Hazelnut Meringue & Apricot Cream

Although I  have been using this recipe for many years I just cannot remember where I got it from.

I make the meringue in a nest shape and fill it with apricot cream when I have many people to eat it in one sitting.

Otherwise I make little meringues with 1 tablespoon of mixture on baking sheets.  These can be stored for ages and served with the apricot cream in individual dishes when required.

Ingredients

  • 4 Egg whites
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 75-100g chopped roasted hazelnuts
  • *
  • 1 tin of apricots in syrup
  • Around 200g of yoghurt cheese
  • Around 2-3 tablespoons of icing sugar

Method

  • Use the loose base of a baking tin 25cm in diameter.
  • Lightly grease the circle.
  • Cut a 25cm circle of greaseproof and stick it on the metal circle.
  • Place the circle on a large baking tray – one without sides is best.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM1 – 140°C.
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff.
  • Add the sugar and whisk again till stiff.
  • Fold in the chopped roasted hazelnuts.
  • Using up to ½ of the mixture cover the circle on the tin.
  • Using the rest of the meringue put spoonfuls around the edge.
  • Bake for 50 minutes.
  • Turn off the oven and leave the meringue inside for 20 minutes.
  • Take out and leave to cool completely before filling.
  • *
  • Drain the apricots from the syrup
  • Purée the apricots – a stick blender is good for this.
  • Mix the apricot purée with the yoghurt cheese and some of the icing sugar.
  • Adjust the sweetness with icing sugar – you do not want it too sweet.
  • *
  • Put the meringue nest onto a serving plate or stand.
  • Pile the apricot cream into the centre of the nest.

 

 

Coffee set – Elizabethan – Lace – 1966 – 1982

 

Chłodnik – 3 – Beetroot & Cucumber

This chilled soup is a refreshing start to a meal in summer.

Beetroot concentrate is used in this easy version.

Ingredients

  • Half  a cucumber
  • Spring onion – green parts or chives
  • 500ml of yoghurt or 300ml soured cream & lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of beetroot concentrate
  • Handful of dill
  • Lemon juice and cold water
  • Salt & Pepper & Sugar to taste
  • *
  • Hard boiled eggs to serve – ½ egg per person

Method

  • Part peel the cucumber length-ways to give stripes.
  • Chop the cucumber into small cubes.
  • Chop the spring onions or chives into small pieces.
  • Chop the dill into small pieces.
  • Mix the yoghurt or soured cream & lemon juice with the beetroot concentrate.
  • Thin this down with lemon juice and water to suit.
  • Mix with the chopped cucumber.
  • Add dill and spring onions or chives.
  • Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Chill in the fridge for several hours.
  • *
  • Serve with quarters of hard boiled eggs and a sprinkle of chives.

 

 

Served in Tapestry  by Royal Doulton – 1966 – 1988

Chłodnik – 2 – Beetroot & Gherkin

Chłodnik means coolant and it is a refreshing start to a meal in summer.

This classic version is usually make with botwiny for which I cannot find a good translation into English.

Botwiny are young beetroots with the stalks and some leaves still attached. In Poland you can buy bunches of these for sale or you can pick them early from your garden or allotment.  Here in England I have not see them for sale so if you want them you will have to grow them for yourself.

If you do have some you use all the parts – the roots, stalks and the leaves otherwise you just use cooked beetroot.

The classic version uses soured milk but unless you have access to this then Greek style natural yoghurt or soured cream and lemon juice are good alternatives.

I use beetroot concentrate which is convenient and very tasty.

 

1 tablespoon of beetroot concentrate to 250ml of yoghurt is a good proportion.

