FROM OUR COUNTRY KITCHEN
For some time now, Pauline Austerfield has been publishing recipes in the Village Voices magazine, under the heading 'From Our Country Kitchen'.
This is a chance to see them all. They are shown below in date order - the most recent first.
Click on the month of the recipe that you require, or here for an alphabetical index.
Artwork by Pauline as well.
2016 December Chocolate Crunch Torte with Stem Ginger and Figs
November Cinnamon Apple Cake
September Plum and Almond Pasties
August Spinach Tart
July Strawberry Cream Dessert
June Cromer Crab Cakes
April Double Ginger Cake
March Blackberry and Apple Tarts
February Moules Marinière
January Tarte Tatin
2015 December Beetroot Fritters with Gravlax
November Stuffed Peppers
October Aubergines - Baba Ghanoush
- Aubergine Chips
August Peach Melba
July Onion Tart
June Strawberry and Cucumber Salad
May Cauliflower Cheese with Leek
Cauliflower with Creme Fraiche.
April Hot Cross Bun, Toffee and Banana Pudding
February Lamb Hotpot
2014 December Pumpkin and Chicken
November Broccoli Soup with Cheese
October Harissa paste (chillies)
September Courgette Frittata
August Gooseberry Fool
July Blackcurrant Cup Cakes and Jam.
June Lebanese Beetroot Salad
May Almond Biscuits
April Spring Vegetable Risotto
February Vanilla Cheesecake
January A Comforting Soup (poultry & veg.)
2013 December (Windfall) Apple and Quince Cake
November Rice Pudding
October Pumpkin with Coconut
Peppers and Prawns
September Courgette, Tomato and Ricotta Bake
July Russian Redcurrant and Raspberry Pudding.
+ Lemon Curd & Orange Parfait
May Banana and Carrot Cake
April Rhubarb Muscovado Sponge
March Coq au Vin
February Celeriac and Walnut Remoulade
+ Caramelised Celeriac with Pancetta
January Candied Citrus Peel
2012 December Pumpkins and Squashes 2
November Bramley Apple Gingerbread
October Chicken Thighs with Sweet Chestnut Stuffing
September Tomato with Goat's Cheese and Rosemary
August Plum Tart
July Elderflower and Gooseberry Jam
June Broad Bean Hummus and Broad Bean Soup..
May Asparagus with Almonds
+ Asparagus Pasta with Lemon
April Chocolate Orange Cake
+ Marmalade Ice Cream
February Gratin of Beans and Bacon
+ Baked Onions with Parmesan and Cream
2011 December Pumpkins and Squashes
November Bolotti Beans with Sage and Borlotti Hummus
October Chaffcombe Apple Pudding and Peperoni alla Piemontese
September Greek Courgette Pie and a Courgette Side Dish
August Pastry with Quark and Vegetable & Blue Cheese Tart
June Wimbledon Cake
May Pork with Rhubarb
April Nettle Rarebit
March Rocket and Potato Soup
January Pheasant with Apples
2010 December Roasted Pumpkin Soup
November Hotpot of Sausages and Apples
October Poached Pears
September (i) Half Tomatoes and (ii) Courgette Cake
August Greek Salad and Feta, Potato & Rosemary Bread
June Elderflower Cordial
May Rhubarb and 'Heaven and Earth'
April Lemon Curd
March Rabbit and Apple Casserole
January Vegetable Soup
2009 December Focaccia Bread
November French Onion Soup and Shallot Tart
October Baking Potatoes
September Damson Compote, Baked Figs, Blackberries & Apple
August Summer Fruit Trifle
July Lettuce Soup
May A Garden Salad (with Asparagus)
April Vegetable Shepherd's Pie
March Nettle Soup and Winter Carrots
2008 November Pumpkin Stuff
October Cooking Apples
September Courgette and Mint Soup
August Tomato Soup and Parsley Butter
July Mint Sauce and Pesto Sauce
June Asparagus Spears
May Ice Cream
April Leek and Potato Pies
February Cabbage Stuff
2007 December Red Cabbage
October Pickled Pears or Quinces
July Potato and Broad Bean Salad
May Potatoes Lyonnaise
January 2016. Tarte Tatin (for 4).
