Northamptonshire 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 Northamptonshire 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.
2 oz (60g) butter; 3 oz (85g) sugar; 4 oz (115g) currants; 2 eggs; almond essence; grated rind of lemon; a little nutmeg; curds from 1 quart (1.1L) of milk.
If you have no curds, boil the quart of milk with a dessert spoonful of lemon juice or vinegar. When separated, leave to cool after straining. Stir butter, sugar, well-beaten eggs in a pan until thick but not curdish. Add currants, spice, curds etc. Mix well, and when quite cold bake in pastry-lined tins (make some simple shortcrust pastry), 20 to 30 minutes according to size and tins.
EARL BARTON LEEK PIE
8 oz (225g) flour; 5 oz (140g) lard; water; 3/4 lb (350g) beef steak; 3/4 lb (350g) fresh rowey pork (streaky bacon); a few leeks; seasoning.
First stew the chopped pork and beef in the oven, then allow it to cool and set so the fat may be removed. Then wash, slice and boil the leeks. Make a pastry from the flour, lard and water. Take a pie-dish and fill it with alternate layers of meat and leeks, topping it with a layer of leeks. Cover with some of the gravy and put on the pie-crust, decorated with pastry leeks. Cook in a moderate to hot oven until the pastry is done.
HOCK AND DOUGH
4 oz (115g) flour; 2 oz (60g) lard; 1 1/2 oz (45g) suet; pinch salt; water; 4 oz (115g) minced stewing beef; sage; 1 fresh pork hock; gravy.
Rub the fat into the sifted flour and salt. Add water to make a dough, roll out and cut into two equal pieces. Roll these out to a size double the height of the sides of your meat tin and (between them) as long as its circumference. Spread onto each piece of dough the mince and chopped sage. (If you want to reduce the strength of the safe first dip it into boiling water). Fold each crust over and press the edges together. Line the sides of the meat tin with these two roll, put in the hock and surround it with sliced potatoes and onions. Pour over 6 tablespoonfuls of gravy (previously made from the pork trimmings) and cook in a hot oven for about an hour.