Ingredients

  • 250g of cooked beetroots
  • 3-4 gherkins
  • Spring onion – green parts or chives
  • 500ml of yoghurt or 300ml soured cream
  • 2 tablespoons of beetroot concentrate
  • Handful of dill
  • Lemon juice and gherkin liquor and cold water
  • Salt & Pepper & Sugar to taste
  • *
  • Hard boiled eggs to serve – ½ egg per person

Method

  • Chop the beetroot into small cubes.
  • Chop the gherkins into small cubes.
  • Chop the spring onions or chives into small pieces.
  • Chop the dill into small pieces.
  • Mix the yoghurt or soured cream & lemon juice with the beetroot concentrate.
  • Thin this down with lemon juice, gherkin liquor & water to suit.
  • Add the chopped beetroots, gherkins, dill and spring onions or chives.
  • Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Chill in the fridge for several hours.
  • *
  • Serve with quarters of hard boiled eggs and a sprinkle of chives or dill.

 

Served in Carnation by Royal Doulton – 1982 – 1998

Chłodnik – 1 – Clear Beetroots

The word chłodnik means coolant and it is a refreshing start to a meal in summer.  The word is often translated as cold soup and that just does not do it justice.

Now my mother never made chłodnik and with the thoughts of a cold soup, which might be a little greasy I never imagined it would be good.

Then on a summer visit to Poland, one of my aunties made it with beetroots from her garden.  She served it with a bowl of steaming boiled potatoes, lightly crushed, also freshly dug from the garden.  I remember these as the most delicious potatoes I had ever had.  The chłodnik was wonderful and I was hooked!

 

 

 

This is a chilled version of  barszcz the classic Polish beetroot soup.

I make the clear, meat-free, Lenten barszcz made for Wigilia – Christmas Eve .

Many years ago I started to make my barszcz with beetroot concentrate as the base, with the addition of  vegetable stock and this has  proved to be very popular. This is what I used for the chłodnik.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I sometimes also use barszcz from a carton, which is incredible, tastes home made!  However there was none in stock at my local Polish shop last week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victorian Apple Cake

I have been doing some research into cooking in Victorian England and came across this recipe, which is based loosely on an apple pudding in Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management  published in 1861.

Eating apples are used in this recipes rather than tart cooking apples.

Although not a Polish Apple Cake, I think it would go down very well if served with a cup of tea in Poland.

  • Sunflower oil  is used and this would not have been available to the Victorians.
  • Work on obtaining oils from cottonseed was started in the late 19th century in the USA.
  • Hardened vegetable oils were available from the early 20th century.
  • Vegetable oils became popular for cooking in the mid-20th century.

Ingredients

  • 4 eating apples – peeled & cored and cut into rough 2.5cm chunks
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 230g of plain flour
  • ½ tablespoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 125ml of sunflower oil
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs

Method

  • Pre-heat oven to GM4 – 180°C
  • Use a 22cm loose bottom tin with a cake liner – (like a huge bun case)
  • Mix the apples, cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl
  • Leave whilst you prepare the cake mixture
  • *
  • In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt
  • In another bowl whisk the oil, sugar, vanilla extract and the eggs until they are thoroughly mixed
  • Add the flour mixture to the oil mixture and mix thoroughly
  • Place half the cake batter into the cooking tin
  • Place half the apple mix and juices on top of the cake batter
  • Cover with the rest of the cake batter
  • Place the rest of the apple mixture evenly over the surface of the cake
  • Bake for 55 – 60 minutes – cover and maybe another another 10 minutes if not done
  • Leave to cool in the tin before turning it out.

21st century Cake Stand is Crazy Daisy by Sophie Conran for Portmeirion

Fresh Pea Summer Soup

  • Dried peas were part of a staple diet in the Middle Ages in Europe.
  • Eating fresh and immature green peas was a more modern delicacy.
  • This soup could have only been made summer and the peas would have had to be shelled.
  • The invention of fast freezing by Clarence Birdseye, an American, in the 1920s revolutionised the way we eat foods out of season, most notably green peas.
  • In the past the vegetables would have had to be pressed several times through clothes or sieves – nowadays we have stick blenders and similar electrical cooking tools to make this easier.

