Apple Pancakes 2

  • Looking through one of my Polish cookery books, I came across this recipe for a batter for racuszki with apples.
  • These are more like American style pancakes and I would call them apple fritters in England.
  • The original recipe used soured milk , so I used thick full fat Greek style yoghurt thinned down with water.
  • The original recipe used sweet eating apples but my Bramley apples are now ripe and I used one of these.
  • They were delicious and this will be my batter of choice from now on.

Ingredients

  • 1 Bramley apple or 2 eating apples
  • 1 egg
  • 100g plain flour
  • 125 ml thick full fat Greek style yoghurt
  • 60 ml of water (you might need a little more)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • *
  • Sunflower oil to fry in
  • *
  • Icing sugar to dust.

Method

  • Mix the egg, yoghurt, water, flour and baking powder together.
  • You are aiming for a smooth, thick batter.
  • You may need to add a little more water.
  • Cover and leave to rest for 1 hour.
  • *
  • Peel and core the apple.
  • Cut into thin slices.
  • Put the apple slices into the batter and coat all the sides.
  • *
  • Fry the fritters in hot oil.
  • Turn them over to do both sides.
  • Take them out and put onto kitchen roll.
  • *
  • Keep them warm in a low oven whilst cooking the rest.
  • *
  • Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Yoghurt Desserts

  • These desserts are similar to my twaróg desserts
  • They are make with packet jellies with the addition of yoghurt.
  • The more yoghurt you add the softer the mixture will be.
  • The variations are endless depending on the jelly flavour.
  • Topping and sauces can also be varied.
  • Leave the mixture to set in a large bowl and then put scoops into individual serving dishes.

Lemon Version

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of lemon jelly
  • 250 – 400ml of yoghurt
  • Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
  • *
  • Toppings
  • Bottled blackcurrants – drained
  • *
  • Juice from the bottled blackcurrants
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of potato or corn flour

Method

  • Make up 500ml of lemon jelly as per the packet instructions.
  • Add the lemon juice and the rind.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Whisk in the yoghurt and mix till all is blended in.
  • Leave to set in the fridge.
  • Place scoops into individual glasses.
  • *
  • Make a sauce with the blackcurrant juice and the potato or corn flour.
  • Mixed in and then heat, stirring till it thickens.

Blackcurrant version

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of blackcurrant jelly
  • 250 – 400ml of yoghurt
  • *
  • Toppings
  • Chopped tinned peaches
  • Sauce made from raspberry jam and water

Method

  • Make up 500ml of blackcurrant jelly as per the packet instructions.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Whisk in the yoghurt and mix till all is blended in.
  • Leave to set in the fridge.
  • Place scoops into individual glasses.
  • Add chopped peaches.
  • Heat around 80g of raspberry jam with some water to make a thick sauce.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Pour over the peaches.

Sweetcorn Fritters

  • I have been making these for years but cannot remember where I got the recipe from.
  • Originally I used one small carton of natural yoghurt.
  • I now buy large pots of yoghurt and I use my 125ml measure instead.
  • I always use tinned sweetcorn but you can use frozen sweetcorn, cooked and cooled.
  • There are lots of ways to eat these – I often have then with grilled bacon and fried eggs.

Ingredients

  • 250g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 125ml of yoghurt
  • 125ml of milk – some extra might be needed.
  • 1 tin of sweetcorn (340g) – drained
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric – optional
  • Sunflower oil to fry

Method

  • Put the flour and salt into a large bowl.
  • Make a well in the centre.
  • Add the eggs, yoghurt and milk.
  • Mix together – a Danish whisk is good for this.

  • Aim for a thick batter – add a little more milk if necessary
  • Add the sweetcorn and mix again.
  • Heat a little oil in a frying pan.
  • Drop large tablespoonfuls of the batter into the pan.
  • Cook on both sides.
  • Keep warm on a plate in the oven whilst making the rest.

Variations

Add some chopped spring onions or chives to the batter or chilli flakes or chopped chilies.

Kefir & Co

  • Naturally occurring microorganisms produce many fermented milk products.
  • This preservation of milk has been known to be used since around 10,000 BC.
  • Soured milk, kefir, and yoghurt are three such products.
  • They could be described as “cousins”.
  • Lactose, the sugar, in the milk is converted into lactic acid – this is what gives them the sour taste.

Soured Milk –  Kwaśne mleko  or Zsiadłe mleko –  is the fermented milk product that is found in Northern Europe, especially in Poland.  It forms naturally from bacteria in fresh milk  and these bacteria live happily in colder climates.

When we used to have farm milk at home my mother made soured milk all the time and then also made twaróg – Polish curd cheese,  which is used in lots of Polish recipes – savoury and sweet.

However you cannot make soured milk from pasteurised milk at home (of course it can be made in a dairy where they will have starters).

Yoghurt jogurt –  is the fermented milk product that is found in Southern Europe and the Middle East.  It forms naturally from bacteria in fresh milk and these bacteria live happily in warmer climates.

