Thursday, 30 January 2014

Pineapple Boiled Fruit Cake

The third fruit cake!  Such a deliciously moist cake that is so easy to Bake!!  It was the first recipe I posted on my Blog [and deserves a re run] but have never put it on my FB page. It keeps for up to 4 weeks too. You start off with.....

A can of crushed Pineapple! 

Place this [Del Monte 435 gr] in a large saucepan, along with
4 oz butter
1 cup of castor sugar
1 lb mixed fruit
some peel and cherries to the weight of about 4 oz [or more fruit]
1 level teaspoon of cinnamon
1 level teaspoon mixed spice

Gently bring these to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 5 mins then allow to cool for about an hour, maybe a little less. [if desperate I have done it in 30 mins, but be very careful]

Now add:
2 cups of Self Raising flour
2 large beaten eggs

Tip into a prepared 8" tin or also cooks well in a 2lb loaf tin. This is often easier to slice. Whatever!
This recipe is so adaptable and behaves perfectly.

Bake in preheated fan oven 140 deg C for 1hour 45 mins or ten minutes longer for the loaf tin.  Check the top and turn down temp for last 15 mins.
Although scrummy as soon as it is cool, it does improve in a day or two.

I love using cups as a measurement and they are readily available for a pound or two. Very handy.
I think the UK cups weigh heavier than the US - you need to check on Google.

Monday, 27 January 2014


The second fruit cake post! This lovely recipe was given to me by Margaret from Penzance and it came from her great aunt Beattie from Paul. Beattie [Jordon] has long since passed away but her recipe lives on.

In a saucepan place:
4 oz butter
8 oz mixed fruit - anything you want
a cup of strong black tea

gently bring to the boil then set aside until almost cold. Add:

8 oz SR flour
4 oz sugar - any
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 large egg

Mix well and pour into a prepared tin. I lined the bottom and used a 6 inch round.
Bake in a preheated oven 150 deg C for 1 ¼ hours.

A really scrummy, yummy moist cake. Thank you Margaret.

There will be yet another in 3 or 4 days time. my fave..

Friday, 24 January 2014

HALF A POUND CAKE or Second Anchor

This recipe was given to me by my friend Atty and she nicknamed it “the second anchor”, as she would bake it for her husband and his friends to take with them when they went off sailing! As you will notice all the ingredients are half a pound!
The first of two very different fruit cakes I will give you over the next week.

½ lb caster sugar
½ lb butter
½ lb sultanas
½ lb currants
½ lb eggs
½ lb plain flour
½ teaspoon mixed spice
1 sherry glass of any booze [I like that!!]
Peel optional - I did use some, but not ½ lb

Prepare/line an 8 “ loose bottomed cake tin.

Cream the butter and sugar til light and fluffy, add the beaten eggs, one at a time. Mix all the dry ingredients together then add, along with your choice of booze. Rum? Brandy? Whiskey? each imparts its own flavour. Not sure if Gin would work though.

Bake for approx 3 hours in a very low oven, 120 deg C, perhaps covering for the last hour.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Cheese Scone Triangles

The first savoury scone recipe that I am posting. These are very different from any sweet scone mix. Over the next year I will give you some more. Scones are made in a jiffy and are great as a snack, eaten just warm with butter.

For 8 triangles - or one large “bun”, to tear apart.

6 oz SR Flour
Large pinch sea salt and plenty [if you like it] of freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
1½ oz butter

Place the above in a small mixing bowl and rub in the butter until it is like fine breadcrumbs. You know the routine.

2 oz mature strong cheddar, grated
1 beaten egg
3 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon any dried herbs. Thyme is just great. Or mixed herbs. Whatever. Herbs never fail to lift the flavour!
Red chilli flakes too, if you like the bite and kick!! [there are none in the photo! as my husband does not like it]. Unfortunately, I love anything chilli.

Bring together with a knife, then your hand, then gently knead on a floured surface, until the mix has been brought together. Roll out to about ½ inch and lift onto a baking tray. With a fine grater, cover with freshly grated parmesan, then a mere dusting of smoked sweet paprika. I love the flavour of smoked paprika!  With a large sharp knife, cut in half, then quarters, then eighths. You can leave it in one piece or cut right through, then ease the triangles apart.

Place in a preheated hot oven  220 deg C.
15 mins for singles or about 25 mins if left whole, turning down for the last five mins if browning too much. When cool cut apart, halve, then butter generously. Unlike ordinary scones these have egg in them and stay moist and soft for the next day! Yum.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Meaty Fuggan

As usual, I have very little to go on as I tackle this dish and will quote you my old recipe book. After scant instructions for the crust-

“roll into an oval shape, cut in half through the middle longways, pull cut abroad”
Well I think I understand that!
“fill with fresh meat [pork or beef] chopped and seasoned. Pinch edges of cut together and bake in a hot oven for 35-40 mins”
At least they have given some timings!
I set off and made the crust, not really knowing how much I would need, but it is easier to work with plenty than scraping by. Discarding a little pastry is not the end of the world.
8 oz plain flour
2 oz lard
2 oz suet.
A real old fashioned crust recipe, well used in the book.
Rub in the lard, add the suet and blend with a little very cold water. Chill for at least half an hour.