We have had a really good year for apples and our Epicure variety, which is small and sweet, has produced a large harvest. Eating apples should
keep well if protected from the frost and will just get tastier. They are perfect for the following recipe. If you can't find small apples then quarter larger
There are many versions of this dish, you can use short crust pastry if preferred, but I've tried to make it as easy as possible. It also helps
if you use an all steel, non-stick frying pan, which will survive in the oven, but it is not essential. A heavy duty deep sided, baking tray will suffice.
I used an 8 inch pan.
9 oz (approx 7) small eating apples, like Cox's Orange Pippins
2 oz soft light brown sugar
2 oz butter
Ready rolled puff pastry (approx 1/3 of a pack)
Unroll the pastry and put over the pan. Cut around just larger than the size of the pan.
Return to the fridge. Peel the apples halve them and cut out the core. In the pan, melt the butter and add the sugar. Stir and dissolve.
Place the apples in the pan, cut side down and cook gently for five minutes. Turn them over and cook for another 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Set the oven at 190 C ,Gas 5. Arrange the apples neatly in the centre of the pan and when cooled ,place the pastry over the top,
tucking it in around the edges. Put in the pre-heated oven and cook for approx. 20 to 25 minutes until the pastry is puffed up and golden.
To serve, wait until cooled slightly, place a dish larger than the pan on top and invert the tarte onto the plate. Scrape any remaining liquid onto the tarte.
If made ahead of time just reheat it gently before turning out.
Serve with vanilla ice cream or double cream .
February 2016. Moules Marinière. For 2.
We can buy lovely fresh mussels here from the Deben or Brancaster. I think this is the best way to serve them, it's easy to make and brings out
the flavour of the mussels. The amount given is enough for lunch. It would probably do four as a starter.
1 kg fresh mussels
1 small onion
1 tbls olive oil
1 small glass of white wine
50 ml double cream
Fresh parsley, chopped
Empty the mussels into the sink and check each one. Under running cold water, pull away the beard and scrape off any barnacles.
Put them into a colander. The mussels should be closed. If they open and do not close again after a sharp tap, then discard them.
Put two soup plates in to warm.
Finely chop the onion. Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan with a lid. Add the onion and cook gently until soft.
Turn up the heat a bit and add the mussels, giving the whole pan a stir. Put the lid on and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the white wine.
Cook for another few minutes then check if the mussels have opened. If so add the parsley and some ground black pepper. Stir again.
Then, using a slotted spoon, divide the mussels between the soup plates. Put the pan back on the heat and add the cream to the liquid.
Check for seasoning, when the mixture has heated up pour over the mussels.
Serve with French bread or brown bread and butter.
March 2016. Blackberry and Apple Tarts.
I'm still using up my stored Bramleys and the blackberries were in the freezer with the puff pastry. This is a quick and easy dessert which
I served with homemade vanilla ice cream. If your cooking apples are newly harvested you may want to add more sugar.
4 oz puff pastry, defrosted, if frozen
1 lb prepared cooking apples (peeled, cores and sliced)
2 dessert spoons caster sugar
2 dozen blackberries
Pre-heat the oven to 200 C Gas 6.
Put the apples in a non-stick pan with a dash of water. Gently heat until the apple collapses and add half the sugar.
Put aside to cool. Divide the pastry into 4 and roll out to form 4 inch squares .
Place the pastry on a baking tray lined with non stick baking paper. Using a knife, score around the edge of the pastry approx. half inch in to
form a crust. With a fork prick the area inside the crust (which will prevent it rising when cooking).
If there is any liquid in the apple, drain it off, and divide the cooled apple between the pastry cases.
Top with the blackberries and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.
Put into the oven and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until the pastry is risen, crisp and golden. Cool slightly before serving.
April 2016. Double Ginger Cake (from Nigel Slater's "The Kitchen Diaries")
I've made this cake several times and it's delicious. I usually make half the quantity and use a 7 inch round tin containing a liner.
The mixture is very liquid so don't use a loose bottomed cake tin. It keeps well, wrapped in paper and foil.
250 g self raising flour
2 tsp ground ginger
Half tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
A pinch of salt
200 g golden syrup
2 tblsp syrup from the ginger jar
125 g butter
3 lumps stem ginger
2 heaped tblsp sultanas
125 g dark muscavado sugar
2 large eggs
240 ml milk
Line an 8 inch square cake tin with baking parchment. Set the oven at 180 C/ Gas 4.
Sift the flour with the ginger, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl.
Put the golden and ginger syrups and the butter into a small pan and warm over a low heat.
Dice the ginger finely, then add it to the pan with the sultanas and sugar. Let the mixture bubble for a minute and stir.
Break the eggs into a smaller bowl, pour in the milk and beat until well mixed. Remove the butter and sugar mix from the heat and stir into
the flour using a large metal spoon. Add the eggs and milk and stir until there is no trace of flour.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Leave in the tin to cool before turning out.
June 2016. Cromer Crab Cakes (for 2)
Cromer crabs are the best and we are fortunate that we can buy them so fresh. They are great in a salad or sandwich but I love these crab cakes
which make a delicious lunch or starter.
7 oz dressed crab in the shell
5 oz new or salad potatoes
1 dessert spoon fresh parsley
1/2 tsp English mustard powder
Salt and pepper
Rye or whole meal flour
Lemon wedge/ mayonnaise to serve
Clean the potatoes, cut into walnut sized pieces and boil in salted water until tender. Drain, allow to cool then crush with a potato masher into smaller pieces.
Scoop out both the brown and white crab meat from the shell, discarding any of the shell lining and add to the potatoes.
Grate in some nutmeg, add the parsley, mustard powder, salt and pepper.
Mix together, then divide the mixture into four. Put a table spoon of flour on a cutting board and smooth out.
Heat a non-stick frying pan and add a dash of olive oil.
Using a large spoon, scoop out a portion of the crab mix into the palm of your hand and form it into a ball.
Put down on to the floured board and flatten, then carefully turn over, using a fish slice, so the crab cake is coated in flour.
It should be approx. 1/2 inch deep and 2 1/2 inch wide. Repeat with the rest of the mixture so you have four cakes (you may need more flour).
Using the fish slice, place them in the hot frying pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until golden and crispy.
Add another dash of oil, turn the cakes over and cook until done.
Serve with a crisp green salad.
July 2016. Strawberry Cream Dessert (for 4)
An easy way of using up your strawberries.
1 small (170 g.) carton of 0% fat Greek yoghurt
170 g double cream
250 g ripe strawberries
Juice of 1 small lemon
2 tsp caster sugar
A dash of balsamic vinegar
Hull, wash and dry the strawberries. Slice 100 g of them and, in a small bowl , toss them with half the lemon juice and 1 teaspoonof caster sugar.
Put in the fridge. In a freezer safe bowl whisk the double cream until firm. Fold in the yoghurt, balsamic vinegar and the rest of the sugar and lemon juice.
Blitz the strawberries in a blender and add to the cream mixture, giving a ripple effect.
Put in the fridge until an hour before serving then put in the freezer.
To serve, divide the sliced strawberries between 4 sundae dishes.
Take the strawberry cream from the freezer and scoop it out so each portion has some of the frozen and unfrozen mixture.
Arrange on top of the sliced strawberries. Serve with almond biscuits (see recipe on VV website).
August 2016. Spinach Tart (for 4)
Spinach is a very versatile vegetable and easy to grow. Allow 4 oz per portion as a side dish.
To prepare, give the leaves a good rinse and tear out any tough stems. Either put in a large pan and cook gently in the water from the leaves, or steam.
Do not cook for more than 3 or 4 minutes or you will end up with an unappetising mush.
Turn over a couple of times with a fork to ensure it's cooked through and then drain into a sieve .
Using the back of a spoon, press out any excess water. Toss the spinach in butter you have melted in the pan and season with salt and pepper.
To make creamed spinach, soften chopped garlic and finely chopped spring onions in the butter.
Slice the cooked spinach and add to the pan with double cream, seasoning and freshly grated nutmeg.
For the pastry:
3 oz flour
1 1/2 oz cold butter cubed
150 ml (approx.) double cream
For the filling:
10 oz spinach
A handful of chopped chives
50 ml double cream or creme fraiche
1 oz Stilton or any blue cheese
1 oz grated cheddar cheese
Salt, pepper and nutmeg
A 7 inch, loose bottomed flan case
To make the pastry, sift the flour with the salt and using your fingertips, quickly and lightly rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Slowly add the cream, stirring it in with a table knife until it starts to bind together . Finish off the process with your fingers.
Use as little cream as you can. Form the pastry into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
Cook the spinach as above and cool, placing the sieve on kitchen paper.
On a floured board, roll out the pastry into a round approx 3 inches larger than the flan case.
