From Mum’s Old Recipe Book: Bread Pudding

Serves 6

Good way of using up left-over bread.

  • 12 oz (ounces) stale bread
  • 2 oz granulated sugar
  • 4 oz sultanas
  • 1 1b mincemeat (this is sweet – not minced/ground meat)
  • 4 level teaspoons mixed spice
  • 2 level tablespoons granulated sugar, for sprinkling
  • 7 inch square cake tin, greased and lined at the base

Cut the bread into one inch pieces. Put in a bowl and add enough cold water to cover the bread. Leave to soak for at least an hour. Drain well and squeeze out all the water.

Put the bread in a mixing bowl and beat in the sugar. Mix in the sultanas, mincemeat and mixed spice.

Moderate oven. Gas mark 4 or 350ºF/ 180º C.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 2 1/2 hours until golden. Cool slightly and remove from the tin, then sprinkle with granulated sugar. When cold, cut into squares. Can also serve warm with custard or cream.

Hector likes to live life on the edge!

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From Mum’s Old Recipe Book: [Godmother]’s Scrumptious Slice

I shall be seeing Godmother tomorrow, on yet another harrowing visit to Mum, which I will try to avoid writing about afterwards (sighs of relief, echoing around the globe…). However, I thought to mark the occasion I would include a recipe which Godmother originally passed on to Mum.

I don’t know whether Godmother christened them Scrumptious Slices or whether it was Mum who decided they were Scrumptious. I also have no idea what a Scrumptious Slice might look like when it comes out of the oven (please do report back if you decide to make them) and can’t post a picture of Godmother herself, so here is a fairy godmother instead.

SCRUMPTIOUS SLICE

  • 8 oz puff pastry
  • 8 oz marzipan
  • 3 oz glacé cherries
  • 3 oz dessicated cocoanut
  • 2 egg whites slightly beaten
  • 8 oz Cadbury Flakes (if you can’t get Cadbury Flakes, they are basically milk chocolate shaped into flaky log-things)
  • Caster sugar

Preheat oven to 230°C /450°F / Gas 8

Roll pastry out 10″ (inches) x 12″ rectangle. Roll marzipan to a slightly smaller rectangle and lay on top of pastry.

Chop cherries, mix with the cocoanut & add enough egg white to bind. Spread over the marzipan & lay Flakes in pairs down the centre (You may need to be a bit creative here if you are using an alternative to Cadbury’s Flake).

Dampen pastry edges – seal together lengthwise & then seal ends. Lift onto a greased baking sheet, ‘join’ side down. Brush with egg white, sprinkle with caster sugar.

Mark diagonal lines on top.

Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown.

Hmm, they do sound quite yummy whatever they look like! 🙂

From Mum’s Old Recipe Book: Somerset Apple Cake

  • 8 ounces self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 3 heaped tablepoons soft margarine (4 ounces)
  • 3 heaped tablespoons caster sugar (4 ounces)
  • 1 pound peeled, cored and diced apples
  • A little milk (if necessary)
  • 1 large beaten egg
  • Spoonful granulated sugar for garnishing
  • Mum has made a note: ‘add 2 ounces mixed chopped nuts’ – this may have been her own preference rather than an essentialapple

Grease and line 8″ (inch) cake tin. Sift flour and spice into bowl and rub in the margarine. Stir in caster sugar and chopped apples. Add beaten egg to make a spreading mixture. If it seems a little dry add some milk.

Turn into the tin and bake at 350ºF for 1 – 1 1/4 hours. Turn onto wire tray. Just before serving sprinkle the top with sugar.

🙂

From Mum’s Old Recipe Book: Christmas Morning Cranberry Muffins

I know it’s not Christmas, and I know I mentioned Christmas once before already this summer. Blame it on the patchwork. For some reason best known to Self-of-a-few-days-ago I am piecing some Christmas fabric at the moment. Presumably then-Self thought it would be an excellent ruse to try to sell Christmas cushion-covers or a Christmas quilt top in July/August. Who knows?

(Oh dear, five Christmases!)

However, that’s what they’re called, according to Mum. And after all who’s likely to be cooking muffins on Christmas Day itself? Need a few practice runs.

(Seven!)

CHRISTMAS MORNING CRANBERRY MUFFINS (eight, sorry)

  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

I had to look up ‘all purpose flour’. It’s is in Mum’s own handwriting but I notice everything’s in cups so this may originally have been an American or Canadian recipe. According to the internet British plain flour can be substituted for ‘all-purpose’ in all recipes, except bread.

  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsps (teaspoons) baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/4 tsp grated orange peel
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup melted margarine
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Coarsely chop cranberries. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar. Set aside.

In bowl stir together flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon & spice. Make a well in the centre.

Combine egg, orange peel, orange juice & melted butter. Add all at once to the flour mixture to moisten. Fold in cranberry mixture and nuts.

Fill greased muffin tins and bake at 375º F for 15-20 minutes or until golden.

