An Englishman’s Favorite Traditional Recipes and Their History by Paul A. Hussey
Toad In The Hole – It’s English History and Recipe
Ithought it would be of interest to write this article about the famous and traditional English recipe with a weird name – “Toad in the Hole”. This is a recipe of Batter and Sausages baked in an oven. The origin of the name “Toad-in-the-Hole” is often disputed. Many suggestions are that the dish’s resemblance to a Toad sticking its head out of a hole provides the dish with its somewhat unusual name. Nowadays this British dish typically consists of sausage cooked in batter, but in its earliest incarnations in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (when it was usually called toad in a hole) various cuts of meat were used. Mrs Beaton, for instance, used steak and kidney, and recipes recommending the finest fillet steak are to be found, but often enough toad in the hole was a repository for leftovers. Even today lamb chops are occasionally found lurking in batter, and sausage toad’ is the unappetizing colloquialism that distinguishes the orthodox version.
Toad in the hole…provokes historical questions of exceptional interest. What are the origins of the dish and how did it get its name? Enquiries are best commenced from two starting points. The first is that batter puddings (whether baked in the oven by themselves or cooked under the spit or jack in the drippings falling from a joint–in the latter case they could be classed as Yorkshire pudding) only began to be popular in the early part of the 18th century.
Jennifer Stead’s essay is the best reference for studying the complex historical questions regarding batter pudding and Yorkshire pudding.
The second is that the earliest recorded reference in print to toad in the hole occurs in a provincial glossary of 1787, quoted by the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) as saying: the dish called toad in a whole meat boiled in a crust.’ That gives the name, but the technique is different form that subsequently established…Mrs Beaton (1861) describes the dish homely but savoury.
A wartime variation on the original uses pieces of Spam in place of sausages.
The recipe itself is rather simple. A pan is placed into the oven and heated for about 15 minutes while the batter is prepared. The sausages and batter are added and cooked for half an hour. With frozen sausages, the meat is placed into the dish while heated. It is normally accompanied by gravy (often onion gravy), vegetables, chips or mashes potatoes.
Recipe for Toad – In – The – Hole
This very objectionable title enables me to usher in to your special notice a dish possessing some claims to consideration, when prepared with care as follows: viz., —cut up about two pounds of tender steak or ox-kidney, or half of each, into rather thick collops about three inches in diameter; season with pepper and salt; fry them over a sharp fire, merely to brown them without their being done through; place the collops in neat order in a buttered pie-dish; detach the brown glaze from the bottom of the pan in which you have fried the beef, with gravy or water, and a little catsup, and pour the residue to the collops in the dish; then add a well-prepared batter for Yorkshire pudding, (see elsewhere on the recipe section -we have included Mrs Beaton’s recipe on the site instead as its better), gently poured upon the meat, bake for about an hour, and serve while quite hot. This excellent old English dish will occasionally prove a welcome addition to the dinner-table of paterfamilias.
By Charles Elme Francatelli (1805-1876)
Bubble and Squeak – English Recipe and History ( No. 14 )
I thought it would be of interest to write this article about the famous British recipe – Bubble and Squeak which is a really tasty meal of fried leftovers. There is a fine example of metaphorical ‘Bubble and Squeak’ and eighteenth century wit in an article in The Mid-Wife: or, the old woman’s magazine, by Christopher Smart, 1753 – which is certainly not a cookery magazine. The second quotation cited for the actual dish is in 1772 but there are earlier references to the figurative use of the phrase, so the dish was undoubtedly being made well before this time all over England.
Bubble and squeak is a traditional English dish made with the shallow-fried leftover vegetables from a roast dinner. The chief ingredients are potato and cabbage but carrots, peas, Brussels sprouts and other vegetables can be added. It is traditionally served with cold meat from the Sunday Roast and pickles. Traditionally, the meat was added to the bubble and squeak itself, although nowadays it is more commonly made without meat. The cold chopped vegetables (and cold chopped meat if used) are fried in a pan together with mashed potatoes or crushed roast potatoes until the mixture is well-cooked and brown on the sides.
The name comes from the bubble and squeak sounds made as it cooks. The name bubble and squeak is used throughout the United Kingdom, Australia and other Commonwealth countries. It may also be understood in parts of the United States. In the UK the dish may sometimes be referred to as bubble or bubble and scrape.
Bubble and squeak was a popular dish during World War 11 as it was an easy way of using leftovers during a period when most foods were subject to rationing. In more recent times, pre-prepared frozen and tinned versions have become available.
Bubble and Squeak Ingredients
۴۵۰g/1lb potatoes, unpeeled
salt and pepper
70g/2 1/2 oz. butter
125g/4oz Cabbage – shredded
۱۲۵g/4oz Carrots – shredded
۱۲۵g/4oz Brussels sprouts – shredded
3 tbsp. water
3-4 tbsp. sunflower oil
1 onion chopped
Cook the potatoes for 25 minutes in a pan of lightly salted boiling water, then drain, peel and dice.
Place them in a bowl with 55g/2oz of the butter and mash until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, place the cabbage, water and remaining butter in a large heavy based saucepan and cover. Cook gently for 10 minutes, or until tender. Mix the Cabbage, Carrots, Brussels sprouts, Peas and mashed potato together and season with a drop of olive oil and a little salt and pepper.
Heat half the Sunflower oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the potato and cabbage vegetable mixture and press down with the back of a wooden spoon to make a flat, even cake.
Cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes until golden brown on the underside and place on a large plate. Add the remaining oil and cook again on the other side for 10 minutes.
Transfer to a plate, cut into wedges and serve.
