WARNING: The following blog post will be narrated in an extremely bad posh English accent.
Greetings from the land of Jane Austen! Yes! My fifth E.A.T World entry takes place in Jolly Old England, and I have really been looking forward to this one! Let’s dive right in and have some tea and crumpets! How could we not?
So my crumpets aren’t round. They are rectangular. Call them crumpet pop-tarts. Or crump-tarts! I used this recipe from Planet Veggie (with whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose). I tried preparing the skillet three ways: once with cooking spray, once with a little canola oil, and a couple of times with Earth Balance buttery spread. The Earth Balance version was by far the best. The first time I ate crumpets I thought they were the spongy work of the devil! But that was my own fault because I didn’t make the batter soft enough, now crumpets and I are BFFs. Crumpetty tip: The batter should be just barely thicker than pancake batter.
Not in the mood for tea or spongy stuff? May I interest you in a Lancashire Hotpot instead?
Traditionally, the Lancashire Hotpot is a baked stew made with lamb or mutton, potatoes, carrots, turnips, onions or leeks, and covered with thinly sliced potatoes. Mmmm mutton. Not! The hotpot sounded great, but I needed to get rid of the meat. First I tried this recipe that calls for barley instead of meat and it was very tasty. Then I tried this recipe that calls for beans or lentils instead of meat and it was delicious too. Now I make my own version using whatever I have in the fridge and the pantry, and I always make them with lentils. Lancashire Hotpots are great for using up straggler veggies that need to be eaten ASAP.
For dessert? Bakewell Tarts! I made two mini tarts for our wedding anniversary, and they were deeeeelicious! According to the interwebs, the Bakewell Tart was named after the town of Bakewell (duh!) in Derbyshire, when an air-headed cook at the White Horse Inn accidentally messed up a recipe for a jam tart in 1820. It was one of those fortunate mistakes. After such lucky buffoonery the Bakewell Tart became a very popular dessert at the inn. I think the dude was just winging it! :)
There is a Bakewell Tart and a Bakewell Pudding, I am still a little confused about that but I am 99% sure that the one I made is the tart. Honestly, I don’t really care too much, as long as I get to eat them you can call them Fred if you want.
From Wikipedia: “The tart version consists of a shortcrust pastry shell, spread with jam and covered with a sponge-like filling enriched with ground almonds (known as frangipane). They may also be covered with nuts such as almonds and peanuts. Alternative flavours, including blackcurrant, strawberry and apple are also produced.”
For the crust I used the same shortbread crust recipe that I use for all my sweet tarts and pies, and you can find it here. The fruit filling is blueberry jam (1/4 cup per mini tart) which was very tasty, but next time I will make a chocolate ganache filling instead, just for kicks. The best part of the tart was the frangipane topping. Oh. My. Tart! I had never made frangipane before and I had no idea what it was, but Shellyfish came to the rescue with this awesome blog post and frangipane recipe! I only needed half of Shelly’s recipe for two small tarts. Raise your hand if you miss Shellyfish! *overwhelming number of hands raised*
Bakewell, Home of The Tart :)
Photo via Wikipedia
You know what else is in Derbyshire? Pemberley! Mr. Darcy’s home! Well, not really. Pemberley and Mr. D. were a product of Jane Austen’s imagination, but Mr. Darcy’s digs are believed to have been based on Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. Chatsworth House was even used as Pemberley for the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice. Here she is:
Photo via Wikipedia
Well, even though there is still so much to see and taste here, it’s time to leave England and move on to my next destination. I found some new E.A.T World participants through google reader and a google search, but please do let me know if you’re participating because I don’t want to miss out on any fabulous world cuisine! This challenge has been so much fun, and it has shown me that I have been sheltered and narrow-minded, and stuck eating the same foods and using the same cooking methods for years. So many new ingredients! So many new cooking techniques! So little time!
Check out a few impressive entries from some fellow E.A.T World’ers:
See you next time, it may be time for another crafty post!