From Mum’s Old Recipe Book: Mincemeat Bakewell

For the avoidance of doubt (as I often used to type in my legal days):

The kind of mincemeat to which this recipe refers comes in a jar, or it’s easy enough to home make. Although back in the 15th, 16th or 17th centuries the mincemeat that went into pies would have contained real meat – often venison – nowadays it is sweet, and does not.

According to Wikipedia, variants of mincemeat are found in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Europe, Ireland, South Africa, the UK and the US but in other parts of world it could be taken to mean minced or ground meat.

Eugh! please do not use minced meat.

For the avoidance of even more doubt:

This does not automatically mean it’s vegetarian. The suet used in the product’s manufacture could either be beef suet or some vegetarian alternative. You would need to check the label.

If that hasn’t put you off, here is the recipe for Mincemeat Bakewell:

Pastry

6 oz (ounces) plain flour

2 oz caster sugar

3 oz butter or marge (margarine)

2-3 tablespoons milk

Filling

12 oz mincemeat

4 oz butter or marge

4 oz caster sugar

2 medium eggs, beaten

2 oz self-raising flour

4 oz ground almonds

1 tablespoon milk

2-3 drops almond essence

1 oz flaked almonds

Little icing sugar for sifting, optional

9 inch fluted tin, lightly greased

Oven: moderate – Gas Mark 5 or 375ºF/190ºC

Pastry:

Sift together the flour and sugar. Rub in butter or marge until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add enough milk to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly-floured surface, knead gently then roll out and line the tin. Chill for 15 mins (the pastry, that is).

Filling:

Spread the mincemeat over the pastry base.

Cream the butter, marge and sugar together. Beat in the eggs. Fold in the flour, ground almonds, milk and almond essence. Spread this over the mincemeat. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds.

Bake in centre oven about 50 mins or until firm. Sift with icing sugar if liked.

From Mum’s Old Recipe Book: Mystery Sister Tea Brack

I’ve called it that because it’s in one of the sisters’ handwriting but I can’t decide which. They both went through a cramped, backward-slanting gothic phase, as in fact did Mum (she was briefly learning calligraphy from a retired drama-school headmistress who lived down the road). Since the cost is given in ‘s’ and ‘d’ it must be pre the 1971 decimalisation.

TEA BRACK – dated 5th August, no year

  • Cost: about 4s 2d
  • Approximate preparation time: 15 mins (plus overnight standing)
  • Cooking time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 8 ozs (ounces) sultanas, cleaned
  • 8 ozs currants, cleaned
  • 8 ozs soft brown sugar
  • 1/2 pint medium-strength cold tea (plenty of that swilling around in the UK)
  • 1 lb (pound) self-raising flour
  • 4 tablespoons milk

Method:

  • Put fruit, sugar and tea in a bowl. Soak overnight
  • Next day, turn on oven: set at moderate, 375º F, Mark 5 (gas)
  • Grease a round 8 in (inch) tin; line base with greaseproof paper and grease the paper
  • Sift the flour into bowl of fruit. Add milk and beat
  • Turn into prepared tin. Bake in centre of pre-heated oven for 2 hours.
  • Cool on a rack

I’ve sorted it out and bullet-pointed it to make it less cramped-looking on the page, and easier to follow.

Enjoy 🙂

PS: if you’re wondering where the word ‘brack’ comes from, it’s a short form of barm brack, an Irish recipe upon which there are many variations (including this one). In Irish gaelic it’s bairín breac. So now you know.

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From Mum’s Old Recipe Book: Scones

Friend Daisy just tactfully pointed out that I forgot to include the quantity of breadcrumbs in Mum’s previous recipe. It’s 3oz wholemeal, and I have now corrected the recipe. You see, this is why I was a mediocre (looking kindly upon it) legal secretary and Daisy was a so much more excellenter one…

[Warning: if English is not your first language and you are using this rather odd blog to practice reading English – please do not employ that last sentence in an essay or drop it into casual conversation. You want to write proper English like wot other people writ it.]

Daisy is a very fast typist, conscientious and with an eagle eye for errors. I am a very fast typist but an impatient, slip-sloppy one who tends to lose interest in what she has typed the minute she has typed it. (Heavy sigh!)

Anyway, scones. Hopefully I can get this right as Mum’s scones were one of her best things. I still remember that waft delicious hot-air aroma when she opened the oven door…

SCONES – Recipe dated 27th August 1990 (Mum: These are good!)

8oz (ounces) plain flour

2 tbsp (tablespoons) sugar

Pinch of salt

1 tsp (teaspoon) Bicarb (Bicarbonate of Soda)

2 tsp Cream of Tartar

(Goodness, can you even buy Cream of Tartar nowadays? Isn’t ‘Baking Powder’ a ready-made mixture of Bicarb and Cream of Tartar anyway?)

