Recipes from archive Witham Staple issues 

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The Witham Staple is mandated to reflect what is happening in our Lincolnshire community (i.e. the villages of Aubourn, Bassingham, Carlton le Moorland, Norton Disney, Stapleford, Thurlby, Witham St Hughs and the rural areas surrounding these villages).

These recipes have been published in the magazine over recent years.

Lebkuchen (German Spicy Christmas Biscuits)

Summer Pudding

Onion Quiche

Bara Brith

Dropped scones

Apple Chutney

Grated Potato Cakes

Mulled Wine

Lemon Tart

French Apple Tart  

Easter Bunny Biscuits 

Coniston Cake  

Spanish Omelette

Prune And Ground Almond Flan

Home-made Fish Pie

Bramley Apple Cake 

Jane's Prize-winning Plum Jam

Fruity Bonfires

Hearts and Tarts

Fruity Meringue Crush  

Cherry & Almond Easter Cup Cakes

Pizza Chicken melts

Croque Monsieur

Pumpkin Biscuits

Christmas Wine Cake

Banana Roll-Over Pancakes

Easter Biscuits

Ice Cream Pancake with Hot Mincemeat

Lemon & Orange Marmalade Easter Cake

Christmas Pudding

Traditional Pancakes

Easter Hot Cross Buns

Easter Biscuits (2)

Two simple recipes for the BBQ

Christmas Cake

Summer Puds For Kids

Halloween Recipes

Simnel Cake

Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy Pancake Recipe

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Lebkuchen (German Spicy Christmas Biscuits)

Makes about 30 biscuits 

 

210 g/8 oz ground almonds 

1 tsp ground cardamom 

3 eggs, separated 

1 tsp ground cinnamon 

8 oz caster sugar 

1 tsp ground cloves 

25 g/1 oz very finely chopped candied peel

GLAZE: grated zest of ½ lemon, 3 oz icing sugar, 1 oz boiling water 

Heat oven to 170ºC/325ºF/Gas 3. Line a 33 x 30 cm/13" x 12" baking tray with rice paper or non-stick baking parchment. Mix the ground almonds, candied peel and spices together in a bowl. Put egg yolks and sugar into a larger bowl and beat for about 10 minutes with a hand-held electric mixer (or 20 minutes with a rotary whisk) until mixture is thick. 

In a separate clean, dry bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold a large spoonful of the whisked egg whites into the yolk mixture to loosen it. Gently fold in the rest of the whisked egg whites. Now very gently fold in the ground almond mixture. 

Place about 15 teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking tray in neat heaps, spacing them out evenly; the mixture will spread during baking. Bake for about 15 minutes. They are ready when light brown and slightly soft to the touch. Leave to cool for a few minutes before transferring, with the lining paper, to a wire rack; leave to cool completely. 

Break off the excess rice paper or peel off the non-stick baking paper. Make the glaze: mix the grated lemon zest with the icing sugar in a bowl. Slowly add the boiling water; mix with a fork. The glaze should be fairly runny. Use a pastry brush to brush the glaze on half the biscuits. Then add 1 drop of red colouring to the remaining glaze and use this pink glaze to glaze the remaining biscuits. Once the glaze is set, the biscuits can be kept in an airtight tin and their flavour and texture will improve. They are traditionally served from 6th December to 6th January, 'Dreikönigsabend' (Twelfth Night).

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Summer Pudding

Ingredients:

1 lb soft fruits: any combination of raspberries, currants (red and white, if you can get them), blackberries, strawberries etc

sugar

thin slices of white bread with the crusts removed

Method:

Stew the fruit gently with sugar to taste and a little water if necessary, keeping the fruit as whole as possible. Line a pudding basin with bread, trimming the slices to get a neat fit. Fill the basin with alternate layers of fruit and bread, keeping back some of the juice. Finish with a layer of fruit, pour over the remaining juice and cover with a slice of bread.

Cover the pudding with a small pate or saucer and press down with a heavy weight. Leave in the fridge overnight.

Remove from the fridge half an hour before serving. Turn out onto a plate and serve slices with cream or Greek yoghurt. Hmm! The summer eating at its best! [WS  July 2004]

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Onion Quiche

Ingredients:

6 oz short-crust pastry (i.e. made with 6 oz plain flour & 3 oz fat)                  

2 oz butter

1 lb onions, sliced

2 eggs

1 oz flour                   

8 fl. oz milk

salt & pepper                  

stoned black olives                 

1 small tin of  anchovies, drained

Method:

Use the pastry to line an 8” flan tin placed on a baking sheet. Bake blind in a hot oven for 20 minutes. Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the onions gently till soft but making sure they do not brown.

Spread the onions over the pastry case. Beat together the eggs, milk, flour, salt and pepper; pour this mixture over the onions.  

Halve the anchovies lengthways and arrange them on top in a criss­cross pattern, and place an olive in each of the spaces between.

Bake in a moderate oven for 20 – 30 minutes, till set. Serve just warm with a green salad. [WS June 2004] 

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Bara Brith

Welsh for ‘speckled bread’ Bare Brith is a spiced fruit loaf, traditionally made with a yeast dough for Christmas, Easter and harvest time. This version uses self-raising flour and makes 2 x 1 lb loaves

Ingredients:

250 g (8 oz) sultanas       

125 g (4 oz) currants

125 g (4 oz) seedless raisins

500 g (1 lb) soft brown sugar

600 ml (1 pt) warm, strong tea, strained

I egg lighty beaten

750 g (1.5 lb) self-raising flour

2 teaspoons ground mixed spice          

Vegetable oil for greasing

1 tablespoon clear honey, to glaze

Method:

1. Put the dried fruit and sugar in a bowl. Pour in the tea and stir well. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave overnight.

