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Crunchy Fig and Bleu Cheese Tarts d As any experienced chef would know, bleu cheese

Crunchy Fig and Bleu Cheese Tarts

d

As any experienced chef would know, bleu cheese brings out the sweet taste of figs like no other ingredient. Thus, Mrs. Patmore would bake these delicious hors d’oeuvres that are simultaneously sweet and tart. eaters beware, however: nothing is as tart as the Crawley sense of humor!

YieLDs 4–6 servings

For Pastry 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

For Walnut Crunch

2

tablespoons honey

2

tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon heavy cream

¼ cup toasted walnuts, chopped

For Figs ⅔ cup sugar

1 tablespoon lukewarm water

1 teaspoon kosher salt

12 fresh figs, halved lengthwise and stems removed

¼ cup unsalted butter

½ cup sweet port

6 ounces Stilton bleu cheese, crumbled, room temperature

Honey to taste

32 The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook

Crunchy Fig and Bleu Cheese Tarts (continued) d 1 . Preheat oven to 350°F. 2

Crunchy Fig and Bleu Cheese Tarts

(continued)

d

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Roll out puff pastry sheet on a clean, lightly- floured surface. Place puff pastry sheet in

a well-greased baking pan and then place

another sheet pan on top of puff pastry to prevent it from rising too much.

3. Bake puff pastry in preheated oven (with sheet pan still on top) for 5–8 minutes or until beginning to turn golden. Remove and set aside.

4. To make walnut crunch: In a medium-sized skillet, stir honey, sugar, butter, cinnamon, and salt over medium heat until butter melts. Cook mixture until it boils and reaches a deep golden brown, about 3–5 minutes. Stir in cream, followed by walnuts. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, then pour out over a sheet of heavy foil. Let cool completely, then chop walnut crunch into small pieces.

5. To prepare figs: Mix sugar, water, and salt in a heavy skillet over medium heat until sugar is evenly moist, adding more water

if needed. Cook mixture until sugar turns

golden, stirring occasionally, about 5 min- utes. Place figs cut-side down in sugar mix- ture. Cook figs until they begin to release juice. Immediately add butter, swirling skil-

let to melt. Remove from heat and add port. Let figs marinate in port mixture for 5–10 minutes before removing figs to a plate to cool. Once again bring syrup to a boil, whisking until smooth. Cool completely.

6. Using a 2- to 3-inch pastry cutter, cut out rounds of semi-baked puff pastry. Divide walnut mixture among rounds, then top with fig halves, cut-side up.

7. Bake tartlets in preheated oven (still at 350°F) for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

8. Artfully arrange cheese on top of tartlets, followed by the sweet port syrup. Drizzle with honey and serve.

Suggested Pairings

If you choose to serve this dish as a dessert rather than as an appetizer, try pairing these pastries with a delicious yet full-bodied dessert wine such as a Riesling, Moscato, or Chianti. Be careful, how- ever, Moscato can be an especially sweet wine, and depending on the brand can easily overpower, rather than complement, the bleu cheese.

Chapter 1: Hors d’Oeuvres Variés

33

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup d even Downton Abbey has its cold, damp evenings, and with

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

d

even Downton Abbey has its cold, damp evenings, and with such a large house one is sure to catch the shivers now and then. This thick and creamy soup is sure to warm up the most frigid of guests! Perhaps Daisy, after witnessing the dead body of Pamuk, would see if there were any leftovers of this soup available to warm her chilled spirits.

YieLDs 4 servings

2

tablespoons unsalted butter

1

clove garlic, minced

2

medium onions, chopped

2

medium carrots, chopped

1

celery stick, chopped

2

medium sweet potatoes, cubed

1

medium butternut

squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed

1

(32-ounce) container chicken stock

1

teaspoon curry powder

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ cup sour cream

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onions, carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, and squash. Cook for 8–10 minutes or until lightly browned. Pour in enough chicken stock to fully cover the vegetables. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover pot and let simmer for 45 minutes or until all vegetables are tender. Stir in curry pow- der and nutmeg.

2. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth. Stir in sour cream, then salt and pepper to taste.

smooth. Stir in sour cream, then salt and pepper to taste. t iMes g one b

tiMes gone by

Downton Abbey was actually quite lucky to have Mrs. Patmore and her helper Daisy on staff. Thanks to the Industrial Revolution and World War I, new factory job openings lured many staff members away from their jobs at country estates. This in turn led to a rise in household management books, as many hostesses found themselves with inadequate staff.

