Cranberry & Apple Soup

  • This fruit soup is is both refreshing and warming in the winter.
  • Do not make it too sweet – it needs to be slightly tart.
  • Just like other soups this is served as a first course.
  • This soup is delicious served hot.
  • *
  • Although not traditional I think it could be super for Wigilia (Christmas Eve).

Ingredients

  • 300g cranberries
  • 2 large cooking apples
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of potato flour or cornflour
  • Small cinnamon stick
  • 8 cloves or allspice grains
  • 1 – 1.5 litres of water
  • *
  • Little sponge cakes  to serve

Method

  • Put the water and spices into a large saucepan.
  • put the cranberries into the pan.
  • Peel and core the apples, chop into large pieces and add them to the pan.
  • Bring to the boil then simmer with a lid on the pan till the fruits are very soft.
  • Remove the spices.
  • Leave to cool a little and purée the liquid.
  • You will find there is a lot of foam and cranberry skins on the top – remove these with a slotted spoon.
  • You might want to sieve the remaining liquid through a sieve.
  • Add the sugar to the liquid and bring to the boil.
  • Mix the potato flour with a little water.
  • Add this to the soup.
  • Bring to the boil, stirring gently.
  • Simmer and stir until the soup thickens.
  • Serve with little sponge cakes.

Alfred Meakin – Midwinter – Spanish Garden soup dishes from the 1960s.

Plum Bread

This is an old English recipe which could easily be a keks recipe in Poland.

  • It can be called a tea bread as the dried fruits are soaked in tea.
  • Why is it called plum bread when there are no plums?
  • In England in the past, plum referred to all the different dried fruits.
  • The usage of the word plum to mean dried fruits has dropped out of usage.

Ingredients

  • 450g mix of currants, sultanas and raisins
  • 200ml of hot, strong Earl Grey tea
  • 170g soft brown sugar
  • 25g melted butter
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder

Method

  • Put the dried fruit and sugar into a bowl.
  • Pour the tea over them and stir.
  • Leave overnight.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Line a large loaf tin or use a cake liner.
  • Mix the flour with the baking powder.
  • Mix the flour mixture into the dried fruit mixture.
  • Stir in the melted butter.
  • Spoon into the tin and smooth the top.
  • Bake for 60 minutes – check after 50 minutes and cover with greaseproof  paper if necessary to prevent burning.
  • Leave to cool in the tin on a wire cake rack.

Served on Queen Anne, bone china tea plates

Beetroots & Apples

This is a delicious way of serving beetroot warm with a roast dinner.

Ingredients

  • 500g boiled or roast beetroots
  • 2-3 cooking apples
  • 60g of butter
  • Juice and grated rind of a lemon
  • 2-3 tablespoons of creamed horseradish sauce
  • 125ml of soured cream
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method

  • Grate the beetroots using a medium grater.
  • Peel and core the apples and grate using a medium grater.
  • Mix the beetroot and apple together.
  • Mix in the lemon rind and juice.

  • Melt the butter in a large shallow frying pan.
  • Gently cook the mixture in the butter stirring often.
  • Cook for around 5-10 minutes.
  • Take of the heat.
  • Add the horseradish sauce and the soured cream.
  • Mix well together.
  • Season to taste and serve immediately.

Serve in Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1982 – 1998.

Note

Should you have any left you can serve it cold with cold meats.

Podkarpackie Hreczanyki

I saw a picture on an Instagram site of  Podkarpackie hreczanyki – I had not heard of them before so did some research and decided to make them.

They are buckwheat and minced meat kotlety (burgers or meatball).

Podkarpackie is a mountainous province in the south-eastern corner of Poland.

Its name translates into  English as Subcarpathian – these are the the foot hills of the Carpathian Mountains.

The usual Polish word for buckwheat is  gryka  but here a regional word  hreczka is used.

Buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum) is used very much in Polish cookery and was eaten in Poland long before the introduction of the potato in the 18th century.

I have written already about the use of its flour to make bliny & pancakes.

The buckwheat has a strong, slightly perfumed taste and I think beef is a good meat to mix with it.

These are often serve with mushroom sauce. I heated some up in the sauce itself and I thought they were even better this way. They soak up the sauce and are delicious.

Ingredients

  • 100g buckwheat
  • 500g of minced beef
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt & pepper
  • *
  • Dried breadcrumbs or flour to shape
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • *
  • Mushroom sauce for serving

Method

  • Cook the buckwheat according to instructions.
  • I use the boil in the bag method with a 100g packet.
  • Drain and leave to go cold.

