainly are a lot of good looking desserts in this book.
The book is divided up into six chapters by recipe type: Puddings, Tarts, Crisps & Crumbles, Fools & Flummeries, Tea Breads & Cakes, and Christmas treats. Each of these chapters starts off with a little introduction to the recipe type, why the recipes are popular and what types of recipes – and ingredients – you can expect to find in each category. The descriptions get even more specific when you turn to the individual recipes, as each is accompanied by a paragraph describing some of the history of the recipe or baking tips for it. The recipes are simply written and easy to follow. Many include a number of variations that will enable you to experiment with the recipe to suit your own tastes. There are plenty of beautiful pictures to inspire you to get into the kitchen, as well.
All the recipes call for Kerrygold Irish butter. Irish butter is European-style butter, which has a higher butterfat than your average American butter, so it tastes slightly creamier. It also has a very slight tang of cheese or buttermilk to it, which makes it taste richer. You can find it at some markets and at specialty stores, but you can also simply substitute regular butter into all of these recipes if you can’t find it. For me, while I like to use it in baking, I like it even more on toast (perhaps on Soda Bread!) and end up using it for that and run out before I use it strictly for baking.