Monday 29 July 2013

The Yorkshire ‘Drop’

Yorkshire Drop 
On 1st August we Yorkshire folk get a chance to boast about our identity, be proud of our county and give a boost to all those sad Yorkshire folk who have to live in exile away from this wonderful region. There’s more to read about Yorkshire Day and the tale of the origins of our special day. 
So, have you heard of Yorkshire Drop?  This recipe is based on Yorkshire pudding batter mixture but served up as a dessert with a fruit filling instead. It’s a close relative of the mouthwatering French Clafoutis and usually made with plums.
You'll need
4 ½oz/125g plain flour (sieved)
2 eggs
1 ½oz/40g sugar
Pinch of salt
 1/3 rd pint/200ml milk
*Fruit as in season
Make the batter as for Yorkshire Pudding. Mix the eggs and flour with a wooden spoon. Mix in the sugar, salt and milk and beat to the consistency of cream. Let it stand for about half an hour or so and stir occasionally to let the air in. Butter an ovenproof flan or pie dish and pour in the Yorkshire Pudding batter mixture.  ‘Drop’ in the fruit into the mixture and cook in a preheated moderately hot (Grandma called this temperature ‘quick’) oven for about 45 minutes (Mark 5, 190C, 375F). The batter will rise to perfection!
Meryl’s tips for the fruit: Now’s the time to make good use of summer fruits, so you can vary the fruit to ‘drop’ in according to the season : Plums, Raspberries, Blackberries, Cherries and Rhubarb, are all perfect for this dish. Wash and dry the fruit carefully. Slice fruit such as Plums and pre cook Rhubarb.  

Here’s a round-up of Yorkshire baking to celebrate our rich culture. 
 Yorkshire Parkin which we usually have on Bonfire Night 
By far the most well known dish is Yorkshire Puddings 
and Grandma was an expert!

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Here comes summer…..

Tarte aux framboises
We've just got back from a fantastic holiday in the Vercors district of the French Alps. where we met Dominique Fluzin runs La Taiga, a lovely little hotel  in the village of Villard de Lans. The Hotel gets its name from a link with the Siberian Forest as it hosted members of the Russian Olympic team who stayed for the Winter Olympics in Grenoble in 1968. The sporting links don’t end there as Dominique offers expert guidance for cyclists, walkers and winter sports enthusiasts throughout the year.
Dominique and his wife Marie Jose are keen to offer guests a taste of local traditional food including Tartiflette and he kindly wrote out his family recipe for Tarte aux framboises. The flavour of the raspberries is enhanced with ground almonds. I’ve made a version using a thin base of Grandma’s Shortcrust Pastry which is like French Pate Brisee but Dominique uses Puff Pastry /Pate feuilletee. A vous le choix!
Line a large flan dish with Shortcrust Pastry and bake blind for around 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
160g/6oz caster sugar
3 eggs
75g/3oz butter (melted)
70g/2½oz ground almonds
150g/5½oz raspberries
Beat the eggs and sugar until they are creamy white. Add the melted butter and ground almonds. Mix in the raspberries. Pour the mixture into the flan case and bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes at 180C/Mark 4/350F.
Dominique decorated his Tarte aux Framboises with chocolate vermicelli but you could always dust with icing sugar.
Dominique's recipe is already bringing back wonderful memories of a fantastic ‘sejour’ in the Alpes. Let’s make the most of the sun, and our own local produce.  Have you got a summer recipe to share?