 

 

  • Chop the onion and garlic very fine or use a mini chopper.
  • Mix the beef and buckwheat together.
  • Add the onion and garlic and the 2 eggs.
  • Add some salt and pepper.
  • Mix the ingredients together with your hands.
  • Shape the mixture into large balls and coat them with dried bread crumbs or flour.
  • Fry them on both sides so they are cooked through.
  • Keep the cooked ones in a low oven whilst cooking the rest.
  • *
  • Serve with a strong mushroom sauce or
  • *
  • Put them into an oven proof dish and cover them with mushroom sauce.
  • Cook for at least an hour at GM4 – 180°C.

 

 

Royal Doulton – Tapestry – 1966-1988

Spring Onion Pancakes

  • I came across a recipe for adding spring onions to waffle mixtures.
  • I will have a go at this later but thought I would try out the idea with pancakes.

Ingredients

  • Pancake batter using 2 eggs
  • The green part of 7-8 spring onions or lots of chives.

Method

  • Mix up your pancake batter and leave to rest.
  • I made a 2 egg version using my perfect pancake recipe.
  • Leave to rest.
  • Use the green part of the spring onions and chop them finely.
  • Stir the chopped spring onions into the batter when you are starting to make them.
  • Make the pancakes as you usually do – you might want to make them slightly thicker.
  • Keep them warm in the oven separated with greaseproof if you want them all at the same time.
  • Fan fold the pancakes.
  • Pour maple syrup over them to serve.
  • *
  • Also delicious with grilled smoked bacon.

 

Miodownik – Honey Spice Cake 2

Miód is the Polish word for honey and  Miodownik is a Honey Cake which usually contains spices.

These cakes have been known in Poland since the 12th century and the  spices would have come from Turkey (originally brought back by the crusaders) or India.

The main spices used are cinnamon and cloves with the addition according to different recipes of cardamon, black pepper, caraway, nutmeg, and sometimes as in this recipe – ginger and then in later recipes allspice, which is from the New World.

Honey was the original sweetener, long before sugar and there are many traditional recipes that use honey not only in cakes, but also in meat dishes.

I learnt recently that my paternal grandfather kept bees and that my dad’s sister, my godmother, helped to look after them.

I was given this recipe recently and it is similar to one I have posted before, which was my mother’s recipe.  Her recipe used sunflower oil which is a more recent addition to recipes in Polish cookery whilst this one uses soured cream.

I had a large jar of Polish honey and used some for this recipe.

It is a dense squidgy cake which is lovely and moist.

Honey cakes are served over the Christmas Period in Poland.

Ingredients

  • 300ml clear honey
  • 225g granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs separated
  • 250ml soured cream
  • 290g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg

Method

  • Use a 23cm loose bottomed or springform tin
  • Grease and line the base or use a cake liner.
  • Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 4 – 180º C.
  • In a small saucepan bring the honey to the boil and then leave to cool.
  • In a separate bowl mix the flour,  bicarbonate of soda and the spices.
  • Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar.
  • Whisk in the soured cream.
  • Whisk in the cooled honey.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the mixture and mix well together.
  • Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and fold these cake mixture.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
  • Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for around  60- 65 minutes.
  • Take care as this has a tendency to burn at the top, you might need to cover it after about 45mins hour with a piece of greaseproof paper of aluminium foil.
  • Test to make sure it is cooked through with a fine cake tester.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.
  • Dust with icing sugar to serve.
  • *
  • This cake has a tendency to sink a little in the middle – nothing to worry about!

 

Tea plates – Bramble Rose by Duchess –  from the 1960s

Tea cups – Harvest Pink by Queen Anne – 1959 – 1966

Note

  • The instructions were for a round cake – the second time I made this I used a 32 x 22cm greased and lined tin.
  • The timings are roughly the same.
  • The cake is easier to cut into portions.
  • It is not quite as moist or squidgy as the deeper round version.
  • Wrapping it in aluminium foil and put in an airtight box will make it softer over time.
  • *
  • A loose bottomed deep square tin may be better and easier to get the cake out – but I do not have one of these.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiced Date Cake

  • Dates are lovely in cakes, they have a rich sweetness.
  • This is a very easy cake to make – you just have to start it the night before.
  • The way the dates are cooked first is similar to the method in my mother’s date slices.

Ingredients

  • 175g of pitted dates
  • Fine grated rind of 1 orange
  • 3 tablespoons of boiling water
  • 4 tablespoons of orange juice
  • *
  • 175g soft brown sugar
  • 175g butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger

Method

  • Chop the dates into small pieces.
  • Place them in a bowl with the grated orange rind.
  • Add the boiling water and the orange juice.
  • Leave overnight.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 3 – 160°C.
  • Use a cake liner in a deep 20cm cake tin.
  • Cream the sugar and butter.
  • Add the eggs and continue to mix.
  • Mix in the soaked dates.
  • Mix the flour well with the baking powder, mixed spice and ground.
  • Fold the flour mixture into the cake mixture.
  • Spoon into the cake mixture into the baking tin.
  • Bake for 60-65 minutes.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.