You can make yoghurt at home because you can use some bought yoghurt as a starter and some milk and then continue using your yoghurt as a starter and so on.

I have written how to make yoghurt in my post on Yoghurt & Yoghurt Cheese in 2015.

Kefir – is similar to yoghurt though usually it is not as thick.  A mixture of lactic acid producing bacteria, acetic acid producing bacteria and yeasts are involved in its formation.

I know you can get “grains” for making your own kefir although I have never tried.

I buy kefir from my local Polish shops and discovered recently that the large Tesco supermarket near me stocks it (In fact it is a Polish product!).

 

Recently I was given a recipe from an old Polish cookery book for a chocolate cake using kefir – I have tried this out – this and more kefir cake recipes will be posted soon.

 

 

 

Chłodnik – 4 – Cucumber

This chłodnik is a simple cool starter for a hot summer’s day.

 

Ingredients

  • Half  a cucumber
  • Spring onions – green parts or chives
  • 500ml of yoghurt
  • Handful of dill
  • Lemon juice and cold water
  • Salt & Pepper & Sugar to taste

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.
  • Thin down the yoghurt 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.
  • Sprinkle with chopped chives to serve.

 

Served in Soup Dishes by Midwinter – Spanish Garden – 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

Pepper & Apple Salad

Here is a refreshing salad with a honey and yoghurt dressing for a sunny day.

Ingredients

  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow or orange pepper
  • 2 onions
  • 2 eating apples such as Braeburn
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • *
  • 2 tablespoons of runny honey
  • 3 tablespoons of Greek style yoghurt
  • *
  • Flat-leaved parsley to garnish

Method

  • Cut the peppers and remove the stalk and seeds.
  • Cut the peppers into very thin strips.
  • Slice the onions finely.
  • Put the lemon juice into a bowl.
  • Core the apples and cut into small chunks.
  • Place the apples into the lemon juice.
  • Mix the peppers, onions and apples together.
  • Put the salad into a serving dish.
  • *
  • Mix the honey and yoghurt together.
  • Put this mixture on top of the salad.
  • Garnish with chopped flat-leaved parsley.

Orange Cake

This cake using sunflower oil and  yoghurt has a really good texture and reminds me of English Madeira cake, which was invented in the mid 19th Century taking its name from the Portuguese Madeira wine with which this cake was often served.

It started out in my hunt to make a cake using lemon balm – (melisa in Polish) which grows abundantly in my garden. Sadly none of the cakes I made captured its taste at all!

However I  adapted this recipe to make an orange cake and the result is delicious.

Short History of Oranges

Oranges originated in Ancient China and sweet oranges are recorded in Chinese literature in very early times.

They are thought to have been brought by Italian and Portuguese traders to the Mediterranean area in the 15th century.

The name is of  Middle Eastern origin:

  • Arabic – nāranj
  • Persian – narang
  • French – l’orange
  • Italian – arancia
  • Portuguese –  laranja
  • Spanish – naranja
  • Polish – pomarańcz
  • Whilst in Dutch it is – sinaasappel – meaning  Chinese apple.

Oranges in Poland were very expensive before World War 2 and my mother would tell me that at St Nicholas and Christmas time an orange or a tangerine would be a common gift.

Christopher Columbus took oranges to the Caribbean on his second voyage in 1493.

Later,  Spanish settlers introduced orange plants to North America,  first to Florida and then to California.

Figures from 2017 show Brazil as being the largest orange producer in the world with the United States of America coming second and  Florida produces 70% of that country’s oranges.

Ingredients

  • 85- 90ml of Greek yoghurt (full fat is best)
  • 2 large oranges – finely grated rind & juice (not all will be needed)
  • 125ml of orange juice
  • 180g of caster sugar
  • 320g of plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 170ml of sunflower oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 5 – 190°C.
  • Finely grate the rind of the oranges.
  • Squeeze the juice from the oranges (you will not need all of it).
  • Mix the yoghurt with 125ml of the  orange juice.
  • Prepare a 23cm loose bottom or spring  form tin with a cake liner.
  • In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, oil and orange rind.
  • Add the eggs and whisk again.
  • Lightly mix in the flour.
  • Mix in the lemon juice.
  • Mix in the yoghurt and orange juice mixture to give a thick batter.
  • Pour into the cake tin.
  • Bake for 30 – 35 minutes (check after 25 minutes and cover the top lightly if necessary).

Served on Duchess – Bramble Rose – tea-plates from the 1960s.

 

Summer Salads – Radish & Cucumber

The inspiration for these salads are from recipes in a new book I bought recently in Poland and from one my Polish friend  in Leeds bought for me.

 

 

History of the Radish

Radish, in Polish –  rzodkiew,  Latin name  –  Raphanus sativus,    is a root vegetable that belongs to the Brassica family and is thought to have originated in South East Asia.  It is mentioned in Greece in the 3rd century BC and in Europe in pre-Roman times.

