2 eggs (boiled hard and finely chopped) 3 oz (85g) butter or margarine, 1/4 lb (125g) sugar, 1/4 lb (125g) chopped peal, 1/4 lb (125g) currants, 1/2 nutmeg
Warm butter, then add the other ingredients to form a spread, line some pastry cases with shortcrust pastry, and bake until set.
A BRIDE’S PIE
Boil 2 calves feet. Pick the meat from the bones and chop it very fine. Shred small 1 lb (500g) beef suet and 1 lb (500g) apples, wash and pick 1 lb (500g) currants very small. Dry them before the fire, stone and chop 1/4 lb (125g) jar raisins, 1/4 oz (7g) cinnamon; the same of mace or nutmeg, 2 oz (60g) candied citron, 2 oz (60g) candied lemon cut thin, a glass of brandy and one of champagne. Put them in a china dish with rich puff paste over it. Roll another lid and cut it in leaves, flowers, figures and a glass ring in it.
Rough Puff Pastry: 6 oz (170g) flour, 2 1/2 oz (75g) butter, 2 1/2 oz (75g) lard, salt, cold water; squeeze of lemon juice.
Chop the lard and butter into the flour, keeping it in fairly large pieces, Add salt, lemon juice and sufficient cold water to bind. Do not use the hand, mix with a knife. Turn on to a floured board; roll into a long strip; fold in three; repeat three times. Lay aside at least half an hour. Use as required.
No 1 Filling: A layer of raspberry jam, and this mixture: 8 oz (225g) butter, 4 oz (115g) sugar, 3 eggs, almond essence
No 2 Filling: Raspberry jam, and this mixture: 2 oz (60g) butter, 4 oz (115g) sugar, 5 eggs, almond essence.
Method of both recipes: Cream butter, sugar, add beaten eggs and almond flavouring. Place this mixture on top of the layer of raspberry jam and bake in a hot oven.
MELTON MOWBRAY PORK PIE
To make 1 pie: The Crust. 3/4 lb (375g) plain flour, 6 oz (170g) lard, 1/2 teaspoonful salt, 4 fluid oz (120ml) water.
The Filling: 1 lb (500g) pork (failing flitch, use shoulder, and if bought buy 1 1/4 lb (625g) to allow trimming) 1 level teaspoonful salt, 1/2 level teaspoonful pepper, 2 tablespoonfuls water.
The Crust. Put lard and water in saucepan and bring to the boil to melt the lard. Meanwhile weigh and sieve flour and salt, then pour lard and water (while still boiling) over the flour and mix well. Knead well by hand. Leave to cool about and hour but during this time knead once or twice. The dough must not get really cold otherwise it will crack and crumble. Turn onto floured board. Flour mould (the traditional Leicestershire pie mould is wooden, but a 2 lb jam-jar will do), put crust on top of mould and shape it from the top some way down the sides. The crust should be about 1/3 inch (1cm) thick. Leave to set for 20 minutes, then turn crust of mould and trim with scissors.
The Filling. Mince the meat on coarse knife of mincer or chop finely with a knife; add salt and pepper and mix in, add water and mix again. Press meat well into corners of pie, filling within 3/4 inch (2cm) of the top. Make the lid out of the pastry trimmings, press the edges together. Cut round to neaten off – this cutting also helps to bind the top and sides together. Castellate the top with thumb and first finger, make one hole with a skewer and decorate with stars or leaves.
Cut a length of greaseproof paper about 1 inch (2.5cm) higher than the pie, wind it round the pie making sure it goes right down the bottom, and stick it together with flour paste. This holds the pie in position. The pie need not be baked on the same day – in fact it is improved by standing overnight.
To cook, put the pie on a sandwich tin with 1 inch (2.5cm) edges – allowing plenty of room around the pie – and place on baking tray. Cook at 350F (180C) for the first hour, then turn oven to 300F (160C) and give pie another 45 minutes. The sandwich tin will re-absorb the fat. When the pie is nearly cold make a small hole in the top and add jelly. The helly is made from bones and rind, just covered with water, simmered for 2 hours, then strained and seasoned. It should be poured into pie 1 hour after it comes out of oven.