2oz margarine

5 tbsp milk

Method –

Sift flour & mix all dry ingredients together

Rub in margarine

Add milk & mix to a dough

Roll out to about 1″ (inch) thick & cut into rounds

Place a greased baking tray and brush over top with beaten egg or milk

Place in a pre-heated oven

Turn out onto a wire rack to cool

Servings: 8 scones

Small (?) oven: 220ºC –   10 – 15 minutes – middle shelf

Fan oven: 210ºC –   8 – 10 minutes

Variations

  • 4 oz wholemeal flour instead of 4 oz plain flour
  • 3 oz grated cheese & 1/2 tsp mustard. Omit sugar
  • 3 oz mixed dried fruit
  • 1 oz dates, chopped and 1oz walnuts, finely chopped

Mum: The above variations should be added before the addition of milk to the dough

From Mum’s Old Recipe Book: Curried Nut Roast

1/2 lb (pound) hazel or Brazil or walnuts, finely chopped

1/2 lb fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped

1 medium-sized green pepper, deseeded and finely chopped

3 oz wholewheat breadcrumbs

2 medium-size onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs or 2 teaspoons fresh mixed herbs

1 tablespoon mild curry powder (or a heaped teaspoon of hot Madras curry powder)

1 egg, beaten

Cooking oil

Salt and freshly-milled black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, 425ºF (220ºC)

One 7 Inch square cake tin, greased

Begin by gently frying the onion and chopped pepper in a little oil until they’re softened – about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the nuts and breadcrumbs together in a large bowl, adding the garlic, herbs and curry powder. Then stir in the onion, pepper and tomatoes, mix very thoroughly and season. Now add the beaten egg to bind the mixture together. Finally, pack the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 3–40 minutes until golden.

This can be served hot with spiced pilau rice, yoghurt, mango chutney, or a fresh tomato sauce. It’s also very good served cold with a salad.

Enjoy 🙂

From Mum’s Old Recipe Book: Ma’s Delight (or Mars Delight)

I just watched a YouTube video (don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the recipe) of a young man demonstrating his method of tracing sewing patterns onto thin polythene sheeting, meaning that the same pattern can be re-used as many times as you want and you can make it in all the different sizes it has to offer.

It was a very clear and useful video – some people are just natural explainers/ entertainers aren’t they? – but I spent most of it wondering what this ‘sharpie’ thing was he kept referring to. It sounded like something a surgeon might use to take out someone’s appendix yet he seemed to be wielding nothing more dangerous than a fine-tipped permanent marker. Reading the comments below the video it was clear that other viewers had had to research this object too. I looked it up on Amazon and voilà (or possibly voilá) – more Sharpies than you could shake a stick at.

So it is with Mars Bars. Every Englishman, Scotsman, Irishman, Welshman (Cornishman?) knows what a Mars Bar is. Mars Bars are part of our culture. But it occurs to me that there may be parts of the globe where they do have computers but do not have Mars Bars or where there is a Mars-type chocolate bar but it goes under a different name.

I do not have the secret recipe for Mars Bars but basically it’s squidgy, caramel-y toffee thickly coated with milk chocolate. A lifetime of consuming Mars Bars is one reason for my feminine curves today. However, I’m sure any similar chocolate bar (or rather three chocolate bars!) would do as well. Perhaps best to avoid ones with peanuts in as that might alter the taste and some people are allergic.

Finally, she gets round to it

Ma’s Delight, or Mars Delight

3 cups Rice Crispies (I use 3 mugs) (3 oz – ounces)

3 oz butter or marge (margarine)

1 slab of milk cooking chocolate

3 Mars Bars (large) – 200 grams is about right, ie approx 7 oz)

Put a thick bottomed pan on low heat and melt the butter in bottom. Cut the Mars Bars into slices and add. Keep on a low heat until all is melted into a gungy mess, stir it all up with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and add the Krispies, stirring until all is coated with the mixture. Spread in a swiss roll tin, lightly packing it all down. Break the chocolate into pieces and either melt in a microwave on high for a couple of minutes, or, melt in a bowl placed in a saucepan of hot water. CARE if you do the latter, don’t let any water get into it or let it get too hot, else it goes solid and you can’t reconstitute it.

Spread it over the flat Krispies and leave to go solid.

Mum used tin 11″ x 7″.

From Mum’s Old Recipe Book: Carrot and Banana Bread

10 oz (ounces) wholemeal flour

1 level tsp (teaspoon) baking powder

1/4 level tsp salt

1/4 level tsp mixed spice

4 oz marge (margarine)

6 oz brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

4 oz banana, mashed

4 oz carrot, grated

Set oven at 350°F (175°C)

Lightly grease 2 lb (pound) loaf tin

Put the flour, baking powder, salt & spice into bowl. Cream the marge and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs. Stir in the banana and carrot. Add the flour and fold in. Place mixture in the tin & smooth over. Cook for 1 hr 15 mins or until firm.

Turn out when cold. Slice and butter.

Enjoy 🙂