Black Pudding – It’s English Recipe and History ( No. 13 )
I thought it would be of interest to write this article about the English recipe and history – Black Pudding which is a sausage of interesting taste and is eaten as a breakfast or snack and can be traced back to the 16th Century.
Black pudding in the United Kingdom is generally made from pork blood and a relatively high proportion of oatmeal. In the past it was occasionally flavoured with pennyroyal. Differing from continental European versions in its relatively limited range of ingredients and reliance on oatmeal instead of onions to absorb the blood. It can be eaten uncooked, but is often grilled, fried or boiled in its skin.
In the UK, black pudding is associated with Lancashire and particularly with the town of Bury where it is usually boiled and served with malt vinegar out of paper wrapping. In the remainder of the country, and especially in the south, it is usually served sliced and fried or grilled as part of a traditional full breakfast.
It is also served this way in Ireland, New Zealand and the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.
The further addition of the similar white pudding is an important feature of the traditional Northumbria, Scottish, Irish and Newfoundland breakfast.
Towns other than Bury noted for their black pudding include Clonakilty, County Cork in Ireland’s south west and on Stornaway, Isle of Lewis off the west coast of Scotland.
Black and white pudding, as well as a third variant red pudding is served battered at chip shops in Scotland and England as an alternative to fish and chips.
Pig or Cattle blood is most often used Sheep and Goat blood are used to a lesser extent.
Typical fillers include Meat, Fat, Suet, Bread, Sweet Potato, Onion, Chestnuts, Barley and Oatmeal.
۱ litres Wild Boar
۳۰۰g Wild Boar, cubed
۱٫۵ Onions, diced
۳۰۰g Oatmeal, soaked
۱ tbsp. Paprika
۱ tbsp. Butter
· Heat the butter in a pan and cook the onions until soft but not browned.
۲٫ Mix the onions with the cubed fat and oatmeal. Mix well and season with salt, pepper and the paprika.
۳٫ Add the blood and mix well with your hands to ensure a sloppy consistency. Leave to cool.
۴٫ Pipe the mixture into the ox casings. At regular intervals tie the bag off to make individual sausage-shaped black puddings. Prick each pudding to ensure it doesn’t split whilst being cooked.
۵٫ Heat a large pan of water to 80C and add the black puddings. Cook for about 10 minutes; it is vital that you continually move them around while cooking.
۶٫ Remove from the pan and leave to cool.
I hope you enjoy this tasty bit of England which if you visit England can be found in the chill cabinet and brought from our local supermarkets.
British Cheeses – Types and Taste ( No. 12 )
Britain is famous for its many cheeses made over the centuries by many cheese makers. I thought it would be of interest to write this article about the various 700 types of British Cheeses. Cheese is an ancient food whose origins pre-date recorded history.
The British Cheese Board claims that Britain has approximately 700 distinct local cheeses, France and Italy have perhaps 400 each. Still, the advancement of the cheese art in Europe was slow during the centuries after Rome’s fall. Many cheeses today were first recorded in the late Middle Ages or after— cheeses like Cheddar around 1500.
There are many different ways of categorising cheese, but perhaps the easiest way is to break them down according to their texture and the style of manufacture as follows:
Fresh Cheese – Cheese that is almost ready to eat the moment it is made such as Cottage Cheese, Cream Cheese, Fromage Frais, Ricotta, and Mozzarella. They have high moisture content and therefore a relatively short shelf life.
Soft Cheese – Cheese with a very soft texture including Brie, Camembert which does require time to reach maturity and full flavour. Again they have relatively high levels of moisture and need to be eaten within a defined period once sold. On white mould cheeses such as Brie and Camembert the young cheese is sprayed with penicillium candidum to help ripen the cheese from the outside in an unripe cheese will have a chalky white strip running through the middle of the cheese.
Semi Hard Cheese – As the name suggests, these cheeses sit between being soft and hard. Often they have a rubbery texture such as Edam and will be sold at a relatively young age of a few months. Other examples would include St. Paulin and Port Salut and certain other cheeses where the rinds will be washed with brine, beer, wine or fruit juices to add character to the cheese during the maturation process.
Hard Cheese – Firm – These are cheeses which have been pressed to remove as much of the whey and moisture from the curds as possible to ensure a long keeping product. Cheeses may be matured from anything between 12 weeks in the case of mild Cheddar, up to 2 years or more in the case of vintage Cheddar, Parmesan or Manchego. Other British examples of firm hard cheese will include Red Leicester, Double Gloucester, Derby, Malvern, Worcester, and Hereford. Continental varieties include Emmental and Gouda.
Hard Cheese – Crumbly – A category of cheeses well known in the UK as young variants of Cheshire, Caerphilly, Lancashire and Wensleydale all fall into this group. The cheeses are pressed to remove much of the moisture but because they are sold at a relatively young age – typically between 4 and 8 weeks of age – they retain a crumbly texture and a fresh flavour. Older more mature versions of these cheeses will tend to become firmer and may lose their crumbly texture and hence fall into the firm hard cheese category. They will also have a stronger flavour.
Blue Cheese – There are blue cheese variants of many of the cheese listed above. What puts them into the blue cheese category is that penicillium roqueforti – a blue mould – is added to the cheese at various stages in the making process. Sometimes it is added to the milk at the start of the process in other cases it is sprayed onto the curds before being shaped. Normally the cheese will be pierced with stainless steel needles to allow air into the body of the cheese which then activates the blue mould and starts to break down the protein which in turn creates the blue mould. The process is a way of accelerating the normal development of the cheese and means that quite strong tasting cheese is produced within a few months. Blue Stilton is perhaps the best known blue cheese produced in the UK but there are now more than 70 different blue cheeses being produced within the UK. Other notable British examples are Shropshire Blue, Blue Cheshire, Blue Wensleydale, Dovedale, Buxton Blue, Blacksticks Blue and even Blue Leicester! Imported examples include Roquefort, Gorgonzola, Cambozola and Danish Blue.
