Apple and Barley Pudding Recipe from Ireland

Apple and Barley Pudding

Apple and Barley Pudding Recipe from Ireland
Region / culture: Ireland | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 45 minutes | Servings: 4


Apple and Barley Pudding
Apple and Barley Pudding

Apple and Barley Pudding is a delightful and nutritious dessert that combines the natural sweetness of apples with the hearty texture of barley. This recipe is perfect for those who appreciate the simplicity of ingredients and the comfort of a homemade pudding. The combination of apples and barley not only offers a delicious taste but also provides a wealth of health benefits, making this pudding a guilt-free indulgence.


The origins of Apple and Barley Pudding can be traced back to traditional British cuisine, where both apples and barley have been staple ingredients for centuries. This pudding is a modern take on classic recipes that aimed to utilize the abundant local produce. Over time, it has evolved into a beloved dessert that celebrates the simplicity and wholesomeness of its ingredients.


How to prepare

  1. Peel, core, and slice the apples.
  2. Place the barley in a saucepan with 1 liter of water and bring it to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and add the sliced apples.
  4. Continue cooking until the barley and apples are soft.
  5. Transfer the barley and apples to a blender and process them until they reach a chunky consistency.
  6. Return the mixture to the saucepan.
  7. Add the sugar and lemon juice, and bring it to a boil again.
  8. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
  9. Place the pudding mixture in a rectangular container and allow it to cool before refrigerating to chill.
  10. Serve the chilled pudding with cream stirred in.


  • For a vegan version, substitute the double cream with coconut cream and use a sweetener of your choice instead of sugar. Adding raisins or dried cranberries can introduce a new texture and flavor to the pudding.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best results, use a variety of apples that are both sweet and tart to achieve a balanced flavor. Soaking the barley overnight can reduce cooking time and make the grains softer. For a smoother pudding, blend the mixture thoroughly, but for a chunkier texture, blend it briefly. Adjust the amount of sugar based on the sweetness of the apples used.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this pudding chilled, with a dollop of double cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. For a festive touch, garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg.

Cooking Techniques

The key to a perfect Apple and Barley Pudding is the slow cooking of barley and apples, which allows their flavors to meld beautifully. Blending the cooked mixture to the desired consistency is also crucial for achieving the perfect texture.

Ingredient Substitutions

If pearl barley is not available, you can use hulled barley or even quinoa as a gluten-free option. Honey or maple syrup can be used as natural sweeteners instead of sugar.

Make Ahead Tips

This pudding can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. In fact, chilling it enhances its flavors and texture, making it a convenient make-ahead dessert.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the pudding in individual bowls or glasses layered with fresh apple slices and a sprinkle of toasted barley for a visually appealing and crunchy texture.

Pairing Recommendations

Apple and Barley Pudding pairs wonderfully with a cup of strong black tea or a glass of dessert wine. The robust flavors of the beverage complement the sweetness and texture of the pudding.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store the pudding in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can be enjoyed cold, or if you prefer it warm, gently reheat it in a saucepan over low heat, adding a little water or milk to adjust the consistency.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Apple and Barley Pudding contains approximately 250 calories. The majority of these calories come from carbohydrates, making it an energy-boosting option for a dessert or snack.


This Apple and Barley Pudding is a good source of carbohydrates, with the apples providing natural sugars and the barley offering complex carbohydrates. A serving of this pudding contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates, making it a satisfying dessert or snack that provides energy.


The pudding is low in fats, with the only source being the double cream used for serving. Each serving contains about 5 grams of fat, most of which are saturated fats from the cream. For a lower fat option, you can substitute the double cream with a dollop of low-fat yogurt.


Barley is a good source of plant-based protein, contributing to the protein content of this pudding. Each serving provides approximately 4 grams of protein, making it a dessert that contributes to your daily protein intake.

Vitamins and minerals

Apples and barley together offer a range of vitamins and minerals. Apples are rich in vitamin C and potassium, while barley provides selenium, magnesium, and zinc. This combination makes the pudding not only delicious but also nutritionally beneficial.


This recipe contains gluten from barley and dairy from the cream. Those with gluten intolerance or dairy allergies should consider suitable substitutions to enjoy this pudding.


Overall, Apple and Barley Pudding is a nutritious dessert that offers a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It's a wholesome choice for those looking for a satisfying and healthful treat.


Apple and Barley Pudding is a timeless dessert that combines the comforting flavors of apples and barley in a nutritious and satisfying way. Whether served as a sweet end to a meal or as a wholesome snack, this pudding is sure to delight with its simplicity and depth of flavor.

How did I get this recipe?

It feels like just yesterday when I stumbled upon this recipe for Apple and Barley Pudding. It was a cold winter day, and I was rummaging through my grandmother's old recipe box, looking for something warm and comforting to make for dinner. As I sifted through the index cards and faded scraps of paper, I came across a yellowed envelope with a handwritten note that simply said "Apple and Barley Pudding."

I had never heard of such a dish before, but the name alone intrigued me. I carefully unfolded the note and read through the ingredients and instructions. It called for simple ingredients like apples, barley, sugar, and cinnamon, but the combination seemed unusual and unexpected. I decided to give it a try, trusting in my grandmother's taste and judgment.

As I gathered the ingredients and started cooking, memories of my childhood flooded back to me. I remembered the countless hours spent in my grandmother's kitchen, watching her cook and bake with love and care. She was a master in the kitchen, and I learned so much from her over the years.

I could still hear her voice guiding me as I peeled and sliced the apples, cooked the barley, and mixed everything together in a large bowl. The scent of cinnamon and apples filled the air, bringing back memories of cozy winter nights spent by the fireplace, enjoying warm and comforting desserts.

After what seemed like an eternity, the pudding was finally ready. I scooped a generous portion into a bowl and took a hesitant bite. The flavors were unlike anything I had ever tasted before – sweet and tangy, with a hint of warmth from the cinnamon and a chewy texture from the barley. It was a perfect balance of flavors and textures, a true masterpiece of comfort food.

I immediately knew that this recipe was special, and I wanted to share it with others. I made a mental note to write it down and pass it on to future generations, so that they too could experience the joy and comfort of Apple and Barley Pudding.

Over the years, I continued to make this recipe for family gatherings, holidays, and special occasions. Each time I cooked it, I felt a connection to my grandmother and the generations of women before her who had passed down their culinary wisdom to me.

As I grew older, I realized that cooking was more than just a way to nourish my body – it was a way to connect with my heritage and preserve the traditions of my family. The recipes that I learned from my grandmother were not just a collection of ingredients and instructions, but a legacy of love, care, and memories that spanned generations.

Now, as I sit in my own kitchen, surrounded by the familiar smells and sounds of cooking, I am grateful for the gift of cooking that was passed down to me. I am proud to continue the tradition of making Apple and Barley Pudding, knowing that with each bite, I am honoring the women who came before me and the legacy of love and care that they left behind.

So, if you ever find yourself in need of a warm and comforting dessert on a cold winter day, look no further than my grandmother's recipe for Apple and Barley Pudding. I promise you won't be disappointed. And remember, the key ingredient in any dish is love – so cook with your heart, and the flavors will always be delicious.


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