LEICESTERSHIRE CURD TARTS
1/2 lb (250g) curds, 4 eggs (but only use 3 of the whites) only slightly beaten, 2 oz (60g) very dry and fine breadcrumbs, 4 oz (115g) butter, 4 oz (115g) sugar, 3/4 lb (375g) currants and sultanas mixed, 2 tablespoonfuls cream, finely grated nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoonful finely-grated lemon rind, a little rum or brandy, puff pastry.
To make the curd heat 2 pints (1.2 litres) milk to blood heat, add 2 teaspoonfuls of cheese rennet. Strain curds from whey through butter muslin. It is important to leave curd overnight before using.
Soften the curd with a fork, beat in softened butter, then add sugar, breadcrumbs, beaten eggs, fruit, flavourings and cream. This is a very liquid mixture. Line some very deep patty tins with the puff pastry – which has previously been rolled out very thinly and cut with a 3 inch (8cm) cutter. Prick the bottoms of the patty linings to prevent rising, and fill with the mixture. Cook to a rich dark brown – starting with 15 minutes in a hot oven 400F (200c) followed by 15 minutes in a slow oven 280F (140C).
6 oz (170g) butter, 1 lb (500g) sugar, 1 egg, 8 oz (225g) flour, 2 oz (60g) caraway seeds.
Cream the butter and sugar, then stir in the beaten egg and beat the mixture well together. Add the flour and caraway seeds and knead well. Divide the mixture into evenly-sized balls, then make each into an S-shaped piece. Place on baking ray, allowing plenty of room between the biscuits. Brush each over with a little beaten egg and bake in a moderate oven 370F (160C) until a pale brown.
BRANDY SNAPS OR FAIRINGS
2 oz. (60g) white sugar; 5 oz. (140g) butter; 3 teaspoonfuls golden syrup; 2 oz. (60g) plain flour; squeeze of lemon juice; 1/2 teaspoonful ground ginger.
Put sugar, butter and syrup in a saucepan and melt on the stove. Allow to cool a little before adding a squeeze of lemon juice and the flour. Stir very carefully until smooth. Drop teaspoonfuls of this mixture onto greased baking tins and cook for about 10 minutes in a fairly hot oven. Remove from oven, and wrap each quickly, while still hot, around the handle of a wooden spoon. Remove and leave to cool.
HEREFORD CURD CAKES
Short Pastry: 5 oz (140g) flour, 2oz (60g) fat (butter or lard), pinch of salt, cold water
Filling: 1 quart (1.1 litres) sour milk, 2 oz (60g) butter, 1 large egg, 1 tablespoonful currants, 1 dessertspoonful brandy or rum, 1 oz (30g) caster sugar, grated lemon rind, large pinch salt, nutmeg Add up to 1 tablespoonful cream or milk if the mixture is too dry.
Strain the curds from whey for 24-48 hours. (If you haven’t sour milk, sour 1 quart fresh milk with 2 teaspoonfuls rennet) Put the curd and butter through a sieve, add the egg (well beaten) and all the other ingredients. Make the pastry and with it line a large deep patty tin. Put in the mixture, then grate nutmeg and a few shavings of butter on top of the cake before baking. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes in a fairly hot oven 400F (200C). This makes a good cake – or pudding – for picnics, as it keeps moist.
1 lb (500g) stone ground flour; 1/2 lb (250g) sugar; 1/2 lb (250g) currants; 1/2 lb (250g) sultanas; 1/4 lb (125g) lard; 2 oz (60g) margarine (or butter); 2 oz (60g) lemon peel; 1 dessert spoonful mixed spice; 2 oz (60g) yeast
Rub lard into flour, add all dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Rise the yeast in a little warm milk and mix all into a dough with more warm milk. Rise in tins and bake in moderate oven 350F (180C).