Blended Cheese – Also known as fruit cheese, herb cheese, cheese with bits or More Than Just Cheese. Though we think of these as modern cheeses it is well known that the Romans routinely blended their cheese with fruit and herbs. High quality hard cheeses are chopped into small pieces and herbs or fruit added and the whole mixed together before being shaped into cylinders or blocks. Most popular examples in the UK are Wensleydale with Cranberry, White Stilton with Apricots, Cheddar with Caramelised Onion, Double Gloucester with Chives and Onion and Lancashire with Garlic.
These categories can apply to any cheese regardless of the animal from which the milk came.
English Crumpets – History and Recipe ( No. 11 )
I thought as English Crumpets is an Iconic English Recipe and Snack, which I thought would be interesting to tell on its long history. Crumpets were an Anglo-Saxon invention. In early times, they were hard pancakes cooked on a griddle, rather than the soft and spongy crumpets of the Victorian era which were made with yeast. The crumpet-makers of the Midlands and London developed the characteristic holes, by adding extra baking powder to the yeast dough. The term itself may refer to a crumpled or curled-up cake, or have Celtic origins relating to meaning a “thin, flat cake”.
Crumpets are generally circular roughly 7cm in diameter and roughly 2cm thick. Their shape comes from being restrained in the pan/griddle by a shallow ring. They have a characteristic flat top with many small pores and a half-chewy half-spongy texture. They may be cooked until ready to eat warm from the pan, but are frequently left slightly undercooked so that they may be cooled and stored before being eaten freshly-toasted. In Australia and New Zealand, branded square crumpets can be purchased from supermarkets, designed to easily fit in a standard toaster.
Crumpets are generally eaten hot with butter with or without a second (sweet or savoury) topping. Popular second toppings are cheese (melted on top), honey, poached egg, jam, marmite, salt, marmalade, cheese spread, golden syrup, hummus, lemon curd and maple syrup. The butter may be omitted – but a phrase very commonly associated with crumpets is “dripping with butter” (in this context, ‘dripping’ is – usually – a verb, rather than a reference to animal fat).
Delicious fresh from the pan spread with butter! Why not try with a slice of cheese and gently grill?
White Bread Flour
Baking Yeast1 x 7g sachet
300 ml Water
300 ml Milk
1 tsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
Warm the milk and the water together.
Place all of the ingredients into a bowl and beat until smooth (1 to 2 minutes).
Leave until the mixture is frothy and double in size.
Grease and heat a heavy frying pan or griddle and 9 cm (3 in) rings and half fill with the mixture.
Maintaining a moderate heat, cook the crumpets for 5 minutes until the mixture bubbles.
Reduce the heat until the bubbles have burst.
Turn the crumpets over and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Serve hot with butter and jam.
If allowed to cool, toast before serving.
Preparation Time 30 minutes
Baking Time 07 minutes
I hope visitors to article will enjoy the English Crumpets.
English Custard – History and Recipe ( No. 10 )
I thought as English Custard (which the French do not have a name for) is an Iconic English Recipe and food, I thought my article would be interesting to fans of English Food. Custard was known in English Cuisine at least as early as the fourteenth century. One of the most popular and quintessential English Custard’s is “Birds Custard Powder” which I recommend to any cook who wants to make the perfect English custard.
The first reference to custard in England was as almond milk or almond cream in a history of the Abbey of Croyland, England, and Laurence Chateres in 1413. It contained almonds, thick milk, water, salt and sugar.
Not all custards are sweet. A quiche is a savoury custard tart. Some kinds of timbale or vegetable loaf are made of a custard base mixed with chopped savoury ingredients. Custard royale is a thick custard cut into decorative shapes and used to garnish soup or broth.
Bird’s Custard (a brand name) is the original version of what is known generically as custard powder. It is a corn flour-based powder which thickens to form a custard-like sauce when mixed with milk and heated to a sufficient temperature. Bird’s Custard was first formulated and first cooked by Alfred Bird in 1837, because his wife was allergic to eggs the key ingredient used to thicken traditional custard.
In some regions of the United Kingdom the popularity of this type of dessert is such that it is simply known as “custard.” In such cases, general usage of the word may be more likely to refer to the “Bird’s” custard rather than to the traditional egg-based variety.
In recent years, “instant” versions (containing powdered milk and sugar and requiring only hot water) and ready-made custard in tins and cartons have also become popular.
A food and drink survey carried out in 2000 found 99% of customers recognised the brand which accounts for 45% of the custard consumed in the UK. Bird’s Custard is also exported to several countries around the world, including the United States, where it is popular among several ethnic groups. Many ethnic and specialty stores across the United States sell the product. In Canada Bird’s Custard can often be found in many popular grocery supermarkets.
In addition to the Bird’s brand, generic corn flour-based custards are widely available.
۱/۳ cup sugar
2-3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 piece vanilla bean
Work up sugar and egg yolks with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy. Add flour. Scald milk and vanilla bean together and then add egg yolk mixture to it, little by little. Return to saucepan and cook slowly, stirring constantly until it comes to the boiling point. Do not allow to boil. Remove vanilla bean. Cool, stirring vigorously at first and then from time to time to prevent crust from forming on top. Serve cold or a little warm. Other flavouring may be used. For coffee flavour use 1/2top milk and 1/2 strong coffee, for chocolate flavour add grated chocolate to taste to hot milk. Serves up to 3 persons.