Ingredients

  • 100 -150g shelled or frozen peas
  • 1 bunch of spring onions
  • ½ a large lettuce
  • 50g butter
  • 1-2 lovage or celery leaves
  • 1½ litres of vegetable stock – can be from a cube or powder
  • 125ml of soured cream
  • Chopped chives or flat-leafed parsley to garnish

Method

  • Chop white and green parts of the spring onions in small rings.
  • Gently fry in butter to soften but not to brown them.
  • Cut the lettuce into thin strands.
  • Add the lettuce and the peas to the spring onions and mix.
  • Add the lovage or celery leaves and the stock.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for up to 10 minutes until the peas are cooked.
  • Take off the heat and leave to cool a little (for safety).
  • Blend the soup until you have a thick purée.
  • Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  • Bring back to the boil.
  • Stir in the soured cream and serve.
  • Add a dollop of soured cream to each serving.
  • Garnish each dish with chopped chives, flat-leafed parsley to garnish.

 

Served in Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1982 -1998

Meringue Cake with Rhubarb

Tort Bezowy is a meringue cake.

Meringues are popular in Poland and often made because lots of other dishes contain many egg yolks so there are egg whites needed to be used rather than wasted.

A little tip – freeze two egg whites at a time in a little container – then you have them ready for use later – bring them back to room temperature first.

The meringue that is used here has the addition of potato or cornflour and a little vinegar which gives a soft marshmallow centre to the meringue.

This style of meringue dish was named in honour of the Russian ballerina Anna Pawlowa (Pavlova) after her tour of Australia in 1926.

It is made up of 3 parts

  • 1 Pavlova style meringue
  • 2 Budyń (Custard)
  • 3 Rhubarb compote

Pavlova style meringue

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of potato flour or cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
  • 2-3 drops of vanilla essence

Method

  • Use the loose base of a baking tin 25cm in diameter.
  • Lightly grease the circle.
  • Cut a 25cm circle of greaseproof and stick it on the metal circle.
  • Place the circle on a large baking tray – one without sides is best.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM1 – 140°C.
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff.
  • Add the sugar and whisk again till stiff.
  • Fold in the potato or corn flour, the vinegar and vanilla essence.
  • Using up to ½ of the mixture cover the circle on the tin.
  • Using the rest of the meringue put spoonfuls around the edge.
  • Bake for 50 minutes.
  • Turn off the oven and leave the meringue inside for 20 minutes.
  • Take out and leave to cool completely before filling.

Budyń  (Custard) 

Ingredients

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 400ml of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 2½ tablespoons of potato flour or cornflour
  • 2-3 drops of vanilla essence

Method

  • Put 250ml of the milk, the butter, sugar and vanilla essence into a saucepan.
  • Heat gently until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved, stirring all the time.
  • Bring to the boil and then take off the heat.
  • Blend together the rest of the milk (150ml), the egg yolks and the potato or corn starch.
  • Add some of the boiled mixture and stir well.
  • Add this to the rest of the boiled mixture and stir well.
  • Put the pan back on the heat and gently bring back to boiling point and keep stirring.
  • Keep on the heat  – stirring for 1 minute.
  • Pour into a glass or china dish and cover with a circle of grease-proof paper.
  • Leave to go completely cold before using.

Rhubarb Compote

Ingredients

  • 250g fresh rhubarb*
  • 75g granulated sugar

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM3 160°C
  • Cut the rhubarb into 4cm chunks.
  • Put the cut rhubarb into a small roasting dish.
  • Sprinkle the sugar over the top.
  • Cover with a piece of foil.
  • Place in the oven for around 30 minutes.
  • Leave to go cold before using.

*You might want to roast more rhubarb for other uses and just use some for this dish.

Assembling the Pavlova

All three parts must be cold.

  • Place the meringue nest on a large serving plate or stand.
  • Using a tablespoon – pile the budyń (custard) into the centre.
  • Arrange the rhubarb chunks and some of the syrup over the custard.

Lead Crystal cake stand  – Tortenplatte – Venus  by Nachtmann(Germany).

Plates – Lavender by Jet for Ter Steege in The Netherlands.

Carrot, Leek & Apple Salad

As well as any cookery books and magazines, I have notes and cuttings  from various sources.  Ever so often I look through these for inspiration and think “Yes, I must try that!”.