A DURHAM BREAKFAST DISH
Cut plain suet roll across into 1/2 inch slices and fry these rather slowly in a little fat. Fry an equal number of slices of ham, or for raw ham substitute boiled ham and fry the slices very lightly. Or use cooked beef and coat the slices with egg and breadcrumbs or flour before. Fry them quickly. Lay ham or beef on the browned slices of suet roll, and on top place a cooked tomato if liked. For each slice of ham or beef a large mushroom may be fried.
3/4 lb (750g) flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoonful mixed spice, pinch nutmeg, 6 oz (170g) sugar, 6 oz (170g) margarine or butter, 1 egg, 1 1/2 teaspoonfuls vinegar
Mix dry ingredients, rub in fat, drop in egg and vinegar and knead till soft. Roll out 1/4 inch thick, cut into rounds with a big cutter, bake in moderate oven 320F (180C) for 15 to 20 minutes, until slightly coloured.
For the pastry: 4 oz (115g) flour, 2 oz (60g) fat (butter and lard mixed) , a little water
For the filling: 3 eggs, 2 oz (60g) castor sugar, rind and juice of 1 lemon, 2 oz (60g) butter, 1 oz (30g) ground almonds
Make the pastry and line a tart tin with it, then make the filling like this. Separate the yolks from the whites, put yolks and sugar and juice and rind of lemon into a double boiler with the butter, stir while cooking, and let the mixture thicken. Pour into the pastry case, bake in a moderate oven 320F (160C) for 20 to 25 minutes. Take out and pour over the top the whisked whites to which you have added the ground almonds. Put back into the oven to brown.
1 lb (500g) fresh butter, 1 1/2 lb (750g) soft brown sugar, 1 wineglass rum, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Melt the butter in a pan, then pour it onto sugar and beat until it begins to thicken. This does not take long. Stir in rum and grated nutmeg. Pour into a bowl worthy of this feast.
2 handfuls M’Giants (Bistort can be bought from herb farms) 2 handfuls young nettles, 2 handfuls cauliflower sprigs, 2 handfuls cabbage leaves, 3 leeks or some chives 1/4 lb (125g) pearl barley, 1 egg.
Chop all the vegetables, tie in a muslin bag with the barley and boil for 2 hours. Turn into a casserole and season. add beaten egg and a good dab of butter. Serve piping hot.
Alternative method: Boil barley first, then tie in a bag with the chopped vegetables, boil for 1/2 hour and finish as in first method. This is excellent and can, of course, be adapted to another herb and the vegetables you have.
Cut neat pieces the shape of a pear from a cold leg of mutton about 1/2 inch thick, lay them in some cold gravy left from the mutton, or a little nice stock, to soak for 1/2 hour. Then drain quite dry, rub with egg, roll in breadcrumbs and fry a nice light brown. Drain on kitchen paper. have ready some tomatoes stewed and seasoned with salt and pepper; place them in the centre of the dish with the fillets put round them and a little thick gravy.
CHRISTMAS STANDING PIE
3 lb (1.4kg) plain flour, 1 1/2 lb (750g) butter and lard mixed, 1 pint (600ml) milk, pinch salt, 1 tablespoonful chopped suet.
Melt butter, lard and suet in the warmed milk but do not let it boil. Have ready the flour and salt in a bowl. Skim off as much fat as possible from the warmed milk and fat and mix in the bowl with the flour to a soft dough. Leave to cool and then work with the hands into rounds, 3 inches deep and 6 inches across. Tie greaseproof round to keep them standing up. Make lids from the pastry to fit after filling.
Filling: 2 lb (1kg) finely-chopped mutton (raw) 1 lb (500g) currants, 1 lb (500g) sultanas, 1 lb (500g) chopped apples, 1 lb (500g) brown sugar, pinch salt, 1 teaspoonful spice and a little grated nutmeg
Mix all together with 2 tablespoonfuls of rum. Fill the pies and put on lids and decorate with pastry leaves etc. Bake for 1 hour in a moderate oven 350F (180C). Enough for three pies.