Spotted Dick or Spotty Dog – English Suet and Current Pudding Recipe ( No. 9 )
many food stuffs are synonymous with iconic English Dishes. We in England may have strange names for our quality food but at least we don’t eat Pets like the French who eat Horses, Frogs and Pet Birds. I thought as Spotted Dick is an Iconic English Recipe and pudding I thought I would tell its history.
Spotted Dick is a steamed suet pudding containing dried fruit (usually currents) commonly served with custard. Spotted refers to the dried fruit (which resemble spots) and dick may be a contraction or corruption of the word pudding (from the last syllable) or possibly a corruption of the word dough or dog, as “spotted dog” is another name for the same dish with the use of plums rather than currants. Another explanation offered for the latter half of the name is that it comes from the German word for “thick”, in reference to the thickened suet mixture.
Food historians generally agree the first puddings made by ancient cooks produced foods similar to sausages. We English claim pudding as part of their culinary heritage. Medieval puddings black and white were still mostly meat-based. 17th century English puddings were either savoury (meat-based) or sweet (flour, nuts & sugar) and were typically boiled in special pudding bags. The “The Pease Porridge” most of us know from the old nursery rhyme was most likely a simple boiled pudding of Pease meal. By the latter half 18th century traditional English puddings no longer included meat. 19th century puddings were still boiled but the finished product was more like cake. These puddings are still traditionally served at Christmas time. Plum Pudding (aka Christmas pudding) is a prime example. Modern steamed puddings descend from this tradition.
۵ oz. (75g) Self raising Flour
۵ oz. (75g) Chopped Suet
۳ oz. (50g) Fresh White Breadcrumbs
۴ oz. (75g) Raisins
۴ oz. (75g) Currents
۳ oz. (50g) Brown Sugar
Pinch of Salt
۱/۲ teaspoon Mixed Spices
۱/۲ pint (300ml) Milk
Pkt. Of Birds Custard
put all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix them together well. Now add the Milk and mix to a fairly soft dough.
Put the mixture into a greased 2 pint (1.2 litre) pudding basin and cover with kitchen foil, making a pleat across the centre to allow the pudding to rise. Tie the foil firmly in place with string, forming a handle across the top so that you can lift the pudding easily.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil and place an inverted saucer in the bottom. Lower in the pudding basin and let it boil, covered, for 2 hours, filling the pan with more boiling water as the level falls.
Remove from the pan by the string handle, unwrap, and turn out on to a heated dish.
Open pct. of Birds Custard and follow instructions on pkt.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary the earliest documented reference is a recipe for “Plum Bolster or Spotted Dick”, in Alexis Soyer’s The Modern Housewife, or, Ménagère (۱۸۵۰).
The Earliest Sandwich – its English History ( No. 8 )
I thought as The Sandwich was created by the fourth Earl of Sandwich in 1762 and is an Iconic English Snack, I thought it would be interesting to readers and fans of English Food to know its beginnings and history. We in England have sandwiches while having a picnic or as a general snack just like anyone else in the world.
The first mention of the word, “Sandwich” came around 1762 when a reporter wrote in the daily news about John Montague, the fourth Earl of Sandwich (1718-1792). As he sat gambling for long hours, the only sustenance he requested was spirits, water, bread, cheese and meat. As he continued to play with one hand, he sat the meat and cheese between the slices of bread and held them in his non-playing hand. His fellow gamblers, no doubt looking for a lucky charm, began to order “the same as Sandwich!” The original sandwich would have been nothing more than a piece of salt beef between two slices of toasted bread. Whatever the truth of the legend, the name sandwich is inscribed for all time.
John Montagu was First Lord of the Admiralty and patron to Capt. James Cook who explored New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, and Polynesia. Capt. Cook named the Hawaiian Islands after him, calling them the Sandwich Islands. Legend holds that Montagu was addicted to gambling, so addicted that he gambled for hours at a time at a restaurant, refusing to get up for meals.
A sandwich is a food item, often consisting of two or more slices of bread with one or more fillings between them or one slice of bread with a topping or toppings, commonly called an open sandwich. Sandwiches are a widely popular type of lunch food, typically taken to work or school, or picnics to be eaten as part of a packed lunch. They generally contain a combination of salad vegetables, meat, cheese, and a variety of sauces. The bread can be used as it is, or it can be coated with any condiments to enhance flavour and texture. They are widely sold in restaurants and cafes.
In Spain, where the word sandwich is borrowed from the English language, it refers to a food item made with English sandwich bread.
The verb to sandwich has the meaning to position anything between two other things of a different character, or to place different elements alternately,
Recipes for sandwiches were not immediately forthcoming in cookbooks. In England they were (at first) considered restaurant fare. The primary difference between early English and American sandwiches? In England beef was the meat of choice; in America it was ham. A simple matter of local supply.
Literary references to sandwiches begin to appear in English during the 1760s, but also under the assumption that they are a food consumed primarily by the masculine sex during late night drinking parties. The connotation does not change until the sandwich moves into general society as a supper food for late night balls and similar events toward the end of the eighteenth century.
Charlotte Mason was one of the first English cookbook authors to provide a recipe for sandwiches. During the nineteenth century, as midday dinner moved later and later into the day, the need for hot supper declined, only to be replaced with light dishes made of cold leftovers, ingredients for which the sandwich proved pre-eminently suitable. Thus the sandwich became a fixture of intimate evening suppers, teas, and picnics, and popular fare for taverns and inns. This latter genre of sandwich has given rise to multitudes of working class creations.