2. Heat the oven to 170°C (325°F) or Gas 3

3. Grease and line with greaseproof paper two 2 lb loaf tins. Grease the lining paper.

4. Stir the beaten egg well into the fruit and sugar mixture. Sift together the flour and spice, then stir into the mixture until thoroughly combined.

5. Divide the mixture equally between the prepared tins. Smooth the surface of each.

6. Bake the loaves in the oven for 1.5 hours, until a warmed fine skewer inserted into the loaves comes out dean.

7. Leave the loaves for a few minutes to cool enough to handle, then turn them out onto a wire rack; turn the loaves the right way up.

8. Put the honey into a small saucepan and heat very gently. Brush the tops of the warm loaves to glaze; leave until completely cold

Bara brith can be eaten as soon as it is completely cold, but the flavour and texture improve if it is stored in an air-tight tin for a week. You can, of course, make just one loaf by halving the quantities, but it is economical to make two as it stores and freezes well. [WS March 2004]

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Dropped scones — An alternative to Shrove Tuesday pancakes

Ingredients:

4 oz self-raising flour

1 egg

pinch of salt

Milk to mix - about 4 tbsp

2 oz caster sugar 

a few drops of lemon essence

Method:

Mix flour, salt and sugar, add egg, and gradually beat in milk to make a thick batter. Add essence if used. Bake 2 or 3 at a time by dropping spoonfuls of the mixture on to a hot, well-greased girdle (or heavy frying pan or heavy baking sheet). Cook till the underside is golden brown and the top covered in bubbles. Turn and brown the other side.

Serve buttered, hot or cold. [WS Feb 2004]

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Apple Chutney

Ingredients:

2 lb apples (after peeling and coring)

4 oz onions

8 oz stoned raisins

1 teaspoon whole allspice

1 teaspoon mustard seed

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

8 oz brown soft sugar

1 tablespoon black treacle

15 fl oz vinegar

Method:

Chop apples. Chop onions and raisins finely (or in food processor). Put in pan with half a pint (10 floz) of the vinegar. Pour the rest of the vinegar over the sugar in a bowl and leave to dissolve, stirring occasionally.

Crush the mustard seed and allspice with a rolling pin and add to the mixture in the pan together with the ginger, pepper and salt. Simmer in a covered pan, stirring at times, until all is soft and thoroughly cooked.

Add the sugar and vinegar solution and the black treacle. Stir well. Cook in uncovered pan till thick like jam. Pour into hot jars and screw down lids to seal. [WS Nov 2003]

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Grated Potato Cakes

Ingredients:

1 lb potatoes

1 medium onion

1 clove garlic, crushed       

2 beaten eggs

1 oz plain flour 

salt and pepper

2 tbspns vegetable oil

Method:

Peel the potatoes and grate them coarsely. Peel the onion and grate or chop finely. Mix together and squeeze out the excess liquid. Place in a mixing bowl and add the garlic, flour, eggs, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Heat the oil In a large heavy-based frying pan until hot. Drop in spoonfuls of the mixture and spread each one flat. Cook for several minutes till golden brown underneath. Turn and cook the other side. Keep them hot on a plate in the oven while you cook the others.

Serve while hot and crisp. [WS Feb 2003]

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Mulled Wine

Ingredients:

1 bottle of red wine (not your best burgundy!)

Half-pint water

Half-pint orange juice

3 tablespoonfuls sugar

2 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces

1 teaspoonful whole cloves

1 teaspoonful whole coriander seeds

(Do not use ground spices for this recipe)

1 wineglassful of brandy (optional)

Method:

Place the water, wine, orange juice, spices and sugar in a saucepan. Heat gently while stirring to just below boiling for about 15 minutes; do not allow to boil.

For the de luxe version, add the brandy before straining through a fine sieve to remove the spices. Serve in warm wine glasses. Keep the remainder hot in the pan. [WS Dec 2002]

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Lemon Tart (Tarte Au Citron)

Ingredients:

Pastry Filling

6oz plain flour 

8oz caster sugar

2oz icing sugar 

1 tbsp cornflour

3oz mutter or margarine

4oz butter

cold water to mix

3 medium eggs, beaten

grated rind and juice of 2 lemons

Method:

Pastry

Sift flour and sugar together into a bowl. Rub in butter/margarine till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add just enough water to make a soft dough. Roll out on floured board and use to line a 9” pastry loose-bottomed tin. Prick the base and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Line the pastry with greaseproof paper, fill with baking beans and bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove paper and beans and bake for a further 10 minutes.

Filling

Put the sugar and cornflour into a bowl. Add the lemon juice and grated rind. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the sugar and cornflour. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and heat till the butter and sugar have melted together and the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir in the beaten eggs. Return to the heat and cook gently, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.