By seasoned, does it mean using a little onion or herbs as well as S&P? I decided to go for a little finely chopped shallot and some sage. Sage and pork, my choice, go so well together. Just plain meat will be far too bland, and our forebears loved spices and herbs!
I purposely did not buy pork mince. That would not have been available to our forebears so I bought some pork shoulder steaks and cut them up very very finely. That cut is more affordable than leg steaks, is flavourful, has some fat running through it [to add more flavour]. I think this would have been their choice. [fingers crossed].

I rolled out the crust to about 10 - 12 inches, 5 inches wide, so it was still thick enough to cut through. Then opened it out, I had a couple of little holes, so patched them! You need a steady hand to do it. In a bowl I had placed the chopped pork - about 1lb, sea salt and pepper and a heaped teaspoon of dried sage, along with the cooled, lightly fried, chopped shallot. Mix well.

Place on the pastry, the meat in a roll. See photos on my Blog. Close over and pinch the edges. I wanted to crimp but resisted the urge. I then brushed with a little beaten egg to give it a nice glaze, put a few lines on top and a little hole for the steam. Then baked in the stated hot oven. Starting off at 220 deg C for ten mins then turn down to 200. I baked it for about 50 mins, then lifted onto a rack to cool slightly before slicing. It was large, so I gave half to my daughter. We all really liked it and the Fuggan was very tasty.  And why not? Because, honestly - it is just a BIG sausage roll. Sorry ancestors! But this has now evolved into smaller individual bites!!!!!!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014


Another old recipe that is not in general use these days and not on my list of usual bakes. I find the smell and taste of Caraway seeds a little strong and not to my taste and my husband is not keen either. BUT I must bake it - and then find someone who will eat it !!! I do want this Blog to be a full record of our cuisine and cannot leave anything out because I don’t like it!

I refer to my old 1920s book, of course, and set off. This recipe uses the creaming method.

In a bowl:    [I am using my new KitchenAid that Santa left in my kitchen!! I am so lucky and it is just wonderful! I feel like a professional chef!] - I digress

3 oz softened butter
4 oz caster sugar
3 eggs, separated
½ lb plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 dessertspoon caraway seeds

Whisk the egg whites to a “stiff froth”. Cream the butter and sugar and add the egg yolks, then gradually add the flour, BP and seeds. Finally, cut and fold in the egg whites, in about 3 batches. An unusual method to mix cakes.

I used a lightly oiled, lined 7 inch springform tin. Tip into your tin and bake in a “moderate” oven for about 45 - 50 mins. I turned mine to 180 deg C and hoped for the best. It was just right, but I turned it down for the last 10 mins or so. It will be ready when firm to the touch.

I cut the cake to photograph it, when just cold and it did look lovely - shame about the smelly seeds! The texture was spongy, soft and moist. A great cake! I will try it again using another flavouring! Mike next door loved it!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Yeast Buns

This recipe, which belonged to my grandmother, is basically the same as my saffron bun recipe. Light and almost sponge like, it is very different from Saffron or Yeast Cakes, which have a higher fat content and a lower yeast content.

To make 12 buns:
 [why make 12? They freeze like a dream and the same amount of work goes into making double or triple]. To defrost just pop one in the microwave for a minute or so. Perfect.

In a small measuring jug filled with 9 fl oz of warm water and a teaspoon of sugar, crumble in 1 oz of fresh yeast and wait until it starts working.
If you are using dried active yeast - 1 sachet. Just whisk it into the water and sugar and wait.

1 lb of strong plain flour
2 oz lard
2 oz butter
pinch of salt.

Rub the fat into the flour until it has completely disappeared. Then add:

3 or 4 oz of castor sugar. This is to taste
Sultanas. The plumper and juicier the better. I have not given you a quantity, you may add however many you like, but please do not be too sparing.

Add the liquid to the flour mix and bring together, first with a knife and then your hands, then transfer to a floured surface and gently knead until smooth. Allow to rise in a warm corner until about double in size, then re knead, knocking out the air and cut into 12 and shape the buns, working the edges underneath. Put to rise once more for half an hour. 

Turn the oven to 180 deg C and bake for approx 20 mins. Yum Yum

Freeze in bags of 5 or 6 as soon as they are cold.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Roasted Tomato Soup

For me, this is the very best warming snack dish in the world. If I had to choose 1 dish [not counting ice cream!] then it would be this. I know my mother made and loved it and I cannot imagine our ancestors not making it in some form. If you have never tasted the amazing flavour of deep slow roasted vine ripened tomatoes, with olive oil, along with a few carrots to help sweeten and take away the acidity, then you have not lived. Nothing else, no fancy added ingredients! Canned or even “fresh” chilled soup bears little resemblance to the real thing.  I buy the tomatoes when they are on offer in Lidl [about one weekend a month] then make the soup in large batches and freeze them in single portions in small ziplok bags.