Ye Olde English Marmalade – History and Recipe 1480 AD ( No. 7 )
I thought as English Marmalade is an Iconic English Recipe and food, I thought it would be interesting to fans of English Food to know its recipe and history. According to the Oxford English Dictionary “marmalade” appeared in the English language in 1480 AD.
In 1524, Henry VIII received a “box of marmalade” from Mr Hull of Exeter. As it was in a box, this was likely to have been marmalade, a quince paste from Portugal , still made and sold in southern Europe. Its Portuguese origins from marmalade can be detected in the remarks in letters to Lord Lisle, from William Grett, 12th May 1534, “I have sent to your lordship a box of marmaladoo and another unto my good lady your wife” and from Richard Lee, 14th December 1536, “He most heartily thanketh her Ladyship for her marmalade”.
The extension of “marmalade” in the English language refers to citrus fruits which were made in the 17th century, when citrus first began to be plentiful enough in England for the usage to become common.
Various Marmalade’s from around the World: Marmalade is a fruit preserve made from the peel of Citrus Fruits, Sugar and Water. The traditional citrus fruit for marmalade production is the “Seville Orange” from Spain, Citrus aurantium var. aurantium, thus called because it was originally only made in Seville in Spain; it is higher in pectin than sweet oranges and therefore gives a good set. The peel has a distinctive bitter taste which it imparts to the marmalade. Marmalade can be made from lemons, limes, grapefruits, sweet oranges or any combination thereof. For example, California-style marmalade is made from the peel of sweet oranges and consequently lacks the bitter taste of Spanish style marmalade.
In languages other than English, marmalade can mean preserves made with fruit other than citrus. For example, in Spanish all preserves are known generically as mermelada (There is no distinction made between jam, jelly, preserves or marmalade).
The recipe for marmalade includes sliced or chopped fruit peel simmered in sugar, fruit juice and water until soft; indeed marmalade is sometimes described as jam with fruit peel (although manufacturers also produce peel-free marmalade). English Marmalade is often eaten on toast for breakfast.
۲ lb. (900 g) Seville oranges
½ lb. (225 g) lemons
۶ pints (3.4 litres) water
۱ lb. (450 g) sugar per 1 lb. (450 g) pulp – of which 1lb should be brown
Wash and dry the fruit. Cut in half and squeeze out the juice. Remove the pips, inside skin and pith. Tie these in a piece of muslin.
Cut the peel chunkily.
Put the peel in a large bowl with the bag of pips etc. and the juice. Add 6 pints (3.4 litres) of water and leave to soak overnight.
Weigh the preserving pan and make a note of it. Put the soaked peel, pith and pips into it with the water and juice.
Bring to the boil and simmer gently until the peel is soft and the contents of the pan have been reduced to half its original bulk. This will take about 1½ hours.
Lift out the bag of pips and pith, squeezing it again the side of the pan with a wooden spoon.
Test for pectin.
Re-weigh the pan and subtract from this weight the original weight of the empty pan to calculate the weight of the remaining pulp.
Add 1 lb. (450 g) of warmed sugar to each 1 lb. (450 g) of pulp of which 1 lb. (450 g) should be brown. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved.
Bring to the boil and boil rapidly until the marmalade sets when tested.
Remove the scum and leave to cool slightly.
Pot and seal whilst still hot.
Makes about 6 lbs. (2.7 kg) of marmalade.
English Chelsea Buns – History and Recipe ( No. 6 )
I thought as Chelsea Buns is an Iconic English Recipe and Snack, which I thought would be interesting to Fans of English Food. Chelsea Buns have been made since at least the start of the 1700s. They were reputedly invented either at the Old Chelsea Bun House, or at the “Real Old Original Chelsea Bun-house” in London, England.
The two were rivals. Both were on Grosvenor Row, both made great buns, and both had a long wooden covered footpath in front of them, that looked something like a verandah except it was a sidewalk, too.
Grosvenor Row (which no longer exists) was the name for what is now approximately the middle section of Pimlico Road, from Passmore Street east a few blocks to Bourne Street. Technically, the area is Pimlico, not Chelsea, but it’s probably far too late to suggest the name “Pimlico Buns” to anyone.
The Old Chelsea Bun House was owned by a ‘Captain Bun’ (sic). Reputedly, in the latter decades of the 1700s, it was frequented by George II, his son George III (the mad King George) and his wife Queen Charlotte. In 1817, it had been in business for four generations of the same family (as per Sir Richard Philips (1767-1840; one of whose pseudonyms was Reverend David Blair.)
On Good Fridays, they sold Hot Cross buns, and were frequently mobbed by huge line-ups. The mob scene had been so great in 1792 that they in fact skipped selling them in 1793. They posted a notice instead on Wednesday, 27 March 27 1793 saying, “Royal Bun House, Chelsea, Good Friday.—No Cross Buns. Mrs Hand respectfully informs her friends and the public, that in consequence of the great concourse of people which assembled before her house at a very early hour, on the morning of Good Friday last, by which her neighbours (with whom she has always lived in friendship and repute) have been much alarmed and annoyed; it having also been intimated, that to encourage or countenance a tumultuous assembly at this particular period might be attended with consequences more serious than have hitherto been apprehended; desirous, therefore, of testifying her regard and obedience to those laws by which she is happily protected, she is determined, though much to her loss, not to sell Cross Buns on that day to any person whatever, but Chelsea buns as usual.”
