Monday, June 22, 2009

Traditional British Food, Part 13: Just Desserts

This recipe is adapted from The Cooking of the British Isles. The original recipe called for currants, but I still had most of a box of golden raisins. I also subbed mixed spice for the cinnamon in the original recipe. Get the recipe for mixed spice here and the recipe for short crust pastry here.

Apple Dumplings

Serves 6

3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
6 cooking apples
Short crust pastry
6 teaspoons sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cream the butter and sugar. Stir in the lemon juice and zest, raisins, and mixed spice. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry (you may need to do this one half at a time) to an eighth-inch thickness. Cut 8-inch rounds in the pastry. Set these on baking sheets and place in the refrigerator.

Peel and core the apples, then place each on a pastry round. Fill the cavities of the apples with the raisin mixture, then enclose the apples in pastry by bringing the edges of the pastry rounds up to meet at the top of the apple. Pinch the ends of the pastry together.

Place the dumplings, seam side up, on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes. Then, moisten the tops of the dumplings with a pastry brush dipped in water. Sprinkle each dumpling with 1 teaspoon of sugar and return them to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the pastry becomes a golden brown.

Slice-n-Bake Jumbles

1/2 pound (1 cup) butter, softened
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar then beat in the eggs and vanilla. Beat in the flour 1 cup at a time, then add the baking powder and salt. Fold in the oats, pecans, and coconut.

Tear off a large piece of parchment paper (approximately 15" x 25"). Roll the cookie dough in the parchment to make a cylinder three inches in diameter. Twist or fold over the ends to close and refrigerate for several hours (dough will keep in the freezer for three months).

To bake cookies, preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, slice off as many 1/4-inch thick cookies as desired, and place on a cookie sheet lined in parchment. Be sure to give the dough room to expand. Bake the cookies for approximately 15 minutes, or until the edges start getting brown. Cool for around 5 minutes before eating.

This recipe was adapted from "Freezer Biscuits" from BBC Good Food.


In other news, I finished Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers. It's the third Lord Peter Wimsey mystery. I read the two that were published before it and I keep liking them better and better. I'm going to have to follow Rebecca's example, though, and budget my reading of them because there are only eleven books and a few short stories and Dorothy L. Sayers died in 1957, so she unfortunately won't be writing any more.

I've started The Portrait of a Lady and am about a third of the way in. I've never read it before and I haven't seen the movie, so it's all new to me. Don't worry--I know not to expect a happy ending. I've become more and more able to accept that in my reading, though. I don't know if it was all those years of French literature or just growing up. Maybe a little of both! Anyhow, I must continue on my endeavor to be well-read.


  1. Tea and cookies....sigh.


  2. Invite your mother for tea! I must not have ever grown up - I can't stand a sad ending. It's just that I don't want to cry...
    Love you!

  3. I am so proud of you! You are fearless in your pursuit of all things wonderful. I wish I could experience all the interesting things you share on your blog. By the way, my sweet friends look forward to seeing what new things you have done, also. And I am very proud that you are my daughter-in-law! Peace be with you - Love, Linda


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.