Here is a recipe for a salad that I jotted down when visiting one of my cousins in Białystok.

Ingredients

  • 2 large carrots – coarse grated
  • 2 leeks cut into fine slices
  • 2 eating apples – cored and rough chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 -3 tablespoons of full fat mayonnaise
  • Chopped chives to serve

    Method

  • Mix everything together apart from the chives.
  • Put into a serving dish
  • Sprinkle the chives on top and serve.

Served in Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1982 – 1998

Torcik – with Strawberries

There are loads of strawberries in the garden and as I have previously made a torcik with alpine strawberries  – I thought I would make a slightly different version using strawberries.

This torcik has a sponge finger rather than a biscuit base and the lemony curd cheese layer has more butter and egg yolks but the egg whites are omitted.

There does not seem to be an exact English translation for Torcik – the terms icebox cake or no bake cake convey some of the ideas.

This torcik is composed of 3 layers

When making a torcik like this you need time to let one layer set before starting on the next or you will get mixing of the layers.

  1. Sponge Finger base
  2. Sweet curd cheese with lemon jelly (this is a richer mixture than in the alpine strawberry  torcik)
  3. Strawberries in blackcurrant jelly

I have had super results using the following brand of  real fruit juice Polish jellies.

 

Ingredients

  • 500g twaróg or yoghurt cheese (could use full fat cream cheese)
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 250g butter
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 packet of light coloured jelly (lemon)
  • 1 packet of dark coloured jelly (blackcurrant)
  • *
  • Sponge finger biscuits – around a packet
  • *
  • Lots of sliced strawberries – enough to cover the surface of the torcik

Method

  • Use a 25cm in diameter loose bottomed or spring-form tin.
  • Lightly rub the base with some butter.
  • *
  • Arrange the sponge fingers over the base of the tin – breaking some up so the whole base is covered.
  • *
  • Dissolve the lemon jelly in 125ml of boiling water and leave to cool.
  • The tricky bit is having the jelly at the right temperature to use.
  • *
  • Cream together the butter and icing sugar.
  • Add the egg yolks, one by one, alternating with the twaróg.
  • Mix thoroughly.
  • Gently mix in the cool lemon jelly.
  • Pour the mixture over the biscuit base.
  • Level the top.
  • Leave to set – best in the fridge – for 3 hours at least.
  • *
  • Mix up the blackcurrant jelly as per the instructions with 500ml of boiling water.
  • Leave the jelly to cool.
  • *
  • Prepare the strawberries, remove any stalks and leaves and cut them into slices.
  • Arrange the strawberries on top of the lemon layer.
  • Gently put the blackcurrant jelly over the strawberries – use one spoon to pour the jelly over the back of a second spoon.
  • Leave it to set again in the fridge – can take several hours.
  • Take great care when removing the torcik out of the tin.

 

 

Tea plate – Royal Doulton – Counterpoint – 1973 – 1987

Placek with Gooseberries

Ribes uva cripaagrest in Polish – gooseberries are related to black and red currants.

Gooseberries are the first soft fruits of the summer.  They grow well in cooler climates. These gooseberries were picked the evening before this placek was made.

This placek – flat-cake has the lovely contrast of the sweet cake against the tart fruit.

Ingredients

  • 400-450g of gooseberries
  • 250g butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 360g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons of yoghurt
  • *
  • Icing sugar to dust

Method

  • Pre-heat oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Grease and use one sheet of greaseproof to line two sides and base of a 32 x 22cm baking tin.
  • Top and tail the gooseberries.
  • Cream the butter and sugar
  • Add the eggs one by one and continue creaming.
  • Mix the flour with the baking powder.
  • Gently mix in the flour.
  • Add yoghurt to make a soft dough.
  • Lightly press the dough into the baking tin.
  • Scatter the gooseberries on top.
  • Bake for 45 – 50 minutes.
  • Leave to cool on a wire cake rack.
  • Dust with icing sugar before serving.