But the shop appears to have got back into the Hot Cross Bun business. On 18 April 1839,
Good Friday for that year, they sold around 24,000 Hot Cross buns. Nevertheless, the business was sold and demolished later that year.”
A fine day, but begins to grow a little warm; and that makes your little fat Presto sweat in the forehead. Pray, are not the fine buns sold here in our town; was it not Chelsea buns? I bought one to-day in my walk; it cost me a penny; it was stale, and I did not like it.” — Jonathan Swift. Letter no. 22. The Journal to Stella, 28th April 1711.
“I soon turned the corner of a street which took me out of sight of the space on which once stood the gay Ranelagh. … Before me appeared the shop so famed for Chelsea buns, which for above thirty years I have never passed without filling my pockets. In the original of these shops—for even of Chelsea buns there are counterfeits—are preserved mementoes of domestic events in the first half of the past century. The bottle-conjuror is exhibited in a toy of his own age; portraits are also displayed of Duke William and other noted personages; a model of a British soldier, in the stiff costume of the same age; and some grotto-works, serve to indicate the taste of a former owner, and were, perhaps, intended to rival the neighbouring exhibition at Don Saltero’s. These buns have afforded a competency, and even wealth, to four generations of the same family; and it is singular that their delicate flavour, lightness, and richness, have never been successfully imitated.” — Sir Richard Phillips (1767-1840). In “Morning’s Walk from London to Kew.” 1817.
The Royal East London Volunteers made a brilliant sight that day: formed into lines, squares, circles, triangles, and what not, to the beating of drums, and the streaming of flags; and performed a vast number of complex evolutions, in all of which Sergeant Varden bore a conspicuous share. Having displayed their military prowess to the utmost in these warlike shows, they marched in glittering order to the Chelsea Bun House, and regaled in the adjacent taverns until dark.” — Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge, Chapter 42.
“I was rather in a hurry,” returns Mr Bucket, “for I was going to visit an aunt of mine that lives at Chelsea — next door but two to the old original Bun House…” — Charles Dickens, Bleak House, Chapter 53.
“Give her a Chelsea bun, miss! That’s what most young ladies like best!” The voice was rich and musical, and the speaker dexterously whipped back the snowy cloth that covered his basket, and disclosed a tempting array of the familiar square buns, joined together in rows, richly egged and browned and glistening in the sun.” — Lewis Carroll, a Tangled Tale.
MrsBeaton’s Recipe for Chelsea Buns
۰٫۵ oz. dried yeast
0.25 pints mixed milk and warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1 lb. strong plain flour
3 oz. margarine
3 oz. castor sugar
2 large eggs
2 oz. currants
۱٫ Pre heat oven to 200°C
۲٫ Mix the yeast with the warm milk and water and add 1 teaspoon of sugar.
۳٫ Mix the salt into the flour and rub in 2 oz. of the margarine.
۴٫ Add 2 oz. of the castor sugar to the flour and the salt.
۵٫ Whisk the eggs.
۶٫ Mix the eggs and other liquids into the flour and knead it until if forms a smooth dough.
۷٫ Leave the dough to rise in a greased bowl, in a warm spot away from draughts.
۸٫ Cover the bowl ( tea-towel or Cling film ) to keep it warm and free from draughts, and leave it until the dough has almost doubled in size.
۹٫ Spread a little flour on a wooden board. This will prevent the dough from sticking to the board.
۱۰٫ Roll out the dough into a piece about 20 by 8 inches.
۱۱٫ Spread the remaining 1 oz. of butter over the surface of the rolled out dough.
۱۲٫ Sprinkle the remaining sugar and currants evenly over the dough.
۱۳٫ Roll up from the shortest edge to form a roll about 20 inches long.
۱۴٫ Cut the roll into 15 / 20 equal slices.
۱۵٫ Place the slices on a greased tray, leaving spaxce around each so they can expand. Cover with a tea-towel and leave until the buns rise and are puffy.
۱۶٫ Bake on the top shelf of the oven for about 30 minutes.
NB: It may be necessary to cover the top of the buns with metal foil towards the end of the cooking to prevent them from browning / burning too much.
Either eat them fresh or put them in the freezer. They freeze very well.
GLAZE: Mix 2 tablespoons of boiled milk with a tablespoon of sugar, then brush it over the tops of the buns whilst they are still hot.
Mrs. Beaton’s Current Dumplings Rcipe ( No. 5 )
۱ lb. of flour,
۶ oz. of suet,
۱/۲ lb. of currants,
rather more than 1/2 pint of water.
Chop the suet finely, mix it with the flour, and add the currants, which should be nicely washed, picked, and dried; mix the whole to a limp paste with the water (if wanted very nice, use milk); divide it into 7 or 8 dumplings; tie them in cloths, and boil for 1–۱/۴ hour. They may be boiled without a cloth: they should then be made into round balls, and dropped into boiling water, and should be moved about at first, to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan. Serve with a cut lemon, cold butter, and sifted sugar.
Time.—In a cloth, 1–۱/۴ hour; without, 3/4 hour.
Average cost, 9 d.
Sufficient for 6 or 7 persons.
English Mustard – An English Icon ( No. 4 )
I thought as English Mustard is an Iconic English sauce I thought I would tell its history. Oner of the most commonest English meals is Roast Beef, Roast Potato’s, Brussels sprouts, Gravy with English Mustard.
According to an old saying, Durham City, England was famed for seven things – wood, water and pleasant walks, law, gospel, old maids and mustard.
This saying probably originated in the 18th Century when Durham’s mustard achieved great fame.
Mustard was introduced into England in the 12th Century and in early times seeds were coarsely ground at the table using a mortar and it was eaten in this rough state.