42 The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook

Crawley Family Chicken Breasts with Caper Cream Sauce d This dish combines the edwardian love

Crawley Family Chicken Breasts with Caper Cream Sauce

d

This dish combines the edwardian love for capers/salty appetizers in a fancy entrée. As this is a relatively inexpensive yet still elegant dish to offer, this would be a staple for dinners at Downton Abbey when no guests are present.

YieLDs 4 servings

4

boneless, skinless

chicken breasts

2

teaspoons lemon pepper

1

teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons fresh dill

1½ teaspoons garlic powder

½ cup fresh lemon juice

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 clove garlic, diced

½ teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons dry white wine

½ cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed

1. Thoroughly season chicken breasts with lemon pepper, sea salt, black pepper, dill, and garlic powder. Then marinate chicken breasts for at least 2 hours in lemon juice.

2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add gar- lic and sugar, and sauté for 5 minutes. Then place breasts in skillet and increase heat to medium-high. Turn chicken frequently until brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook breasts for 5–7 minutes or until breasts are cooked through. Remove chicken, cover with foil, and keep warm.

3. Increase heat to high, and whisk in wine and heavy cream. Whisk until mixture is reduced to a saucelike consistency, about 2–3 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in capers. Pour sauce over chicken breasts and serve.

Suggested Pairings

For a different—yet nonetheless caper-filled—sauce, Mrs. Patmore could serve these chicken breasts with a Cajun remoulade sauce. This remoulade sauce includes mayonnaise, anchovies, capers, mustard, herbs, and pickles.

70 The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook

Mixed Berry Scones d A take on the sweet Cream scones (see recipe in this

Mixed Berry Scones

d

A take on the sweet Cream scones (see recipe in this chapter), this dish would be a favorite

of Countess Cora’s to offer to her younger guests with their tea. While visitors such as the Dowager Countess might prefer less flavorful options, these scones would give a needed vari- ety—not to mention flavor—to a meal that most of Cora’s guests would have experienced on

a daily basis.

MAkes 10–12 sCones

3 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup white sugar

¼ cup turbinado sugar

½ teaspoon baking soda

2½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into ¼- to ½-inch pieces

½ cup fresh blueberries

½ cup fresh blackberries

½ cup fresh raspberries

½ cup hulled and quartered fresh strawberries

1¼ cups buttermilk

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

½ cup heavy cream ( for brushing)

½ cup sugar ( for sprinkling)

160 The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook

Yorkshire Pudding d Yorkshire Pudding was an excellent and affordable way to “fill up” on

Yorkshire Pudding

d

Yorkshire Pudding was an excellent and affordable way to “fill up” on a meager budget. often, Yorkshire Pudding was served before a less-than-filling meal as a way to stave off hun- ger. While not enjoyed by the upper crust, Yorkshire Pudding—along with a side of jam or cream—is the kind of snack Mr. Mason would serve to Daisy during her after-Christmas visit.

YieLDs 6–8 servings

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¾ cup whole milk, room

temperature

3 eggs, room temperature

½ cup water

½ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the dry mixture, then pour in the milk, whisking thoroughly. Beat in eggs one at a time.

2. Pour dry mixture into a blender, then add water. Blend until the mixture is light and frothy. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, covered.

3. Let batter warm up to room temperature before using. While batter warms up, preheat oven to 400°F.

4. Place butter in a 9×12-inch baking pan in oven and cook until sizzling, at least 5 minutes. Pour the batter over the melted butter and bake for 30 minutes or until the sides have risen and are golden brown. Cut into 6–8 portions and serve immediately.

golden brown. Cut into 6–8 portions and serve immediately. t iMes g one b y The

tiMes gone by

The history behind this dish is long and storied. When wheat became a viable option for cooking cakes and other batter-related dishes, cooks up in Northern England, fans of the “waste not, want not” phi- losophy, developed a way to use the fat drippings from roasting meat to make a batter pudding. The Yorkshire Puddings served at Downton Abbey were flatter than they are today, though the Royal Society of Chemistry issued a proclamation that a Yorkshire Pudding was not a true Yorkshire Pudding if it was less than 4 inches tall. While the fol- lowing recipe does not use beef drippings, beef drippings can easily be substituted for the butter.

190 The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook