Saturday, 30 January 2016


I do enjoy our traditional old recipes and this is just a wonderful dish, at the very least over 100 years old.

Quoting my old 1920s Cornish Recipes book “Make a good pasty crust, mash potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Spread them over the top of the crust and lay strips of [pickled] pork over it and put in the oven to brown it. Some people mix cream with the potatoes”.  Well, I will put a spoonful of clotted cream into the mash then.

I read this out to my husband and he thinks it sounds good!! I am making it for his lunch! I am not sure about the pork and what exactly they mean, so I decide to use strips of belly pork. Near enough, I think. [Pickled pork was probably pork preserved in brine, or similar]

Do I part bake the crust before spreading the mash over it? I do not want a soggy bottom!

I decide to make the crust using 4 oz plain flour, 1 oz lard and 1 oz of suet [Atora], sea salt and pepper all mixed with a little very cold water. Allow to rest for half an hour, then roll the crust into a circle and turn in the edges, making a little raised rim to keep in the mashed potato. I prick the base with a fork and brush the whole with beaten egg then pop it into a hot oven to half cook. About 15 - 20 mins. Pics on my Blog.

I peel and boil about 3 medium potatoes, then mash as instructed. When the pastry comes out of the oven I fork the mash over the crust, leaving little ridges to brown. Meanwhile I take the belly pork and brown both sides in a hot pan for a few minutes. Then arrange them on top of the mash. Season well, once more with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

I baked it in a hot oven 200 deg C for around 45 minutes, until the potato and crust were golden and nicely browned.

The verdict? My husband loved it, but then he loves all old fashioned meat and potato food! But it was very tasty. But why did it die out? Or is there folk who still make it to this day? I think I will carry on the tradition.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016


I love using veggies in cakes, it makes them moist and so soft and full of flavour. This recipe is “all in one”, so is made in a tick. I think I had this made, cooled and iced in less than an hour and a half. It can also be a sneaky way of getting kids to eat veggies! Courgettes are very easy to grate too. More veggie cakes over the winter!

you will need a 7” sponge tin, not too shallow, lightly oiled and the base lined. or - I used a nifty small bundt tin, bought a few weeks ago in Lidl for an incredible £2.49. Their baking bargains are just fantastic! Pre heat your fan oven to 160C

1 med courgette, washed but unpeeled, grated

Have some strong kitchen paper handy and place the grated veg on top, then fold it up and take it to the sink, squeezing out the excess moisture. It is now ready to use.

In a mixing bowl, place:

2 large eggs, beaten
6 oz SR flour
pinch baking  powder
pinch bicarbonate of soda
5 oz caster sugar
3 fl oz sunflower oil
the zest of a lemon and a lime

Mix well for a minute or two, it is far easier with an electric hand mixer. Now tip in your courgette and stir until well mixed. Tip into your prepared tin and bake for about 35 - 40 mins. Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then place on a rack. 

Meanwhile, juice the lime and mix with a little of the juice with icing sugar to make a lime drizzle. When cool, drizzle the lime icing over the cake. Just delicious. I also added an extra kick with Sainsbury’s excellent candied lemon, chopped and a little kore lime zest.

Absolutely scrumptious.

You can also make little buns with this mixture! Just adjust timings.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Old Fashioned Moist Boiled Fruit Cake

Please don’t be put off by the main ingredient! It makes the most moist and wonderful, unusual textured fruit cake, that I guarantee you will love! I tried to take as close a photo as possible to show you! It is a very easy recipe but does need some thinking ahead. Clarifying the dripping is very easy….. most blocks of dripping sold these days are more or less pure, but this does take out any impurities, plus it softens the fat.

The day before you make your cake, take your required amount of dripping, plus a little extra and place it in a large pyrex jug in the microwave to melt. Pour over about double the quantity of boiling water and whisk well. Leave to cool and set. Take off the solid dripping from the top, making sure you don’t add any impurities. That’s it! Throw the rest away.

Place in a medium/large saucepan: [still the day before]

3½ oz of clarified dripping
12 oz dried mixed fruit [I soak it for a couple of hours in a little splash of brandy!]
5 oz soft dark brown sugar
the grated zest of an orange
juice from the orange and water, made up to 8 fl oz in total

Bring the fruit mix to the boil, stirring until the sugar has melted! Leave leave to cool overnight.

Next day! Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin [I always leave the parchment hanging over the long sides to help lift it out]. Then pre heat your fan oven to 160C.


9 oz plain flour [sifted - important]
1 teaspoonful baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon mixed spice [or more if you wish]
3 large eggs, beaten well

Mix until well combined, then pour into your prepared tin. Bake for about 1 hour, maybe 10 mins longer, but reduce the temperature then. Cool in the tin for at least 20 mins, before cooling on a rack.

Just lovely. Almost puddingy. Enjoy!! Great with custard too.