 

 

Served on Tea plates – Burleigh Ware – Burgess & Leigh Ltd – Blue Mist from the 1930s

 

Kompot – Apple

Kompot translates as compote but in Poland the word has a slightly different meaning than in the French.

Rather than a dish of stewed fruit it is a refreshing drink made with fruit.

Any seasonal fruit may be used such as:

  • raspberries, strawberries, wild berries
  • gooseberries, rhubarb
  • apples, cherries, plums
  • dried fruits can also be used.
  • *
  • Spices such as cinnamon or cloves can be added.
  • Depending on the time of year kompot can be served hot or cold.
  • *
  • The usual proportion of fruit to water is –
    1 kilo of fruit : 2litres of water.
  • A little sugar may be added depending on the sweetness of the fruit.
  • *
  • I was busy this summer making fruit soups and did not make any kompot.
  • I have lots of Bramley apples from the garden so decided to use them.
  • I had forgotten how refreshing this drink can be.
  • *
  • I will do other fruit versions next summer and also a dried fruit version later.
  • In summer you can use eating apples – very little sugar or no added sugar will be necessary.

Ingredients

  • 750g of Bramley apples (or other cooking apples)
  • 1½ litres of water
  • 1 small stick of cinnamon
  • 2-3 tablespoons of granulated sugar

Method

  • Put the water into a large saucepan.
  • Add a small stick of cinnamon.
  • Peel and core the apples.
  • Cut the apples into 6 – 8 segments.
  • Add the apples to the pan.
  • Bring to boil and then simmer for around 5 minutes.
  • You do not want the apple to disintegrate.
  • Leave to cool slightly.
  • Add sugar spoonful by spoonful and check – you do not want too much.
  • *
  • Served here cold but can also be served warm.

Note

Leave the chunks of fruit at the bottom of the glass or you can eat them with a fork!

Braised Beef

This is an old Yorkshire recipe in which the beef is cooked slightly differently to a gulasz (goulash).  It is cooked with the minimum amount of liquid and the meat is sort of semi-steamed.

Ingredients

  • 500g braising steak – try and buy in big pieces – not cubed.
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 100g of mushrooms
  • 3 carrots
  • ¼ of a celeriac
  • 1 parsnip
  • 4 cloves
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • Freshly ground nutmeg
  • 150 ml of dry Vermouth or Sherry
  • Salt and pepper
  • Plain flour for dusting
  • Oil for frying

Method

  • You need a large oven proof dish with a lid.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM3 – 325°C.
  • Remove the skin from the onion but keep it whole.
  • Stick the cloves into the onion and place it in the dish.
  • Chop the mushrooms into quarters and add to the dish.
  • Peel and chop the carrots, celeriac and parsnip and add to the dish.
  • Peel and chop the garlic and add to the dish.
  • Add the bay leaves to the dish.
  • Pour the vermouth or sherry over the vegetables.
  • Cut the steak into strips.
  • Mix the flour with lots of freshly grated nutmeg, salt and ground pepper.
  • Roll the beef strips in the flour mixture.
  • Fry the beef strips on all sides and put them on top of the vegetables.
  • Put on the lid and place in the oven for around 2- 2 ½ hours.
  • Check on the progress, you may find you need to add some more vermouth or sherry.

Apricot & Prune Fruit Cake

I have been going through my recipe cuttings and came across this one, which I have been meaning to make for ages as I wanted to try a fruit cake made with either dried apricots or prunes and this has both!

This could easily be described as a keks in Polish.

It is a delicious and moist cake, which can be eaten straight away – so could be a very late bake for Christmas!

The recipe was for a very large round cake but I thought a square would be better for cutting up and so I scaled down the ingredients and made it in a 24 centimetre square tin.

You have to start this cake the night before.

Ingredients

  • 120g dried apricots
  • 165g stoned prunes
  • 100ml hot Earl Grey tea
  • 100ml sherry
  • *
  • 115g currants
  • 115g sultanas
  • 115g raisins
  • 50g mixed peel
  • *
  • 150g soft brown sugar
  • 150g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • *
  • 185g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of mixed spice

Method

  • Chop the apricots and prunes into small pieces.
  • Place them into a bowl and pour the hot tea over them.
  • Leave until this is cold.
  • Add the sherry, cover and leave overnight.
  • *
  • Add the other dried fruits to the soaked fruits and mix well.
  • *
  • Grease and line all sides of a 24 cm square tin
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 1- 140°C
  • Mix the flour with the mixed spices.
  • Cream the sugar and butter till well blended.
  • Add the eggs and mix well together.
  • Fold in the flour mixture.
  • Add the dried fruits and mix well together.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth down the top.
  • Bake for 2 – 2¼ hours.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.

 

 

Tea set by Spencer Stevenson from the mid 20th Century

Note

Yesterday I baked this for the second time in a 21 centimetre square tin – this needed 3 – 3 ¼ hours.