Honeyed Plum Sauce

  • Super with meats such as chicken, duck and pork.
  • Also with great with desserts and with yoghurt.

Ingredients

  • 10 plums
  • 250ml water (maybe a little extra)
  • 4-6 tablespoons of runny honey

Method

  • Simmer the plums gently in the water.
  • Stir until the plums fall apart.
  • Add extra water if needed.
  • Add as much honey as required to taste.
  • Remove the pips – optional.
  • Serve hot with meats or chilled with desserts.

Little Honey Cakes

  • This recipe, which only uses honey as the sweetener, is based on an old Yorkshire recipe.
  • It would be quite “at home” with Polish recipes for pierniczki.

INGREDIENTS

  • 100g butter
  • 225 plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 130g runny honey
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • (A little milk – maybe needed)

METHOD

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 5 – 190°C.
  • Grease two large baking trays.
  • Mix the baking powder with the flour.
  • Rub in the butter till it is like breadcrumbs.
  • Add the mixed spices, caraway seeds and ginger.
  • Mix in the honey and egg to give a soft dough.
  • (Should it not be soft enough – add a dash of milk).
  • With lightly floured hands make balls with the dough (larger than walnut).
  • Place the balls on the baking tray – leaving room for them to spread.
  • Flatten the balls slightly.
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Leave them to cool on the trays before removing.

Honey Cake – Miodownik 4

  • This is based on an old English recipe and is a bit lighter than my other Polish honey cakes.
  • There are no spices in the original recipe but you can of course add them.

Ingredients

  • 150g butter
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 150ml honey
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 4 – 180 C.
  • Grease and line a 26 x 16cm baking tin.
  • In a saucepan gently melt the butter and sugar.
  • Add the honey and stir.
  • Add the milk and stir again.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Mix in the eggs.
  • Mix the baking powder with the flour.
  • Add the flour to the mixture to give a smooth batter.
  • Pour the batter into the tin and smooth the top.
  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
  • Check that the top is not burning and cover with baking paper if necessary.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.

Crown bone china tea plate

Pear & Walnut Salad

  • A very simple and slightly sweet salad.
  • Good with hot roast meats, chicken or duck.
  • Or even serve as a light lunch with bread and butter.

Ingredients

  • 2 large pears – peeled and chopped.
  • 100g walnuts – chopped
  • 100g crumbly white cheese – dry twaróg, Wensleydale or Lancashire
  • Mixed salad or shredded lettuce
  • *
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of virgin olive oil

Method

  • Put the salad leaves or lettuce at the base of the serving dish.
  • Mix the pears and walnuts together.
  • Put these on top of the salad leaves.
  • Crumble the cheese on top.
  • Mix the dressing together and pour over the top.
  • Mix the salad together and serve.

Miodownik – 3

  • This is honey & spice cake, which could be made for Christmas time.
  • I saw this cake recently in a post by Thistles and Kiwis thistlesandkiwis.org whose interesting blog I follow. 
  • It is adapted from “In Good Company” by Sophie Hansen.
  • I have adapted it a little to make it more like a Polish Cake.
  • In this cake butter is used rather than oil as in my Mama’s miodownik.
  • This cake can be made at the last minute for Wigilia(Christmas Eve) or Christmas Day.

Ingredients

  • 150g butter
  • 240g runny honey
  • 260g plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 3 eggs – beaten
  • 200g full fat Greek style yoghurt
  • *
  • Icing sugar to dust or lemon icing

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C
  • Grease and line a 32 x 22cms or 26 x 20cm cake tin.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  • Add the honey and mix well together.
  • Add the orange zest.
  • Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Mix the baking powder and flour together.
  • Add the sugar and spices.
  • Add the eggs and yoghurt and mix well.
  • Add the butter and honey mixture.
  • Mix everything together to give a thick batter.
  • Pour into the prepared tin.
  • Cook for 30 -35 minutes.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  • *
  • Dust with icing sugar to serve or glaze with a thin lemon icing.*

Royal Standard – Lyndale tea plate – 1949 – 1960.

*Option – Add a Chocolate glaze – this one was some Chocolate with Orange Peel melted with butter.

 

  • The china tray is by Ross Dean in Burslem
  • The octagonal tea plate is by Paragon – Made in England and hand-painted. 

Honeyed Carrots

  • The original recipe was for whole small young carrots and used a bunch of around 15 carrots still with their tops.
  • I tend to use medium carrots and after topping and tailing them, I cut them lengthwise to give strips of carrots, say into quarters.
  • Here the difference between the two recipes below is the additions to the honey dressing used.
  • I used some lovely Polish honey from the Mazurian lakes.
  • Both versions are delicious.

Carrots with honey and thyme

Ingredients

  • 4-5 medium to large carrots
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of runny honey
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Salt & Pepper

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200°C
  • Peel the carrots.
  • Top and tail them.
  • Cut into quarters.
  • Place the carrots on a baking sheet.
  • Pour the olive oil over them.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Roast for 20 minutes.
  • Strip the leaves from the stalks of the thyme.
  • Mix the thyme with the honey and lemon juice.
  • Pour the mixture over the carrots and roast for another 10 minutes.

Carrots with honey and orange

Ingredients

  • 4-5 medium to large carrots
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of runny honey
  • Zest and juice from a small orange
  • Salt & Pepper

    Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200°C
  • Peel the carrots.
  • Top and tail them.
  • Cut into quarters lengthwise.
  • Place the carrots on a baking sheet.
  • Pour the olive oil over them.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Roast for 20 minutes.
  • Mix the orange zest and juice with the honey.
  • Pour the mixture over the carrots and roast for another 10 minutes.

Note

Should you have any left , chop them up and use as a topping to sandwiches or add to salads.

Breaded Aubergines

  • I went to my favourite restaurant in the area, which is very near to where I live.
  • It is called Healds Hall .
  • They had a new starter on the menu, which was delicious.
  • I decided to recreate this at home.
  • I used Polish honey from the Mazurian Lakes, which was delicious.
  • The Polish word for aubergine is bakłażan and it comes from the Persian – badigan. 
  • Americans call aubergines – egg plant.

Ingredients

  • 1 Aubergine
  • Plain flour
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dried breadcrumbs
  • *
  • Sunflower oil to fry
  • *
  • To serve
  • *
  • Runny honey
  • Yoghurt cheese or cream cheese

Method

  • Slice the aubergine into 1 – 1.5cm circles.
  • Sprinkle them with salt and put them into a colander over a bowl.
  • Leave for around 30 minutes.
  • Dry the slices with kitchen roll.
  • Sprinkle with a little pepper.
  • Have ready dishes of flour, beaten egg and dried breadcrumbs.
  • Dip each slice of aubergine first into the flour, then the beaten egg and lastly the dried breadcrumbs.
  • In a frying pan heat up the oil.
  • Fry the slices gently on both sides till golden.
  • Remove from the oil, place onto kitchen roll to remove some of the oil.
  • Serve with yoghurt cheese or cream cheese with runny honey on top.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Poppy Seed Cakes

Christmas is coming up and I have been thinking of making an easier version of makowiec – the Traditional Poppy seed cake.

I have posted versions for larger cakes and for little buns with the traditional poppy seed filling.

Several years ago I got an Austrian cookery book which has many similar recipes to Polish ones and I made some babeczki  or buleczki – little cakes, with a yeast pastry & poppy seed filling for Wigilia from it.

 

I thought I would have another go at these but with some changes.

The poppy seed filling I have changed quite a bit and it is easier than my traditional one. The recipe for the dough I have changed slightly and the shaping method quite a lot.

Poppy Seed Filling

Ingredients

  • 180ml of milk (full fat or semi)
  • Around 100ml of runny honey (extra may be needed)
  • 120g of poppy seeds *
  • 50g of raisins
  • Strong Earl Grey tea
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • *
  • * You can grind the poppy seeds – I used a little electric grinder.

Method

  • Make some strong Earl Grey tea.
  • Put the raisins in a small bowl and cover them with the hot tea and leave till they go cold.
  • Into a small saucepan put the poppy seeds and the milk.
  • Bring to the boil then lower the heat.
  • Simmer gently for around 20 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Take care not to let the mixture burn.
  • Add the honey and continue heating and stirring.
  • Drain the raisins and add them to the mixture and mix them in.
  • Keep stirring and try and drive off any liquid left.
  • Taste for sweetness – you may want to add more honey.
  • Leave to go completely cold before using.
  • Add the grated lemon rind.
  • *
  • If this is too much filling – you can always freeze some.

 

Yeast Dough

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon of dried yeast
  • 4-5 tablespoons of milk (full fat or semi)
  • 250g of strong flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 120g of butter
  • 20g of caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 egg white for glazing (I always use just egg white now – it does not burn as easily as whole egg)

Method

  • Warm 3-4 tablespoons of the milk to hand heat.
  • Add the yeast and leave it to froth up.
  • Place the flour into a large bowl and add the salt.
  • Cut in the butter with a knife and then make breadcrumbs with your fingers.
  • Stir in the sugar.
  • Make a well in the centre.
  • Add the egg yolk and the yeast mixture.
  • Use a knife at first to bring the dough together.
  • You may need some of the extra milk.
  • Use your fingers to gather all the ingredients into  a ball.
  • Knead the dough for around 5 minutes till you have a smooth dough.
  • Leave the dough to rest for at least 45 minutes – covered with a tea cloth.
  • ******
  • Grease and line several baking trays.
  • Cut the dough into 3 or 4 portions.
  • Roll the dough out thinly.
  • Use a 6cm cutter to cut out circles.
  • Place a small teaspoon of filling on half of the circles.
  • Place a second pastry circle on top.
  • Use a pastry fork to crimp the edges together making sure they are sealed.
  • Glaze with beaten egg white.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C (quite low for a yeast pastry!).
  • Bake for 12-13 minutes.
  • Dust with icing sugar whilst still warm.
  • Leave to cool.

You could drizzle with runny lemon icing instead.

Served here on Duchess – tea plates – Poppies from the 1960s.

 

Piernik with Chocolate 2

Piernik in Poland is associated with the Christmas season and would be made for Christmas Eve and for Christmas Day, it would also be made for Święty MikołajDecember 6thSt Nicholas Day. This is a day for present giving in Poland to children and I would always get a piernik shaped and decorated to look like the bishop that was St Nicholas.

I came across this recipe, which has grated dark chocolate added to the mixture and the result is excellent.  I posted it last year as Piernik with Chocolate.  Here I have added a sour cherry jam topping which makes it even better!

Ingredients

  • 250ml of runny honey
  • 220g of granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1.5 teaspoons of mixed spice (or 0.5 teaspoons each of ground cardamom, cinnamon & cloves)
  • 350g of plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 100g of grated dark chocolate (I used one with 74%cocoa)
  • 100g of mixed peel
  • To serve
  • Sour Cherry Jam & Icing Sugar

Method

  • Grease and line a 32 x 22 cm tin.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM3 – 160°C.
  • Whisk together the honey, sugar, eggs and spices.
  • Mix the flour and the baking powder together and mix this in.
  • Stir in the grated chocolate and the mixed peel.
  • Pour the thick batter into the tinand smooth down the top.
  • Bake for 60 – 65 minutes until a tester comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.
  • *
  • Warm 2 – 3 tablespoons of sour cherry jam to make it easier to use.
  • Remove the piernik from the tin.
  • Brush the top of the piernik thickly with the jam and leave to cool and set.
  • Dust the top with icing sugar.
  • Cut into rectangles or triangles to serve.