Remove the bowl from the heat and strain the mixture into the pastry case. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 190° C / 375° F/Gas mark 5, or until the lemon filling is set. Leave to cool for 10 minutes. Dust with icing sugar and place under a hot grill to caramelize. Cool for 15 minutes before serving, perhaps with pouring cream.  [WS Sep 2002]

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French Apple Tart

(Tarte aux pommes)

Ingredients:

For the pastry:    

6 oz plain flour 

3 oz butter or margarine

1 oz sugar

2 tbspns cold water

 

For the apple sauce:

8 medium eating apples

1 cup of water          

12 oz sugar

1 tspn lemon juice

 

For the filling:      

5 dessert apples

 

To glaze:

1 tbspn apricot jam

Method:

Make the shortcrust pastry, rubbing in the butter before adding the sugar and water. Roll out and line a greased 7” tart tin, preferably one with a loose base. Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Make the apple sauce: peel and core the apples, cut them into eighths and place in a pan with a cupful of water. Cook gently till soft. Add the 12 oz of sugar and stir off the heat till dissolved. Return to the heat and cook gently for a further two minutes. Add the lemon juice and let the sauce cool.

Put the apple sauce in the bottom of the pastry case. Core but do not peel the dessert apples. Slice them and arrange in overlapping circles over the apple sauce, starting from the outside.

Bake in a hot oven for about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread the warmed apricot jam over the apple slices. Return to the oven for a further five minutes. Allow the tart to cool before serving. Serve with cream or fromage frais.

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Easter Bunny Biscuits 

A nice change from hot cross buns and something the children will enjoy making - with adult supervision, of course. 

Ingredients:

75 g/3 oz soft margarine 

100 g/4 oz caster sugar 

1 egg 

225 g/8 oz plain flour 

pinch of salt 

2 teaspoons ground mixed spice 

25 g/1 oz currants

Coating: egg white; desiccated coconut 

Method: 

1. Heat the oven to 190ºC/375º/Gas 5. 

2. Cream the fat and sugar until they are light and fluffy. 

3. Beat in the egg thoroughly. 

4. Fold in the flour, salt and spice. 

5. Add the currants and mix them well to form a dough. 

6. Roll out on a floured board to a thickness of 0.5cm(¼ in). 

7. Cut out the biscuits with a rabbit-shaped cutter. 

8. Brush them with egg white then dip them in the coconut. 

9. Add a currant to each one to represent an eye. 

10. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet that has been brushed with melted cooking fat and lightly floured. 

11. Bake the biscuits near the top of the oven for 15 to 18 minutes. 

12. Leave them to cool on a cake rack. 

[WS March 2005]

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Coniston Cake

This is a traditional Lake District recipe, providing delicious slices of energy for walking in the Cumbrian fells. 

Ingredients:  

1lb sugar 

½lb butter 

1lb plain flour 

1½ teaspoons baking powder 

5 eggs 

4 or 5 fl oz milk 

a few drops of vanilla essence 

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 180ºC. Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour. Stir in the sugar. Add the eggs, well beaten, and the vanilla essence, and mix to a dropping consistency with the milk. Pour mixture into a greased roasting tin. Bake for about 1¼ hours, inserting a skewer to check it is well cooked through. When cold, it can be iced with chocolate icing.

[WS April 2005]

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Spanish Omelette 

 

This is the classic 'tortilla española', made with potatoes and onions and very different from a French folded omelette, because it's flat and cooked slowly on both sides. Often served in tapas bars.  Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main course 

 

Ingredients:  

 

4 large eggs, beaten 

4 tablespoons olive oil (essential for the flavour) 

175g / 6oz finely chopped onions 

350g / 12oz potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm / ½ in dice 

(waxy potatoes such as Maris Piper keep their shape better then floury types.) 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Method:

1. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy-based frying pan. Add onions and potatoes, cover with lid or plate and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. The onions and potatoes should be soft and golden - do not let them brown! 

 

2. Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon, transfer to a large plate and let cool for 5 minutes. 

 

3. Wipe the pan with kitchen paper. 

 

4. Season the eggs with salt and pepper, stir the potatoes and onions into the eggs. 

 

5. Heat the remaining oil in the pan, add the egg and vegetable mixture, and cook, uncovered, over moderate heat for 10 to 15 minutes until the base is set but the centre still slightly creamy. 

 

6. Run a spatula round the edge of the omelette and remove the pan from the heat. Invert a large plate over the pan, then hold the plate and firmly together, turn them over to invert the omelette onto the plate. 

 

7. Slide the omelette carefully back into the pan, browned side up. Cook on moderate heat for a further 3 to 4 minutes, till the underside in nicely browned. 

 

8. Slide the omelette onto a round serving plate. Cut into wedges to serve.

 

¡Buen provecho!   [WS May 2005]

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Prune And Ground Almond Flan 

One of the best pastry desserts from the south of France, the 'Tarte aux Pruneaux' has a deliciously rich and creamy flavour.

Ingredients:  

6 oz rich shortcrust pastry 

8 oz pitted prunes 

6 tablespoons Armagnac 

2 eggs 

6 tablespoons double cream 

1½ oz sugar 

a few drops of vanilla essence 

finely grated rind of ½ orange 

3 tablespoons ground almonds 

1½ oz butter, melted 

Method:

1. Roll out the pastry quite thinly and line an 8 inch loose-bottomed flan tin, pressing the pastry up the sides well. 

2. Chill the flan case for an hour. 

3. Meanwhile, put the prunes into a bowl, pour over the Armagnac and leave for an hour. 

4. Drain the prunes and reserve the brandy. 

5. Arrange the prunes over the base of the chilled flan case. 

6. Beat the eggs with the cream, then mix in the sugar, ground almonds and melted butter. 

7. Pour the mixture into the flan case over the prunes. 

8. Bake in a preheated oven at 200ºC/400ºF/Gas 6 for about 25 minutes, until the filling is golden and slightly puffed. 

9. Remove from the oven, spoon over the reserved Armagnac, and serve immediately with single cream. 

~ Anyone for seconds? ~

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Home-made Fish Pie 

Serves 4 

Ingredients:  

225 g / 8oz White Fish 

3 tbsp milk salt & pepper 

2 tbsp Dry Parsley 

100 g / 4 oz double cream 

6 medium potatoes boiled and mashed

Method:

1 Place fish in milk and microwave for 5 mins or until cooked. 

2 Discard milk then flake and bone fish. 

3 Spread fish evenly over the bottom of an ovenproof dish. 

4 Season and sprinkle Parsley over fish. 

5 Pour cream over fish and lightly mix in. 

6 Spread the mashed potatoes over the top. 

7 Smooth over with a fork and dot with butter. 

8 Place under pre-heated grill for 20 minutes or until warmed through.

For additional flavour add prawns or flaked salmon to the fish, and or sprinkle grated cheese on top. Serve with peas and fresh crusty bread.

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Jane's Prize-winning Plum Jam 

Ingredients:  

3 lbs Plums (washed) 

3 lbs Granulated Sugar 

¾ pint Water 

½ oz Butter 

Method:

1. Put plums into a saucepan with the water 

2. Bring to boil cover pan and reduce heat 

3. Simmer gently until fruit tender (10 to 20 mins) 

4. Add sugar and stir until dissolved 

5. Bring jam to boil and boil briskly for 10 to 15 mins 

(or until setting point is reached - test on cold plate) 

6. Remove stones as they rise to surface 

7. Draw pan away from heat. Stir in butter 

8. Pot and cover

Makes about 5 lbs of Jam

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Bramley Apple Cake 

A delicious cake to serve warm as a pudding 

Ingredients:

8 oz / 225g self raising flour 

1 level teaspoon baking powder 

grated rind of 1 lemon 

½ teaspoon mixed spice 

4 oz / 100g light muscovado sugar (brown) 

4 oz / 100g Sultanas 

4 oz / 100g soft margarine 

1 egg, beaten 

4 tablespoons milk 

1 lb / 450g bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped 

Topping: 1 tablespoon demerara sugar 

Method:

Heat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. lightly grease an 8 inch / 20 cm loose bottomed round cake tin. Measure all the ingredients into a large bowl and work together until thoroughly blended. Turn into the prepared tin. Level the top and bake in the oven for about 1 hour 20 minutes until golden brown and shrinking slightly from the sides of the tin. Cool for a few minutes in the tin, then turn out. Sprinkle the demerara sugar on top and serve warm with cream.

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Fruity Bonfires

Jane's top tip for this month, kids delight on bonfire night.

Serves 6. Preparation time 15 minutes

Ingredients:

294ml Double Cream 

4 x Crunchie Bars 

½ pineapple, peeled and chopped 

6 x Chocolate Flakes

Method:

1. Whip the cream until soft peaking. Break the Crunchies into small pieces and stir into the cream with the pineapple. 

2. Spoon the mixture onto 6 individual plates and mould into cone shapes. Then cut the flakes lengthways into pieces and stack around the desserts until attached to create a bonfire effect. 

Chill until ready to serve.

[WS Nov 2005]

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Hearts and Tarts

This month recipe is for all you Valentines.  

Ingredients:

225g (8oz) plain flour 

2 teasp. Cream of tartar 

½ teasp. Baking soda 

½ teasp. Salt 

30g (1oz) caster sugar 

30g (1oz) fat 

1 egg, beaten 

3 to 4 tablesp. Milk 

Method:

Sieve the plain flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and caster sugar together. Cut and rub in the fat; add the beaten egg and 3 to 4 tablesp. milk to mix to a firm but soft dough. Roll the pastry out to a thickness of 10mm (¾ in.), then cut out half the quantity with a heart-shaped cutter and the remainder with a fluted pastry cutter, and place in a tartlet or patty tin. Prick lightly with a fork, then allow 10 to 15 minutes in the fridge to relax before baking at 160°C (325°F or gas 3) for 10 to 15 minutes. 

Decorate the heart-shaped biscuits with whipped cream and strawberries, and the tartlets with summer fruits to which have been added the rind and juice of half a lemon and an orange, and a sprig of apple mint.

[WS Feb 2006]

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Fruity Meringue Crush

Serves 6, prepared in 15 mins and no cooking.

Ingredients:

500g carton fromage frais

4 tbsp lemon curd

8 meringue nests

200g/8oz seedless grapes, halved

3 kiwi fruit, peeled, quartered and sliced

Method:

1. Spoon the fromage frais into a bowl, then stir in all of the lemon curd. 

2. Roughly crumble the meringue nests-reserve a few larger pieces for decoration-and mix the rest into the fromage frais mixture. 

3. Set aside one third of the fruit and divide the rest between 6 glasses. 

4. Spoon the fromage frais over the fruit, then decorate with reserved fruit and meringue. Chill until ready to serve.

[WS Mar 2006]

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Cherry & Almond Easter Cup Cakes

Recipe for 12 Cherry & Almond Easter Cup Cakes

Ingredients:

125g Marg/Butter          
85g Caster Sugar         
2 Large eggs, beaten
125g Self-raising flour
1 tsp Baking powder
Zest of ½ an Orange + 1 tbsp Juice
125g Grated Marzipan (easier if chilled first)
100g Glace Cherries

 

Decoration:

50g Icing sugar

36 chocolate mini eggs

 

Method:

Heat oven to 180c gas mark 4. In a bowl beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, flour, baking powder, orange zest and juice. Beat well till thick creamy and evenly mixed. Toss cherries in a little flour, then fold into the mixture with the marzipan. Divide mixture evenly into 12 cup cake cases. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until well risen and golden. When cold cover with icing and place 3 mini chocolate eggs on each. ENJOY!

[WS Apr 2006]

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Pizza Chicken Melts

Serves 2 (easily doubled)

Ingredients:

2 small skinless, boneless chicken breasts 1 tbsp olive oil 50g/2oz cheddar cheese 4 cherry tomatoes 2 tsp pesto sauce (or more to your own taste)

Method:

Sandwich the chicken between two food bags and beat them firmly with a rolling pin to flatten them by a third. Heat the oil in a medium frying pan, add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through. While the chicken cooks grate the cheese, quarter the tomatoes and pre heat the grill to high. Place the chicken in an ovenproof dish. Spread each chicken breast with a teaspoon of pesto, then pile cheese and tomatoes on top. Place under the hot grill for a few minutes until the cheese has melted. Serve with your favourite green vegetable or salad.

[WS May 2006]

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Croque Monsieur

Croque Monsieur is made of sandwich bread, ham and cheese. Butter a slice of sandwich bread, add a slice of ham then a slice of semi-soft cheese and finally cover with another slice of sandwich bread. Top with more cheese. Put in oven for 10 minutes and serve right away (the bread will toast and the cheese will melt).

[WS September 2006]

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Pumpkin Biscuits
This month recipe is 1001 things to do with pumpkin.
Well 2 anyway!!

 

1. Hollow out the pumpkin and cut out 2 eyes a nose and mouth of a scary feature place a tee tree candle in it and put out side on Halloween night.

 

2. Pumpkin Biscuits Makes 16 (2-inch) biscuits

2 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into thin slices
1 (15-ounce) pumpkin


Put a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 200 degrees. Gas mark 6 Grease a cookie sheet. In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture looks like cornmeal. Stir in the pumpkin until you have a soft dough.

On a well-floured surface, with well-floured hands, pat out dough into an 8- by 8-inch square, 1 inch thick. Cut dough into 16 (2-inch) squares and transfer to the cookie sheet.


Bake the biscuits for 20 minutes. Because they're already brownish to start with, you may need to break one open to see if they're done, they'll be soft and moist in the centre but cooked through. Serve hot.

[WS October 2006]

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Christmas Wine Cake

Ingredients:  

6 oz. sultanas

6 oz. raisins

4 oz. currants

3 oz. glace cherries

3 oz. mixed peel

¼ pint or more of sherry

6 oz. butter

6 oz. soft brown sugar

4  standard eggs

4 oz. self-raising flour

4 oz. plain flour

pinch of salt

1 tsp. mixed spice

1 oz. ground almonds

Method:

Equipment: 8" round or 7" square tin, greased and lined with double thickness of greaseproof paper. Cooking time 1 hour at 325º F, mark 3, then 1½ hours at 300º F, mark 2 or equivalents. About 1 week before making the cake mix together the fruit, quartered cherries and peel. Pour over the sherry and mix well. Leave to soak, stirring frequently (at least once a day). Grease and line tin and heat oven.
Drain off any liquor from the fruit mixture and save it. Cream together butter and sugar until soft and fluffy. Gradually mix in beaten eggs, fold in the flours, mixed spice, salt and ground almonds.  Add the drained fruit and mix well. Put into prepared tin, smooth and bake for 1 hour. Cover with foil and cook for remaining time. Test during last ½ hour of cooking time as ovens vary. Leave to stand in tin until almost cold. Remove from tin and allow to cool completely then turn cake upside down and prick the bottom well, pour on the saved liquor and leave to soak in. Wrap cake in greaseproof or foil and allow to stand for about 6 weeks. It can be frozen very successfully. 

[WS November 2006]

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Banana Roll-Over Pancakes
 

Ingredients:  

100g / 4oz plain flour 3 large bananas
pinch of salt Greek style yogurt
1 egg (size 3) Maple Syrup
300ml / ½ pint milk Chocolate Sauce

 

Method:

Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and break in the egg and half the liquid. With a whisk or wooden spoon, gradually stir the flour into the egg and liquid. Add more liquid as you stir in the flour until you have the consistency of single cream. When all the liquid is added, beat or whisk hard to remove any lumps. Cook 6 pancakes. Peel and cut the bananas along their length. Place half in the centre of each pancake. Pour over a little maple syrup and roll up.


Reheat in a microwave on high setting. (3 pancakes take 1 minute in a 650watt microwave adjust the cooking time for different outputs).
 

Pour over Greek yogurt and drizzle with chocolate sauce.

[WS February 2007]

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Easter Biscuits

Ingredients

110g/4oz caster sugar            Good pinch mixed spice
110g/4oz butter                    55g/2oz currants
1 egg, separated                     30g/1oz candied peel
225g/8oz plain flour             3 tbsp milk
a little extra caster sugar, to finish

 

Method
1. Preheat the oven 160C/325F/Gas 3 and grease a baking sheet.
2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy and beat in the

    egg yolk.
3. Sieve the flour and fold into the mixture together with the mixed

    spice, currants and candied peel. Add just enough milk to make

    a stiff dough.
4. Roll out the dough and cut out the biscuits into an interesting  

    Easter shape. Place them on the prepared baking sheet and

    bake for about 10 minutes.
5. Remove, brush with the egg white, sprinkle with sugar and return

    to the oven for 5-10 minutes until they are a pale golden brown.
6. Remove from the tray and cool on a wire rack.