I have chosen the photo of the tomatoes, just out of the oven, before blitzing, to show the richness and deepness of colour. The flavour is literally oozing out of the picture. And it is so easy. But you do need a food processor or liquidiser.

For each large heavy based tray, I used 13 or 14 large vine tomatoes. [a snip when they are around £1.20 or less a kg]. Cut in half and spread over the tray.
Lots of fresh ground pepper, sea salt or sea salt flakes [kosher]. I use flakes for this, making sure each half has some.

Drizzle each half with a little olive oil - I use Light and Mild Filippo Berio [lovely oil]
2 med/large carrots, chopped big and tucked in between the tomatoes. Half a large Roscoff shallot, finely chopped and sprinkled plus a small teaspoon of dried Basil, sprinkled over. You can add some garlic, but I don’t.

Place in an oven, 170 Deg C for about an hour or a little more, until running with juices and starting to just blacken on the edges. Cool a little for ten minutes.

Mix up 2 pints of good vegetable stock. I use the stock pots. [as I have mentioned before!!]
M&S concentrated liquid stock is very good for this too. For the above mentioned amount this makes the soup quite thickish [perfect] but you could add a little more liquid if you like it runnier.

Divide the tomatoes in 2 and liquidise, along with 1 pint of stock, making sure you have half the juices from the tray in each batch. Don’t leave anything on the tray and scrap the lovely roasted dark bits stuck on the tray with a little of the stock. Blitz then tip into a measuring jug to bag up. Oh! WOW.

note: Choose the ripest tomatoes and smell them first. You cannot make this with cheap salad tomatoes that have been ripened in transit off the stalks. Lidl’s vine tomatoes really are very very good and a snip on offer.

Sunday, 5 January 2014


Another iconic traditional Cornish recipe whose roots are lost in the memories of our forebears, but this version stems from the older folk of Newlyn East - and that was in the 1920s! But they reckoned it was taught by the Phoenicians when they mined here. Who knows? But it is surely evidence of their influence. Squabs were originally pigeons [sometimes cormorants were also used] but these were replaced by mutton a long time ago…..

I am using my 1920s book, of course, and the ingredients “are according to size of the pie”.  I made a fairly small one - see photos on my Blog, feeding 2 or 3.

I could not get “mutton chops, with bones and fat removed” :)  so plumped for lamb leg steaks. The recipe also suggested boiling the bones for stock. I used a stock pot!

You need - Lamb, Apples, Onions, Currants, brown sugar, mixed spice, salt, stock. Pastry for crust.

I quartered and sliced a medium onion, peeled and quartered 2 apples and tossed them in lemon juice to keep their colour. Then assembled the rest.

In your pie dish, place a layer of lamb, a layer of sliced apples. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Then a layer of onions. Season well - I also used fresh ground pepper as well as sea salt.
Then a layer of currants, sprinkling over a little mixed spice. Another layer of lamb and finish with another layer of apples. Season once more and pour over some stock.

I do not have a “slow fire”  with which to boil the dish uncovered for 1½ hours. Maybe they needed that long because the mutton may have been tough! I popped my pie into my oven uncovered for 45 mins at 150 deg C.

Then I took out of my freezer a portion of Easy Peasy Puff Pastry [as used in Figgy ‘obbin].

The ingredients are a strange mix, I must admit and I have no idea what it will taste like, but as I type the smell is wonderful! 

I prepare and roll out the crust to top the squab pie, but allow the pie to cool for 15 mins before placing the pastry. Pop a slit in the centre then bake for about 30-40 mins at 200 C.
The book said 1 hour but these days our puff pastry cooks more quickly in our hot ovens.

Different, and a strange mix of sweet and savoury! My ‘guinea pigs” tucked in, [I served it with mashed potatoes and green beans] and thought it very unusual, the sweet ingredients overpowered the lamb and onions but not unpleasantly so, my husband who has a sweet tooth enjoyed it!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Raspberry Mousse from Lanhydrock

This beautiful, fresh, light and fruity dessert was served at Landydrock House, Bodmin on 11th July 1950 when luncheon was served to visiting King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. I made it for my guests on the Sunday before Christmas and we all loved it! It’s origins are probably not Cornish though, but I am definitely adopting it!

There was 6 of us and we had very generous portions, so it could easily feed 8 or 9.

1 pint of raspberry pulp - I was short after blitzing 3 packs so I made it up with red wine
6 oz caster sugar
3 large eggs, separated
juice of 2 lemons
1 pint of double cream, lightly whipped to soft peaks
sachet gelatine
few extra raspberries to decorate
clotted cream to serve - not really needed

In a large bowl, beat the yolks and sugar to a thick and pale cream.  In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Dissolve, then clear the gelatine as per the packet instructions then add to the lemon juice, then add that to the pulp, whisking with a hand whisk.

Tip all of that into the yolk mix, continue whisking, adding the whipped cream and lastly fold in the stiff egg whites.

Tip the mousse into glasses and chill. Decorate with a few fresh whole raspberries. Enjoy!

Fit for a King!