Lemon Curd

Today’s British Pantry features oft-neglected cousin of jam and jelly that deserves its turn in the spotlight. So today’s post is all about the sharp, sweet, buttery spread that is Lemon Curd.

Taking all the goodness that a lemon has to offer, lemon curd mixes the juice and zest with sugar and butter. After just the right amount of heating and stirring, you end up with a custard-like sauce that explodes into an intense spectrum of flavors upon contact with the tongue.

Traditionally served with bread or scones for afternoon tea, it works just as well in a lemon meringue pie. And if you don’t want to make it at home, we sell the very best stuff England has to offer from the fabulous preserve makers at Tiptree’s. Give us a call on 212-989-9735, or send us an email at info@teaandsympathynewyork.com if you’d like us to ship this or other British products to you.

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Pie, Mash & Jellied Eels – A True Cockney Dinner

Since launching our rhyming slang contest on Tuesday, we seem to have stuck with the cockney theme. We always share a recipe or food feature towards the end of the week, so today’s offering is a proper plate of East London grub… and trust us, you’re in for a treat!

The streets of the traditionally working-class areas of east and south London used to be packed with pie and mash shops, of which sadly only a few still remain. Doing what they say on the tin, these establishments have served up minced beef and onion pies with mashed potatoes since the 1800’s.

But the item on the menu which catches most people’s eye, and is certainly the most peculiar, is jellied eels. Despite many people’s disbelief, they are pretty self-explanatory: eels in jelly.

The most commonly found, and thus cheapest, fish in the Thames, they were set in gelatine to draw out the toxicity of the polluted river. The liquid they are cooked in is mixed with parsley into a sauce (or ‘liquor) which is poured over the pie and mash. Delicious!

Our cockney rhyming slang contest is running until next Tuesday. Let us know your favorite term (either made up or real) and the best will win tea and scones for two and a tin of Rosie Lee tea to take home. Wishing you the best of Donald Duck (luck)!

Apples and pears…. stairs!

Bakewell Tart

We’ve been truly blown away by the response to our St. George’s Day competition over on facebook. To celebrate England’s patron saint, we asked you to post your best vacation pictures from dear old Blighty and, from Lands End to John o’Groats, they’ve really captured the varied beauty of the place. With this in mind, this weekend’s recipe is a gem from one of England’s hidden corner. Along with Cornish pasties and Lancashire hotpot, this is provincial English cooking at its best.

Bakewell tart

This tart is thought to have originated at the Rutland Arms in Bakewell, Derbyshire. The legend goes that an inexperienced cook accidentally omitted the flour in an almond sponge. It should be served at room temperature and does not need any sauce or  custard.

Serves 10-12
Preparation time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

1/2lb Sweet pastry
2 tablespoons raspberry jam
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup ground almonds
1 tablespoon flour
A few drops of almond extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
About 2 tablespoons water
Glacé cherries (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Place a baking tray large enough to hold a 9-inch pie dish in the oven.
  • Line the pie dish with the sweet pastry and spread the jam evenly over the bottom of the pastry.
  • Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until thick and pale. Add the eggs a little at a time, then add the almond extract. Fold in the flour and ground almonds and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour the mixture into the pastry and bake for 40 minutes or until the filling is just set and browned.
  • Place the tart on the baking sheet while it is cooking.
  • When the tart is cool, mix the confectioners’ sugar with the water, pour over the top of the cake, and let set. Garnish with glacé cherries, if you like.

We’ll be announcing the winner of the competition tomorrow morning, so you still have time to enter. Check out our Pinterest account to see all the pictures in one place and remember, all our recipes are available in our cookbook. You can order a copy via email (info@teaandsympathynewyork.com), or by phone (212-989-9735).

Cornish Pasties: Something for the Weekend!

As promised in our St. Piran’s Day post, here’s our recipe for Cornish pasties. Well worth going the extra mile and making your own pastry, these wholesome meaty treats are traditionally eaten with your hands and are great for snacks or lunches. Serve with a side salad, coleslaw or mash and baked beans on those days when you need a lift!