 

Preparation time less than 30 mins. Cooking time 10 to 30 mins.

Makes 20-25 biscuits

 

[WS March 2007]

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Ice Cream Pancake with Hot Mincemeat Sauce

Pancake.                                Hot Mincemeat filling.

100g / 4oz plain flour               225g/8oz mincemeat

pinch of salt                             45ml/3tbsp brandy

1 egg (size 3)                          45ml/3tbps Golden Syrup

300ml / ½ pint milk                 50g/2oz grapes (halved)

                                                225g/8oz vanilla ice cream

 

Method: Make your pancakes from the ingredients above.

In another pan heat together the mincemeat, brandy and syrup, remove from the heat and stir in the grapes. Spread a spoonful of filling on to a pancake, fold pancake over in half and then half again and place a scoop of ice cream on your fan shaped pancake.

[WS Feb 2008]

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Lemon & Orange Marmalade Easter Cake

 

Ingredients:

100g/4oz butter

 

1tbsp lemon juice

50g/2oz raisins

 

grated zest 1 orange

225g/8oz self raising flour

 

2 tbsp chunky marmalade

50g/2oz mixed peel

 

1 tsp mixed spice

100g/4oz caster sugar

 

175ml/6fl.oz milk

½ tsp salt grated zest

 

1 tbsp Demerara sugar

1 lemon

   

 

Method:

1. Heat oven to 180c / gas 4. Grease a 900g/2lb loaf tin, line with greaseproof paper and brush with oil. In a mixing bowl rub the butter into the flour until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, lemon and orange zest, mixed spice, raisins, mixed peel and salt mix well.

 

2. In a separate bowl, mix the lemon juice with the marmalade. Working quickly, pour the milk and the lemon juice and marmalade mixture into the cake ingredients and stir well. The mixture should be soft enough to fall slowly from the spoon. Add a little more milk if needed.

 

3. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin. Level the surface with the back of a spoon, sprinkle with the demerara sugar and bake for 40 minutes. Reduce the oven to 160c/gas 3 and bake for further 20 minutes or until the centre of the cake is firm and a skewer comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out onto wire rack.

 

4. To ice your cake, sift 140g/5oz icing sugar into a bowl and mix in 1 tbsp lemon or orange juice to form a smooth, stiff paste. Drizzle over the cake and leave to harden.

[WS Mar 2008]

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Christmas Pudding

Made on Stir-up Sunday 23rd November
 

Ingredients:
225g/8oz golden caster sugar.

225g/8oz vegetarian suet
340g/12oz sultanas.

340g/12oz raisins
120g/4oz chopped candied peel

225g/8oz currants.
120g/4oz fresh white breadcrumbs

120g/4oz plain flour.
60g/2oz flaked almonds.

Zest of 1 lemon
5 eggs, beaten.

1 level tsp ground cinnamon
1 level tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1 level tsp mixed spice.
Pinch of salt

150ml/5fl oz brandy or rum

 

Mix together all the dry ingredients.
Stir in the eggs and brandy and then all have a stir and make a wish. Turn the mix into 4 x 1pint or 2 x 2 pint lightly-greased pudding basins. Put a circle of baking parchment and foil over the top of each basin and tie securely with string. Make a string handle from one side of the basin to the other so it's easier to pick the basin out of the pan after cooking. Put the basins in a large steamer of boiling water and cover with a lid. Boil for 5 to 6 hours, topping the boiling water up from time to time if necessary. If you don't have a steamer, put the basins in a large pan on inverted saucers on the base. Pour in boiling water to come a third of the way up the sides of the pudding bowls. Cover and steam as before. Cool. Change the baking parchment and foil covers for fresh ones and tie up as before. Store in a cool cupboard until Christmas Day. To serve the pudding on Christmas Day, steam for 2 hours and serve with brandy butter, rum sauce, cream or home-made custard.
ENJOY.

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Traditional Pancakes
 

Ingredients:

100g/4oz plain flour

pinch of salt
1 egg (size 3)

300ml ½ pt milk

 

Method: Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and break in the egg. Add half of the liquid. With a whisk or wooden spoon, gradually stir the flour into the egg and liquid. Add more liquid as you stir in more flour until the consistency is that of single cream. When all the liquid is added, beat or whisk hard to remove any lumps.

 

The Art of cooking the perfect pancake:
1. Pour the batter into a jug, this makes coating the pan easier.
2. Before cooking the first pancake pour ½ teaspoon of cooking oil into the pan. There is no need to oil the pan again until the forth or fifth pancake has been cooked.
3. On a medium high setting, heat the pan until thoroughly hot, taking care not to overheat.
4. For each pancake, pour enough batter to spread a thin film across the pan. At the same time, turn clockwise and tilt gently.
5. When bubbles start to appear and the pancake begins to set, remove from heat and shake the pan to loosen. If necessary, loosen with a non-stick coated palette knife or wooden spatula. Allow to cook until golden brown on one side.
6. To toss first quickly jerk the pancake forward to loosen it, then, using your wrist, toss with a quick movement upwards, outward and back. Catch the pancake in the pan so that the uncooked side is underneath. If you don’t feel confident tossing pancakes, slip a palette knife right under the pancake and turn it.
7. Cook the turned side until golden brown and serve

[WS Feb 2009]

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Easter Hot Cross Buns
 

Ingredients:
500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
1 ½tsp salt
75g caster sugar
7g sachet dried yeast
300ml mixed milk and water
150g sultanas
zest of 2 Oranges For the glaze:
80g mixed peel 50g sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon 50ml water

 

Method:

1. Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a bowl. Slowly add enough of the milk and water mix to achieve pliable dough. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead well for 5 minutes, then put the dough back into the bowl and leave to rise for 1 hour.
2. Incorporate the sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest and cinnamon into the dough and leave to rise for 1 hour.
3. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Divide the dough into 75g pieces and roll each into a ball. Put them on a baking tray and leave to rest for 1 hour.
4. Set the oven to 220°C/gas 8. Bake the buns for 25 minutes until golden brown. Combine the sugar and water together to make a syrup and brush this liberally all over the buns. Serve immediately.

