I finished the yearlong journey through most of the recipes from the Downton Abbey Cookbook I received for Christmas last year. I cooked all of the recipes that I thought we would like, so it is not every single one of them but certainly the majority.
Three days ago I made the Steamed Treacle Pudding. I have almost used up my can of Golden Treacle with this. It is bread crumbs, dried currants, shredded suet, sugar, spices, egg snd treacle in pudding mold and steamed for 2.5 hours. Here it is streaming.
While the pudding was steaming I made Macaroons. I was under the mistaken impression that these would be cookies (biscuits as they are called in England). But they are tartlets. So yet another batch of buttery pastry dough. This time the jam goes on the bottom and a mixture of sugar, ground almonds, orange flower water and eggs goes on top.
I used raspberry preserves for half of them and Shorewood Sugar Plum (that I got for Christmas from my aunt and uncle) for the other half.
You are supposed to use the leftover dough to make decorative elements for the tops of the tarts. I pressed stars into rounds of the rolled dough and laid them on top of most of the tarts (I ran out before I could do all of them). But with baking the filling puffed up quite a bit, disrupting my tops. Plus the dough puffed as well destroying my star impressions. So they look quite odd.
But they tasted good. Tom and his son both loved them, scarfing most of them up.
This recipe came from a Bo-Re recipe pamphlet made by a flour company starting in 1923. These are considered sophisticated enough for an afternoon tea tray (not mine though).
Then the pudding was ready. Here it is still in the mold.
And here it is out of the mold. I think it looks pretty. Now this is a downstairs recipe as treacle is a cheap form of sugar. Plus in the servant’s kitchen there would have been a range going throughout the day so it would have been easy to have a pot of pudding simmering away on a Hob (burner) over the fire.
I liked it. It is similar to other steamed puddings with dried fruit. So nothing amazing but good. Tom was not a fan.
Yesterday I turned my attention to the last recipe I was going to bake. This was the Dundee Cake. This involved blanched almonds which once again we couldn’t find in our local grocery stores. So I turned to google to remember how to blanch whole almonds.
Tom was able to find Demerara sugar though so that was a score.
This recipe involved warming and then steeping golden and dark raisins in Scotch whisky for 2 hours. Then you mix butter, sugar, salt, eggs, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, the whiskyed raisins, ground almonds, orange marmalade and grated orange zest (from 2 oranges!) together. It goes into a buttered cake tin and then the blanched almonds are arranged on top in concentric circles. My circles are not perfect. It cooks for 1 1/2 hours until done. Once cooled it is removed from the tin. Here it is.
And here is my slice rather late in the evening. It is a dense cake and quite filling. It is good. Not the most amazing thing, but I think it would be nice for breakfast actually.
I almost think it looks nicer with the slice cut out to see the inside. This recipe is from The Treasure Cookery Book from 1913. This recipe was promoted heavily by Keiller’s, a Scottish marmalade company. This cake appeared regularly at teas and fairs in the Downton Abbey shows.
So I wanted to finish these recipes while we still have hogs. That way I could have a serving, Tom could have what he wanted and the remainder to go to the pigs. I wouldn’t feel guilty this way as I wouldn’t be tempted to eat more than 1 serving, could feel psychologically good about spoiling the pigs, and will get more pork out of the bargain. I am not sure how this British baking will effect it favor though, hopefully for the better.