Sunday, 24 September 2006

Butter Pie aka Friday pie or catholic pie

Today saw an attempt at "Butter Pie" - traditional Lancashire delicacy. Or for those not in the know, potato and onion pie, traditionally served on a Friday so as to comply with the catholic rule of not eating meat on a Friday. Apparently my version is a little dry when compared with commercial avaliable versions, but very tasty all the same, of course should be served with HP or Heinz tomato sauce if liked, pickled red cabbage or beetroot all work well.

To make the shortcrust pastry

  • 8oz of plain flour
  • 2oz butter
  • 20z white fat (dripping / lard or veg fat)

Blend in food processor and then drizzle in just enough cold water to make the pastry form a ball.
Leave in the fridge to rest for 1/2 an hour

In the mean time, peel 3 large potatoes and 1 onion, cut the potato into large chunks and the onion in to half moon rings. Parboil for approx 20 mins until potatoes are just soft but still holding there shape. Drain and slice into your pie dish , into which you have rolled out a bottom layer, layer in the onions, salt and pepper and flecks of butter. Top off with your top layer of pastry. Bake at 180 degrees for approx 1/2 hour until golden. Serve immediately with your preferred condiment.

Cedar Farm Galleries - Mawdsley

Hubby suggested a walk yesterday, so on our way to Lancashire Wildlife trusts reserve at Mere Sands Wood, we called in for lunch at Cedar Farm Galleries, Mawdsley. The food in the cafe is excellent , modern and freshly produced. Well worth a visit if you are in the area. Also the galleries showcasing local arts and crafts provide interesting browsing for an hour or so. We also purchased some superb oolong tea from Roberts & Co, apparently this supposed to help with high blood pressure and weightloss.

Saturday, 16 September 2006

Three fishes - Mitton

Today we had lunch at the best pub in Lancashire, the "three fishes" at Mitton nr Whalley. Owned and operated by Northcote Manor this is the place to experience superb Lancashire food in relaxed and informal atomosphere. The website is on the links on this page.

Sunday, 3 September 2006

Blackberries & Apples

Whilst in the garden today dodging the showers, discovered some blackberry on the thorn less blackberry “Loch Ness”. I decided I would make a cobbler with them and also use some apples from the garden.


  • 4 oz Blackberries
  • 2 eating apples peeled, cored and chopped in to small chunks
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2tbsp caster sugar
  • 1tbsp cornflour - Mix all these together in an open proof bowl
  • 6 oz Self-raising flour
  • 3 oz butter, chopped in to small chunks
  • 125ml plain low fat yoghurt3 oz caster sugar


Mix in the food processor until you have a sticky mixture, place this on top of the blackberry and apple mixture, sprinkle top with some extra caster sugar and cook in the oven @ 180 deg C, for approx 40 mins. Serve with custard or cream

Hubby took a picture of the final result; the resulting cobbler was a nice rustic dessert, light and very moreish.

Saturday, 2 September 2006

Beetroot soup after the farmers market

Today saw hubby, my brother, nephew and myself all visiting the local farmers market in the rain. The market at Cedar Farm Gallery, Mawdsley is on the first Saturday in the month. The market is well attended and you can get all sorts there. This was my brother's and nephews first visit and both really enjoyed the atmosphere and the resultant goodies they left with.

Several of the producers have been nominated for UKTVfood "Food Hero" awards and the black pudding supplier is even a Rick Stein hero. On returning with some excellent lamb and local Lancashire cheese I decided to make soup with some of the beetroot in the garden.

The beetroot is not the usual purple type and is the striped "choggia" version, still tastes the same though. I also grated an onion, 2 carrots and added half a dozen leaves from a Savoy cabbage. I then simmered this for approx 40 mins with beef stock and some tomato puree. Result a fairly textured soup when liquidised but with a fairly distinct beetroot tang.

Monday, 28 August 2006

Bank Holiday Baking - Malt Loaf

Today’s foodie interlude for the bank holiday was to bake a malt loaf, I’ll need to let in rest in a tin for a couple of days before it will be at its best. All sticky and juicy, I experimented slightly as the recipe said syrup but I had run out so substituted treacle and honey instead. Hopefully the flavour will be ok. The recipe makes a 2lb loaf tin.


  • 8oz Self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2tbsp Dark brown sugar
  • 6oz Dried fruit
  • 2tbsp Syrup or Treacle or Honey 2tbsp Malt extract
  • ¼ pint milk


Put the flour, salt, fruit and sugar in a bowl, then place the milk, malt and syrup (or whatever you are using) in a pan, melt together and then mix in to the flour. Beat until thoroughly mixed, pour into a greased and based lined loaf tin and bake for approx 1 1 ¼ hour @ 170 degrees. Cool on a wire rack, when cool wrap in foil and store for a couple of days until sticky if you can wait that long. Serve in thick slices, buttered if preferred.

Sunday, 27 August 2006

Raspberry Sorbet & other things !!!

Today I have been experimenting with a simple Raspberry Sorbet using local raspberries. I simply blitzed the raspberries and then pushed the puree through a sieve to remove the seeds. I then made a sugar syrup using ½ cup of sugar to the same quantity of water. I was really surprised as the vivid colour of the puree, especially once it was churned in the ice cream maker, really bright pink. The resulting sorbet after 20 minutes churning is delicious with a really clean bright flavour.

The sorbet instantly reminded me of the raspberry sorbet we enjoyed at the fantastic OCC (Otto’s creative catering) in Dunworley, southern Ireland. If you are every in the area you must partake of OCC. A fantastic organic/ local food / slow food / restaurant / cookery school. The food is amazing all fresh, seasonal and prepared with love. Book a table and experience some of the best food in your life.

Saturday, 26 August 2006

A place that thyme forgot

I am currently reading the above book, which is the record of the travels of William Black in search of local delicacies from around Britain. Amazingly enough he starts with Preston - England's newest city, my place of work. He bemoans the demise of Tripe - one of the beloved delicacies of Lancashire. I can't really remember it much from my childhood but my husband waxes lyrically about the UCP, on the strength of this reminisance I visited Preston market and found the tripe stall as mentioned in the book still thriving. I also later the same week whilst visiting Booths (heroic north west regional supermarket) was amazed to find tripe for sale in a packet on the butchery section.

I am yet to pluck up courage to try it, but I am told its best served with lashings of malt vinegar. I will let you know how I go on. This month has also seen samphire( succulent seaweed) being pickled, something I haven't done before. I remember fondly picking samphire on a day out at the seaside with my late Granddad and pickling it when we got home. The taste is still the same but I can't perfect the stripping of the branches with your teeth when you eat it, just leaving the stringy core.
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