Makes: 15-20 buns

 

[WS Apr 2009]

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Easter Biscuits (2)
A simple Easter recipe that all the family can join in and make
Ingredients
85g (3½oz) sugar ½ x 5ml spoon (teaspoon) mixed spice
85g (3½oz) butter 170g (6½oz) plain flour
1 egg yolk Small amount of milk (if required)
45g (1¾ oz) currants (optional) a pinch of salt
Making and cooking it
Pre heat oven to 200°C/400°f/Gas Mark 6. Cream together the sugar and butter, beat in the egg and add, a little at a time, the currants (optional) and other dry ingredients. Mix to a stiff dough, use a little milk if the dough if too stiff. Roll out on a floured surface to about 3mm (1/8") thickness. Prick all over (with a fork). Cut into rounds using a 7.5cm (3") round crinkly biscuit cutter (or the top of a cup if no cutters are available) Grease a baking tray, bake for about 20 minutes until they are lightly coloured. Take out of the oven, leave for 1 minute, then place biscuits on a wire rack until cold and crisp.
Makes 8 to 12 biscuits. This is a vegetarian recipe

Food At Easter
After the lean months of winter and the fast weeks of Lent, food at Easter was always a special treat. Easter day, like Christmas day, is also associated with special food. Boiled eggs are traditionally served at breakfast, then Easter cards and gifts may be exchanged. (Easter cards arrived in Victorian England, when a stationer added a greeting to a drawing of a rabbit. The cards proved popular.)
Roast lamb is the traditional meat for the main meal on Easter Day. It is served with mint sauce and vegetables. The traditional Easter pudding is custard tarts sprinkled with currants and flat Easter biscuits. Simnel cake is baked for tea. The Simnel cake is a rich fruitcake covered with a thick layer of almond paste (marzipan). A layer of marzipan is also traditionally baked into the middle of the cake. Eleven balls of marzipan are placed around the top to represent the eleven true disciples (excluding Judas). Originally the simnel cake was a gift to mothers on Mothering Sunday.

 

Why Do We Have Eggs At Easter?
Eggs were/are a forbidden food during Lent, making them a welcome return to the menu on Easter Day.
The first eggs given at Easter were birds eggs. These eggs were painted in bright colours to give them further meaning as a gift. As chocolate became more widespread in the 20th Century, a chocolate version of the traditional painted egg was developed. The size of the chocolate egg has grown over the years and is now more likely to be the size of an ostrich egg rather than a small birds egg.

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Two simple recipes for the BBQ

Chicken and Apricot Kebabs
2 large peppers cut into squares of about 1 inch
1 pound of chicken fillets cut into cubes
16 ready to eat apricots
16 small shallots             
8 bamboo skewers
 

For the Glaze
1 tablespoon of korma curry paste
2 tablespoons of water
2 tablespoons of clear honey
2 tablespoons of mustard
1 tablespoon of cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of mango chutney

1 garlic clove

1 tablespoon of olive oil

 

Mix all the glaze ingredients together.

Starting with the chicken and alternating them with 2 apricots, 2 shallots and 4 pieces of pepper thread onto the bamboo stick. You will use approx 5 pieces of chicken altogether on one stick. Cook over a hot barbeque for about 10 minutes turning frequently. Baste with the glaze during the last 5 minutes giving you a delicious sweet apricot chicken kebab,

 

Stuffed Peppers
This is pretty simple, just pre boil some rice, cut the tops off  your peppers, place the rice into a bowl, add cooked bacon bits, grated emantal and cheddar cheese. Season to taste, stuff the peppers with the mixture and replace the lid of the pepper back on to hold in the flavour. Wrap in tin foil and place on the back of the bbq, turning once in a while. Once everything else is cooked the peppers will be very soft and melt in the mouth. 

[WS Sep 2009]

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Christmas Cake
Have you made it yet? NO! There is only 8 weeks to go you know… Try this one

 
6oz Sultanas
6oz Raisins
4oz Currants
3oz Glace Cherries
3oz Mixed peel
¼ Pint Sherry
6oz Butter
6oz Soft Brown Sugar
4 Eggs
4oz S.R. Flour
4oz Plain Flour
Pinch of Salt
½ tsp. Mixed spice
1oz Ground almonds
 

Makes 8” round or 7” square tin. Cooking time 1 hour at 140ºC / 325ºF. Then 1½ hours at 130ºC / 300ºF.
 

About a week before making cake, mix together all the dried fruit, peel and ¼ the cherries. Pour over the sherry cover and leave to soak, stir regularly until required. Drain off the liquor from the fruit and save it. Grease and line the tin with double greaseproof paper. Heat oven. Cream together butter and sugar until soft and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs. Fold in flours, salt, mixed spice and ground almonds. Add drained fruit to mixture and stir until well blended. Pour into prepared tin and bake for first hour, cover with foil and cook for remaining time at the reduced temp. leave to stand in tin until nearly cold. Remove from tin turn over and prick the bottom of the cake, then pour over the juice from the fruit and leave to soak into cake. Store for 5 to 6 weeks to mature. Then marzipan and ice for Christmas.

