Cambridgeshire is a county in the south-east region of England, and these are a collection of local and regional recipes handed down within families who have lived and worked in the Cambridgeshire area. All of the recipes below are regionally authentic, originally coming from recipe books published in the 1800s or 1900s, with the weights and measurements adjusted (alongside the old standards) where appropriate for the modern kitchen.
1 dozen eggs 1 dozen apples 2lb (1kg) stoned raisins 2lb (1kg) currants 1lb (500g) sugar, tablespoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, beaten mace, juice of 3 ripe lemons 1/2 lb (250g) citron cut into strips, 1 pint (600ml) brandy or rose water or ratafia, 1 pint (600ml) white wine
Hard boil the eggs and chop the yolks fine. Mix all the ingredients together and cover with short pastry as you do mince pies 350F (180C) 35 mins.
1 teacupful clean new wheat, 1/4 lb (125g) mixed fruit (currants, sultanas etc.) 2 oz (60g) flour for thickening, 1 quart (1.1 Litres) milk, 2 oz (60g) brown sugar, nutmeg
Slowly cook wheat in a stew-jar with 1 quart water about 6 hours. Transfer to saucepan, add milk, fruit, sugar and a little grated nutmeg. Thicken with flour mixed with milk and bring to the boil slowly. Serve hot. Can be used for any meal.
This is usually made in rectangular moulds. 1½ gallons of milk will make two cheeses.
Heat the milk to 90 degrees F. Mix in the rennet in the proportion of 1 drachm (1 teaspoon) to 1 1/2 gallons (7 litres) of Cambridgeshire milk. Do not top-stir, as a creamy top is traditional for this cheese. Leave in a covered bucket till coagulation occurs. The curd should be firm enough to split over the finger cleanly. Have ready the sterilized utensils and the moulds on a straw mat in a tray.
Mark the shape of the ‘top’ with a mould on the curd, then slice two of these off very thinly and put on one side. Next ladle out thin slices of the curd into the mould, then slide on the ‘tops’ and leave to drain again. Do not turn the moulds and do not add any salt as this cheese is traditionally not salted. It will take 2-3 days to drain.
FILLET OF PORK DUMPLING
Pastry (suet or short crust rolled out thinly to a square large enough for family requirements) fillet of pork, sage and onion stuffing, seasoning.
Roll out pastry to roughly 12 inches square. Carefully place this on pudding cloth. Place the fillet of park carefully on pastry. Spread sage-and-onion stuffing on well-seasoned meat. Fold edges of pastry together (like Dick Whittington’s famous kerchief). Do similarly with cloth, tying corners together tightly to keep pudding in good shape. Place in boiling water and simmer very gently for as long as possible. Four hours is not too long. This is delicious eaten hot or cold. The water in which the pudding is cooked can be used as the foundation for gravy. Serve with apple sauce.
HUNTINGDON FIDGET PIE
1lb (500g) cooking apples, 1.2 lb (600g) onions, 3.4 lb (2kg) streaky bacon, seasoning, pastry.
Put a layer of apples at the bottom of a pie-dish, a layer of sliced onion on top and a layer of diced bacon on top of that. Repeat until dish is full seasoning each layer. Add a very little water, cover with pastry and bake in a moderate oven 320F (160C) for 2 hours.