It had reached the North-East by about 1486 when monks on the Farne Islands (a monastic cell tied to Durham Cathedral) are known to have used quern stones in the grinding of “mwstert”.
In those early days, it was used primarily to disguise the flavour of rotten meat and it was not until the late 1600s that it came to be recommended in its own right.
At that time, the town of Tewkesbury was primarily noted for mustard making, but in those days it was a much weaker substance and it was not until 1720 that English-style mustard, resembling what we know today, really came into being.
English mustard was born largely due to the vision and energy of a Durham City woman by the name of Mrs Clements.
Her forename has, despite her remarkable achievements, eluded all historians that have strived to tell her story.
In 1720, she invented a new method of extracting the full flavour from mustard seed. Her methods were secretly guarded but involved grinding the seeds in a mill and passing them through several processes similar to those used in the making of flour from wheat.
This resourceful woman soon recognised the potential of her invention and travelled the country collecting orders.
She regularly visited London where her product tickled the palate of none other than King George I, whose liking for the mustard brought Mrs Clements numerous orders from people who wished to follow royal fashion.
It is said that Mrs Clément’s mustard mill was situated at the rear of a property in Saddler Street (now a clothes shop that was once the House of Andrews stationer), but this is not certain.
Mustard seeds were certainly grown on local farms in the early days, including Houghall Farm, near Shincliffe. It must have been a lucrative trade because mustard crops worth up to £۱۰۰ an acre were occasionally known.
The manufacture also stimulated other industries and it is known that a Gateshead pottery specialised in supplying pots for mustard export.
In the 18th century, the name of Durham came to be synonymous with mustard and, in local slang, Durham people came to be known as knock-kneed Durham men from the alleged grinding of mustard between their knees.
Later in the century, rival mustard firms sprang up around the country, including London where Messrs Keen and Sons manufactured the product from 1742, supplying it to taverns and chophouses.
Though later acquired by Colman’s of Norwich (who made mustard from 1814) the London firm is still remembered in the saying “keen as mustard”.
By 1810, the London Journal recorded that the once frowned upon condiment of “mustard seed is now used and esteemed by most of the quality and gentry”. However, by this time, Durham had lost its mustard monopoly.
Meanwhile, Mrs Clements’ daughter, who was heir to the family business, married local man Joseph William Ainsley whose family had been involved in Durham flour-making since 1692.
The Ainsley family became the main name in Durham mustard making and their business was situated in Silver Street – number 22. This location, and not Saddler Street, may have been the original site of Durham’s mustard factory.
The Ainsley family history is not totally clear, but at the beginning of the 19th Century the business passed into the hands of a son or grandson, also called Joseph William Ainsley. Another family member, possibly a brother, called John, worked at a flour mill at Crook Hall. This mill seems to have been involved in making mustard for the Silver Street premises.
Following Joseph Ainsley’s death in about 1830, his widow, Eleanor, carried on the business but later married John Balmborough who became proprietor in the 1840s or 50s.
At about this time, a new mustard business also opened in the city, this time in Saddler Street and was operated by William Ainsley who was, it is believed, the son of John, from Crook Hall flour mill.
Balmborough was clearly threatened by this rival firm and his advertisements went to great lengths to emphasise that he was the true heir to the Ainsley name.
William Ainsley however was a successful entrepreneur noted for his printing and stationery business at 1 Saddler Street. He moved to larger premises at 74 (later the House of Andrews) after branching out into mustard.
A William Ainsley advertisement of 1865 only lists mustard as a footnote to a number of enterprises that included gunpowder-making, but it must have affected Balmborough’s business.
By the early 1870s, Saddler Street was too small for the business and Ainsley moved to Waddington Street in the northern part of the city. In 1874, he died and was succeeded by his sons, William and John Ainsley, trading as William Ainsley and Brother. Balmborough also died during this period and the Silver Street business closed.
A new Durham mustard business was launched in 1888 operated by John Simpson and James Willan, initially in Providence Row and then in Gilesgate’s Station Lane, but it barely lasted a decade.
Simpson, who died in 1908, spent his final years as a timekeeper at the city’s gas company.
William Ainsley died in 1896 and the Ainsley firm lasted only two or three years into the following century.
Durham’s mustard-making trade fell into the hands of Colman’s, the Norwich firm most closely associated with English mustard-making today.
Lardy Cake – ۱۵th Century History and Recipe ( No. 3 )
I thought as English Lardy cake is an Iconic English Spiced bread I thought it would be interesting to fans of English Food to know It’s recipe and history. Lardy cake is also called Lardy bread, Lardy Johns, Dough cake and Fourses cake and originates from Wiltshire. In the West Country and dates from the 15th. Century. Today local bakers still make it to their own recipes, cramming in as much lard, sugar and fruit as they or their customers choose.
The lardy cake relates back to the 15th. Century ‘Old English Fair’ which was an eagerly awaited event by town and countrymen who would get together to sell their wares. Gingerbread and Plum Cake became established products at these fairs, with the Lardy Cake being an adapted version of the later.
The major difference between the two products was that the fat (lard) was layered into the dough similar to Danish pastry. Today an equal mixture of lard and brown sugar are layered in at approximately 20% of the dough weight. The fermented dough also contains fruit and will also be spiced.