 

[WS Nov 2009]

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Summer Puds For Kids

Baked Apples and Ice Cream

Ingredients:

1 apple, cored

2 tbsp. raisins

1/2 c. light vanilla ice cream

pinch of cinnamon

Directions:

1. Take a cored apple and cut it in half.

2. Sprinkle raisins over the apple.

3. Place on a baking sheet and bake it in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius).

4. Remove the sheet from the oven and put a pinch of cinnamon over each apple half.

5. Place the ice cream over the apple halves.

Serves 1.

Banana Wrap

Ingredients:

8 inch flour tortilla

2-3 tablespoons peanut butter

2-3 tablespoons jam

1 small banana, peeled

Directions:

Place tortilla on a paper towel, microwave on high for 10 to 20 seconds until tortilla is soft and warm. Spread with peanut butter and then top with jam. Place banana near the right edge of the tortilla. Fold up the bottom 1/4 of tortilla. Bring right edge over the banana and roll up.  

[WS June 2010]

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Halloween Recipes
Freaky fingers
100g caster sugar
100g butter
1 egg yolk
200g plain flour
½ tsp vanilla extract
20 blanched almonds
Red food colouring
Brain balls
85g popping corn
1 tbsp vegetable oil,
(plus extra for shaping)
25g butter
85g marshmallows


For the freaky fingers, place the first five ingredients and a pinch of salt in a food processor and whizz just until a ball of dough forms. Tear off a golf ball-size piece of dough and use your hands to roll into finger-size cylinders - you should get about 20. Place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment - a little apart as they will spread during baking. Use a knife to make a few cuts, close together, for the knuckles. Place an almond at the end of each finger and trim away excess pastry around the edge to neaten. Place in the fridge for 30 mins, heat oven to 180C/160F/Gas 4, then bake for 10-12 mins just until firm. Leave to cool a little and then paint the almond with food colouring, if you like.


For the brain balls, place the popping corn and vegetable oil in a large pan set over a medium heat. Stir the kernels around the pan to coat in the oil. When the kernels starts to pop, place a lid firmly on top and turn the heat down to low. Cook, shaking the pan often to stop the popcorn burning or sticking, until the corn has stopped popping, about 5 mins. Tip into a bowl, discarding any unopened kernels. Heat butter and marshmallows over a low heat until melted. Pour over popcorn and mix well until coated. Lightly rub oil over your hands and shape the popcorn into small balls. Set aside on a tray lined with baking parchment and leave to set.

[WS Oct 2010]

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Simnel Cake

Celebrate Easter in traditional fashion with a classic marzipan-topped simnel cake

Prep time: 30 min. Cook time: 2hrs 30min. Makes one 20cm cake

Ingredients

 225g butter, softened

 225g sugar

 4 eggs

 225g plain flour

 225g sultanas

 110g currants

 110g glacé cherries, quartered

 grated zest of 2 oranges

 grated zest of 2 lemons

 2 tsp ground cinnamon

 450g almond paste

 2 tbsp apricot jam

 1 egg, beaten

 

Follow steps 1 to 8.

1. Pre-heat oven to 150°C /gas 2.

2. Place the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, sultanas, currants, glace cherries, orange zest, lemon zest and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl and beat together until thoroughly blended.

3. Place half the mixture in a buttered and lined 20cm deep round cake tin and level the surface.

4. Take one-third of the almond paste and roll it out into a circle the size of the tin. Place it on top of the cake mixture. Spoon the remaining cake mixture over and smooth the surface.

5. Bake the cake for about 2 hours 30 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch. Cover with foil after 1 hour if the top is browning too quickly. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

6. When the cake has cooled, brush the top with the warmed apricot jam and roll out half of the remaining almond paste to fit the top. Press firmly on the top and crimp the edges to decorate.

7. Mark a criss-cross pattern on the almond paste with a sharp knife. Form the remaining almond paste into 12 balls (to represent the 12 apostles). Arrange the balls around the outside.

8. Preheat the grill. Place the cake under the preheated grill to turn the almond paste golden.

[WS Mar 2013]

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Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy Pancake Recipe

Put the pasta bake back in the fridge, tonight's dinner should be entirely batter-based. Grab the eggs, flour and milk, and whip up a total storm in the kitchen this Shrove Tuesday with an easy peasy, lemon squeezy pancake recipe. Gather your ingredients:

4oz plain floor, sifted

Pinch of salt

1 egg

½pt milk

2oz butter

Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the flour, add the egg and whisk. Gradually whisk in the milk. Melt the butter. Grease the pancake pan with the melted butter, (repeat for each pancake). Pour in the batter. Once one side is cooked flip the pancake over. If you’re feeling adventurous, forget the spatula flip and toss the pancake instead. Now cook on the other side. Keep the cooked pancakes warm by stacking them with kitchen roll. (Unless you’re eating them as fast as you can cook them). Lemon and sugar is the classic combo but you a free to go crazy with your topping, banana, choc spread, berries, ice cream, syrup, jam, sprinkles, go mad experiment with whatever you have in the cupboard.

[WS Feb 2016]

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Witham Staple Web Editor can be contacted by e-mail: info@withamstaple.com