It was one of the first European crops to be taken to the Americas.

Some of the recipes used czarna rzodkiew – which translates as black radish.  Now I had never heard of this, so looked it up and found it is called Black Spanish radish and sometimes called winter radish. It is mentioned in Europe in the 16th century and in England in the 19th century.

It has white flesh and a black skin and  can be round or long and it  is much larger  than the radishes I have seen.  So when the recipes used one or two black Spanish radishes, I used 1 or 2 bunches of radishes.

Cucumber & Radish Salad – Version 1

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 or 2 bunches of radishes
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt & pepper
  • Chopped dill & flat leafed parsley

Method

  • Peel the cucumber or part peel lengthwise in stripes.
  • Cut the cucumber into thin slices  – you can cut these into halves.
  • Top and tail the radishes and then thinly slice them.
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • Add the oil and lemon juice and mix well.
  • Garnish with dill and flat leafed parsley.

 

 

 

Sweet Honey Dressing

A lovely sweet dressing made with honey is used on the following four salads.

Ingredients

  • 125ml soured cream
  • 1 tablespoon of runny honey
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Method

Use a little whisk to combine the ingredients.

Cucumber & Radish Salad – Version 2

As version 1 with sweet honey dressing

Radish & Red Onion Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 – 2 bunches of radishes
  • 1 red onion
  • Sweet honey dressing

Method

  • Top and tail the radishes and then thinly slice them.
  • Slice and chop the onion into small squares.
  • Mix the radishes and onion together.
  • Pour the sweet honey dressing over them and mix.

 

 

Radish & Raisin Salad

Ingredients

  • 1-2 bunches of radishes
  • 80g raisins or sultanas
  • Sweet honey dressing

Method

  • Put the raisins into a small bowl and boiling water over them to cover.
  • Leave them until they are cold.
  • Use a sieve to drain away the water.
  • Use kitchen roll or a clean tea cloth to dry the raisins.
  • Top and tail the radishes and then thinly slice them.
  • Mix the radishes and raisins.
  • Pour the sweet honey dressing over them and mix.

Optional

Serve this on top of a bed of shredded lettuce.

 

 

 

Served here with liver & rice

Cucumber & Raisin Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber
  • 80g raisins or sultanas
  • Sweet honey dressing

Method

  • Put the raisins into a small bowl and boiling water over them to cover.
  • Leave them until they are cold.
  • Use a sieve to drain away the water.
  • Use kitchen roll or a clean tea cloth to dry the raisins.
  • Peel the cucumber or part peel lengthwise in stripes.
  • Cut the cucumber into thin slices  – you can cut these into halves.
  • Mix the cucumber and raisins.
  • Pour the sweet honey dressing over them and mix.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Served here with liver & mushrooms and rice.

 

Radish & Apple Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of radishes
  • 1 large apple – Braeburn is good
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of Greek yoghurt
  • 2 pinches of salt

Method

  • Top and tail the radishes and then thinly slice them.
  • Cut larger slices into two
  • Put them into a bowl with the sugar and salt and leave these for around 10 minutes
  • Core the apple and cut into rough cubes
  • Place the apple into a bowl and our the lemon juice over them.
  • Mix the radishes and apple together
  • Mix in the yoghurt.

 

 

 

 

Placek with Almonds

I stayed in Derbyshire (home of the Bakewell Tart) in 2018 and I came across a recipe for a cake using yoghurt which I adapted and this was posted as PlacekDerbyshire Inspired.

This is a variation I tried out using almonds.

I used Greek style full fat yoghurt – If using my own yoghurt I would strain it a little so it becomes thicker.

Ingredients

  • 250g butter or block margarine
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 150ml of Greek style yoghurt (full fat)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of almond essence
  • 230g self raising flour
  • 50g of ground almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • Sour cherry jam or other slightly tart jam
  • 50g of flaked almonds

Method

  • Grease and line 22 x 32 baking tin – use 1 piece of greaseproof to do the 2 long sides and base.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C
  • Place the flaked on a tray and pop them under the grill for a few minutes to toast them.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Mix together the yoghurt, eggs and almond essence
  • Mix together the flour, ground almonds and the baking powder.
  • Beat together the butter and sugar .
  • Add the yoghurt, egg and essence mixture and beat well.
  • Add the flour mixture and beat till you have a unified smooth mixture.
  • Using a big spoon and spatula put the mixture into the prepared tin.
  • Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Carefully take the cake out of the oven and place large teaspoon ‘blobs’ of jam on the top – I did 12 teaspoons at even intervals.
  • Cover the top with the toasted almonds and quickly put it back in the oven.

 

 

  • Bake for around another 25 – 30 minutes.

 

 

  • Place on a cooking rack and leave until it is cold to take out of the tin.
  • Cut into squares or rectangles to serve.

 

 

Served on teaplates by Wedgwood, Hathaway Rose  – 1959 -1987