Armagh Bramley Apple Hot Cross Buns

Armagh Bramley Apple Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns are a staple in the Scullery this time of year so we thought we’d share our recipe in case you’d like to try to bake some this weekend! These soft, doughy Easter buns are traditionally baked with rasins, currents and citrus peel and seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg but we thought we’d use local Armagh Bramley apples instead of dried fruit and peel because these Orchard County apples pair perfectly with the warm spices used in Hot Cross Buns.

Armagh Bramley Apples have Protected Geographical Indication status (like Parma Ham and Champagne) giving recognition to the unique environment they’re grown in and the distinctive flavour they have as a result. These Bramleys have a much tarter flavour than Bramleys grown in other regions but when cooked with gentle heat and a dollop of Abernethy butter the apples lose some of their acidity and offer a more mellow apple flavour with a hint of tartness through the bun. Bramley apples are widely available through supermarket chains but for Armagh Bramley apples you’re best checking for the sticker below or asking your local fruit & vege shop or looking at Farmer’s Markets around the country!

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Armagh Bramley Apple Hot Cross Buns



For the dough

450g plain flour

1 packet fast action dried yeast

50g granulated brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

80mL full fat milk

40g Abernethy butter

100mL water

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

For the apple 

1 Armagh Bramley apple (Peeled, finely cubed)

1 tsp Burren Bramley apple balsamic

20g granulated brown sugar

20g Abernethy butter

For the white cross

65g flour

30mL water (may need more if the paste is too thick)

For the glaze

200mL Barnhill Bramley Apple Juice

20g granulated brown sugar


Preparation time: 20 mins + 1.5hrs proving time

Cooking time: 20 mins

Calories per serving: 228 calories per bun

Cover the apple peel in Burren Bramley Balsamic and cook @180oC for 20 minutes to dehydrate and brown the peel slightly. Finely chop the peel once cooked.

Cook the diced apple on a medium heat with 20g brown sugar and 20g Abernethy butter for 8-10 mins.

To prepare the dough, mix the flour, salt, sugar, spices, yeast, cooked apple and peel in a large bowl.

Gently melt the butter, add the milk, egg and water and mix well (use warm water if the temperature of the mixture feels cold to touch).

Gradually add the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix well to form a dough.

Seal the dough bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place for a min. of 1 hr to rise.

Divide the dough into 9 round pieces and place on an oven-proof tray lined with baking paper.

Cover the dough with an oiled piece of cling film and leave in a warm place for 30 mins to rise.

Prepare the paste for the crosses by mixing the flour with water, one teaspoon at a time to form a thick paste and pour into a piping bag.

Wash the dough with milk and pipe the crosses before baking in the oven for 25 mins @180oC.


While the buns are baking, prepare the glaze by boiling the apple juice and sugar to melt the sugar and reduce the liquid to a syrup.

When the buns are baked, wash with the glaze to finish.

Happy Easter & we hope you enjoy your hot cross buns, chocolate eggs and juicy Irish lamb this Sunday!!



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SculleryMade is a Belfast blog sharing recipes using quality, locally sourced ingredients in cooking, brewing, baking and curing.

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SculleryMade Sparkling Apple Cider

SculleryMade Sparkling Apple Cider


Spring is here and in the Scullery we’ve been busy gearing up for Farmer’s markets, cookery demo’s and all the while we’ve been testing out some new recipes for brewing and curing with local produce which we hope to share with you over the the next couple of months! So it’s safe to say, we’ve worked up a thirst! Thankfully, a batch of scullery-brewed sparkling cider we started in January is ready to pop, just in the nick of time!

In the scullery, we are pretty happy about the resurgence of quality craft cider producers around the country in the last 5-10 years. Let’s not forget the brewers either, and the distillers bringing age-old Irish crafts back home to produce the best quality spirits, beers and ciders using our own locally grown crop – fair play to all of you, we’re delighted you’re here! With the return of the craft, there have been more and more people keen to give home-brewing a try. Maybe it’s because the secret’s out – it’s not that difficult, give it a go!

It takes a couple of months to produce the cider, so now’s a good time to start preparing some batches to enjoy a glass of your own home-made sparkling cider in late-spring/early summer (will we get a summer this year?!). The recipe shared below uses Barnhill Apple Juice from Kenny Redmond’s Barnhill farm in Co. Armagh (we’re a sucker for Orchard County Apples!). Barnhill farm have been growing and maintaining traditional varieties on the family farm for over 100 years. The apples are pressed and bottled on the farm and include no additives or preservatives which makes them a great base for the bio-chemical part of the fermentation as some additives/preservatives in other juices can interfere with the yeast’s activity. Barnhill have also created a range of juices that have extra flavour from added blackberry fruit, raspberry and elderflower which make for lovely sparkling cider varieties – so you’ll have your pick! Around Belfast the apple juices are available for purchase in St. George’s market, McCreery’s Butcher (Ormeau rd). and at other select Farmer’s markets too.

Aside from the apple juice, you’ll need a few essentials to kick-start your home-cidery. Quality, sterile equipment is very important. It’s got to be clean because you’re making the perfect environment enriched for any kind of bacteria/fugus to thrive in so keep it clean to prevent anything but the yeast growing or you’ll spoil your batch. You’ll need a glass demi-john with a rubber bung and an airlock.

Demi Johns bungs and airlocks

To transfer the primed cider into the bottle after your first fermentation for conditioning, you’ll need a length of tubing (around 1 Metre) and a rigid plastic tube with removable u-bend (which will help to reduce sediment transfer).

Syphon kit

You’ll need a yeast strain (dried yeast) for two fermentation steps – first in the demi-john and second in the bottle. Different strains of yeast will metabolize the sugar source in fermentation to give a unique profile of bi-products (that impart flavour) and carbon dioxide (to give the fizz). The recipe below also includes a small amount of sugar which is optional, but adding it gives the yeast in the second fermentation a bit more energy, which is especially important if you’ve had a longer initial fermentation.

After that, you’re good to go and all you need is time!

SculleryMade Sparkling Apple Cider

Cider and salmon


1 bottle of Barhnhill Apple Juice (750mL)

1 packet of champagne yeast (5g)

50g caster sugar (optional)


Preparation time: 5 minutes prep 

Conditioning: 2 months

Calories per serving: 110 calories (180mls per serving)

Pour one bottle of apple juice into a clean demi-john container and add the yeast.

Keep and clean the juice bottle in preparation for conditioning the cider.

Swirl the liquid for a couple of minutes to aerate the juice and wake the yeast.

Fill the airlock reservoir with water and insert the airlock into the rubber stopper.

Seal the bottle with the stopper and leave the demi-john in a warm place (18-22oC) to ferment for 5-10 days. Swirl every couple of days (carefully remove the stopper for this and replace after swirling) to disturb the yeast and introduce more air into the liquid to maintain fermentation.

Using tubing and a removable u-bend attachment, transfer the cider into a jug to pour back into the glass bottle.

Dissolve the sugar in 50mL warm water and add to the cider with the remainder of the yeast.

Seal the bottle and roll to mix the yeast and leave at room temperature to condition for a minimum of 2 months.

Serve the cider chilled and enjoy!


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SculleryMade is a Belfast blog sharing recipes using quality, locally sourced ingredients in cooking, brewing, baking and curing.

SculleryMade – Ormeau Rd, Belfast                                Contact: