Herefordshire is a county in the central region of England, and these are a collection of local and regional recipes handed down within families who have lived and worked in the Herefordshire 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.
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.