۲۰ Gram Yeast fresh (1 3/4 tsp. dried + pinch of sugar) (3/4 oz.)
450 ml Water, warmed (3/4 pint)
600 Gram Strong white flour (1 1/4 lb.)
1 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
100 Gram Lard, diced (4 oz.)
100 Gram Butter, diced (4 oz.)
240 Gram Mixed sultanas and currants (10 oz.)
65 Gram Chopped mixed peel (3 oz.)
65 Gram Sugar (3 oz.)
Makes 16 slices
Preheat oven to 220 °C / 425 °F / Gas 7. Grease a 20 x 25 cm (8 x 10 inch) roasting tin. Blend the fresh yeast with the warm water. If using dried yeast, sprinkle it into the warm water with the pinch of sugar and leave for 15 minutes until frothy.
Put the flour and salt in a bowl and rub in 100g ( 4 oz.) of the lard. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast liquid. Beat together to make a dough that leaves the sides of the bowl clean, adding more water if necessary. Turn on to a lightly floured surface and knead well for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place in a clean bowl. Cover with a clean tea-towel and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour, until doubled in size.
Turn the dough on to a floured surface and roll out to a rectangle about 0.5 cm ( 1/4 inch) thick. Dot one-third of the remaining lard and butter over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle over one-third of the fruit, peel and sugar. Fold the dough in three, folding the bottom third up and the top third down. Give a quarter turn, then repeat the process twice more.
Roll the dough out to fit the prepared tin. Put in the tin, cover and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes, until puffy. Score the top with a criss-cross pattern with a knife, then bake for about 30 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown. Turn out and serve immediately or leave to cool on a wire rack. Once cooled this can be stores in a freezer until ready to warm up. It’s best served plain or with butter.
Lardy Cake is really scrumptious hot or cold and once cooked can be kept in a freezer until ready to carve up and then warmed up prior to eating.
English Tea Drinking Traditions – History ( No. 2 )
I have created this article about Tea as it’s one of the Icons about us English.
While the Chinese drank green tea hundreds of years before Christ, the English developed their tea–drinking habit in the 17th century. In 1600, Queen Elizabeth I granted permission for the charter of the British East India Company, establishing the trade in spice and silk that lead to the formal annexation of India and the establishment of the Raj. Initially, tea was a side-line but it became increasingly important and started to define us English.
Curiously, it was the London coffee houses that were responsible for introducing tea to England. One of the first coffee house merchants to offer tea was Thomas Garway, who owned an establishment in Exchange Alley. He sold both liquid and dry tea to the public as early as 1657. Three years later he issued a broadsheet advertising tea at £۶ and £۱۰ per pound (ouch!), touting its virtues at “making the body active and lusty”, and “preserving perfect health until extreme old age”.
In 1662 tea drinking became very popular when King Charles II’s wife, Queen Catherine made tea very popular among the wealthier classes of society. Soon, tea replaced ale as the national drink, as everyone tried to mimic high society. Tea drinking remains as a popular activity in England up to this day, as the English are particularly known for their afternoon tea (taken in the late afternoon with scones, pastries and cakes capped by a cup or two of tea).
Tea gained popularity quickly in the coffee houses, and by 1700 over 500 coffee houses sold tea. This distressed the tavern owners, as tea cut their sales of ale and gin, and it was bad news for the government, who depended upon a steady stream of revenue from taxes on liquor sales. By 1750 tea had become the favourite drink of England’s lower classes.
Twining’s, the world-famous English tea company, celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2006 . Twining’s was, in 1706, one of the first companies to introduce tea drinking to the English. That was the year Thomas Twining began selling tea from his new premises in London. Stephen Twining, who is a tenth generation member of the famous tea family and world renowned tea guru, is visited South Africa in September 2006 as part of the company’s celebrations.
Tea became the focus of rebellion in 1773 when the English Government tried to establish a monopoly on all tea sold in the American colonies. Colonists resented this since it put local merchants at a disadvantage. The British government tried to tax the American colonists so as to pay for their defence. The result was the Boston Tea party, during which Americans tipped some 45 tonnes of English tea into the sea.
In 1864 the woman manager of the Aerated Bread Company began the custom of serving food and drink to her customers. Her best customers were served with tea. Soon everyone was asking for the same treatment. The concept of tea shops spread throughout Britain like wildfire, not in the least because tea shops provided a place where an un – chaperoned woman could meet her friends and socialize without damage to her reputation.
Tea at the Ritz, London, England which opened in 1906, its tea room, the Palm Court has a history and legend all its own. It is perhaps here that the ritual of tea drinking in the English manner seems the most “civilized.” The Palm Court, a long, narrow room adjacent to the hotel’s main corridor, combines the English Edwardian charm with the elegance of the French Louis XVI architecture and design.
Bread and Jellied Pudding ( No. 1 )
۱۰ ounces stale, sliced white bread (about 1/2 loaf), please Remove Crusts.
¼ cup water
۱ tablespoons butter
¼ cup sugar
۱ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup sultanas
¼ cup of Currents
۱ egg, beaten
¼ cup milk
۴ Cubes of sugar free Strawberry or Blackcurrant Jellies (Melted into a liquid Water of ¼ pt)
۱ Teaspoon Liqueur (Optional)
Preheat the oven to 330. Tear the bread into pieces and add to a large mixing bowl. Pour the water over the bread and let sit for 20 minutes.
Squeeze the excess water out of the bread and place in a large buttered baking dish.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter, add the sugar, cinnamon, sultanas and raisins and stir for one minute. Let cool.
Meanwhile, combine the egg and milk and pour over the bread. Pour the butter mixture on top. Stir to combine.
Melt Jelly in ¼ pint of hot boiling water and add Liqueur ( optional ) and pour into baking dish over mixture.
Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes or until the mixture is set and the bread is nicely cooked and brown.
Either eat hot or wait until cooled and the jelly is set.
( Recipe created by Paul A. Hussey 2012 ).