Cornish Pasty

Serves 6-8
Preparation Time: 2 1/2 hours

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and diced
2 small carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 lbs ground lamb (or beef, if preferred)
3 medium potatoes, peeled and finely sliced
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence or chopped mixed herbs
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 pinches English mustard powder (optional)
1 egg
Salt and pepper
Double recipe of shortcrust pastry

  • To prepare the filling: sauté the onions in the oil until they are soft.
  • Add the lamb and cook for 15 minutes. Add the herbs, Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Cook on a low hear, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Add the carrots for the last 5 minutes of cooking, stirring constantly.
  • Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until they are tender.
  • Season the lamb mixture with salt and pepper to taste and add the cooked potatoes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • To prepare the pastry: Toll out the pastry to a thickness of 1/4 inch and cut into rounds about 6 inches across.
  • Divide the filling equally among the pastry rounds. Crimp the edges firmly together and make a small slit in the top to allow the steam to escape.
  • Brush with beaten egg and bake for 45-60 minutes, until golden brown.

 

Cornish Pasties, St. Piran’s Day, Rick Stein & Padstow

Happy St. Piran’s Day, everyone! Today marks the national day of Cornwall! If you’re feeling a little rough around the edges after a weekend on the town, or out of town, we have just the thing for you from this most delightful of English counties. Cornish pasties are quintessential comfort food: a nourishing mixture of minced meat and vegetables encased in hot, buttery pastry. You can’t help but be filled with a new lease of life once you get one of these between ya chops.

Characterised by their distinctive ridged crust, Cornish pasties were the chosen lunch of miners, who would hold the pastry ridge with their dirty hands, and discard after eating.

This also allows us to introduce one of our Great British food heroes. Rick Stein is a seafood chef and familiar face on British television. Passionate and unpretentious, you can’t help but be reminded of a favorite uncle as you watch him put together the perfect fish supper.

Rick Stein with his loyal Jack Russell Chalky, who accompanied him on his travels. Sadly, Chalky passed away in 2007.

After traveling the world through his numerous TV shows, he set up shop in the quaint Cornish village of Padstow, where he had spent childhood holidays. This loyalty served him well, as he now owns a seafood restaurant, a fish and chip shop, a cookery school, a fishmongers, and a patisserie and the town has been dubbed “Padstein”! If you ever find yourself in Cornwall, it is well worth going out of your way to try one of his famous Cornish pasties.

The picture-perfect Padstow harbor

We found this great video of “Cornish Nan” demonstrating how to make an authentic Cornish pasty. We’ll publish our recipe for these delightful morsels on Thursday, but if you can’t wait until then, we’ll be more than happy to deliver you one for lunch, or dinner. The pastry and filling are all handmade, and the final product is utterly delicious – if we do say so ourselves! Find us on Seamless, or give us a call on 212-989-9735.

Welsh Cakes: St David’s Day Recipe

In honour of St David’s Day this week’s recipe is for Welsh cakes. These flat cakes are similar to scones, except sweeter, denser, and packed with currants. They are traditionally cooked on a griddle, which is  similar to a frying pan, placed over a fire. Heavenly when sprinkled with sugar, sliced in half and spread thickly with butter!

Pat with sugar before serving!

We were going to use a Delia Smith recipe, but for autheticity’s sake, we went with one from the Welsh Griddle Company. According to them: “What categorises Welsh Pancakes is that they are made in a pile, well buttered, then cut down in wedges and eaten like a cake.” We’ve never tried them this way, but we certainly wouldn’t say no!

Welsh Cake Recipe

Pice ar y Maen (Welsh Cakes) Ingredients:
(250g) 8oz self-raising flour
(75g) 3 oz butter
(1/4 tsp) pinch of salt
(75g) 3 oz currants
(75g) 3oz caster sugar
1 egg
little milk (to mix)
extra caster sugar (to sprinkle)
¼ tsp of spice (optional)

Cooking Instructions
Rub the fat into the flour. Add the dry ingredients, then the egg the milk. Mix into a stiff paste. Roll out, cut into rounds and bake on a griddle over medium heat. When cold, sprinkle with extra caster sugar.

On the griddle.

And of course, there’s always Welsh Rarebit!

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus!  (Happy St. David’s Day!)