Carefully place the pastry in the greased flan case, pressing it into the edges. Prick the bottom of the pastry shell all over with a fork.
Trim around just above the flan case (I find it easier to do this with scissors) and return to the fridge for 15 minutes.
Heat the oven to 200 C Gas 6 . Line the flan case with baking parchment and fill with baking beans.
Bake for 10 minutes, remove the beans and parchment and cook for another 5 minutes until the case is starting to colour.
Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 180 C Gas 4.
In a bowl, whisk the egg and cream. Check that the spinach is as dry as possible, chop and stir into the egg mixture.
Add the crumbled blue cheese,chives and seasoning. Pour into the flan case and distribute evenly.
Scatter with the cheddar cheese. Bake in the centre of the oven for approx 30 minutes or until the top has browned.
September 2016. Plum and Almond Pastries.
The original recipe for this made one large "galette" but I prefer to make 6 individual portions as it's easier to serve. You can make them any shape you like,
I usually just cut the pastry into 6. The number of plums you will need depends on their size. My plums, a variety called Opal, are small and I used 3 per pastry.
I think with Victoria's you will only want 2 but allow for extras just in case.
3 oz softened butter
3 oz caster sugar plus 3 desert spoonfuls
1 large egg, beaten
3 oz ground almonds
1 (375 g) pack of ready rolled puff pastry
12 to 18 ripe eating plums
1 oz flaked almonds
Pre heat the oven to 200 C/ gas 6
Beat the butter and 3 oz sugar together until light and fluffy. Slowly add the egg and ground almonds to the mixture, beating them in alternately to avoid curdling.
Cover and place in the fridge. Unroll the pastry, cut into 6 and place on baking tins lined with baking parchment.
With a table knife score around the edge of each piece making a 1/2 inch border. Prick the rest of the pastry all over with a fork. Return to the fridge.
Cut the plums in half and remove the stones. Roughly divide the almond mixture into 6 and spread a layer onto the pastry, inside the border.
Arrange the plums, cut side up on top, and dredge with the remaining sugar. Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven to 150 C/ gas 2 .
Remove, scatter on the flaked almonds and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and the almond paste is golden.
October 2016. Piccalilli.
This is a marvellous way of using up surplus vegetables and is very popular with pickle lovers.
Makes approx. 2 litres or 3 1/2 pints.
2 lb prepared and diced vegetables (cucumber, courgettes, pickling onions, marrow, cauliflower, green beans, green tomatoes) .
5 oz salt
3 oz caster sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp ground ginger
1 pint pickling distilled malt vinegar
1 oz cornflour
1 tbsp turmeric
Layer the vegetables and salt in a large colander, cover and leave for 24 hours. Rinse then dry on kitchen paper.
Mix sugar, mustard and ginger with 3/4 pint of vinegar in a large saucepan and bring to the boil.
Add the vegetables and simmer for 5 minutes.
Blend the cornflour and turmeric with the remaining vinegar, stir into the vegetables and boil for 2 minutes.
Pack into warm, sterilised jars. Seal, label and store for a month before use.
November 2016. Cinnamon Apple Cake (serves 6-8)
This is a very useful recipe as you don't need eggs. It makes a delicious dessert and if there is any left over you can use it for afternoon tea.
9 oz plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
7 oz caster sugar
4 oz butter
12 oz cooked cpple (from 1.5 lb of cooking apples)
2 tbsp treacle
5 oz sultanas
Pre-heat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4
Grease a 8 inch (20 cm) cake tin and line with baking parchment.
Cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the apple sauce and treacle.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, spice and salt into the mixture and beat well.
Fold in the sultanas.
Pour the mix into cake tin and bake for approx 45 minutes until the cake is firm to the touch .
December 2016. Chocolate Crunch Torte with Stem Ginger and Figs (makes 24 pieces).
This is a recipe from Delia's 'Complete Christmas' publication. Its simplicity is that no cooking is required. Published by Sue Bethell.
225g dark chocolate,broken into pieces
4 pieces stem ginger in syrup, drained and each cut into 8 pieces
50g dried figs roughly chopped
3 tbs rum
100g skinned hazelnuts
150 ml double cream, lightly whipped
225g sweet oat biscuits, roughly chopped
Cocoa powder to dust
You will also need a 20cm, loose-based cake tin, lightly greased.
Soak the dried figs in the rum overnight.
Cook or toast the hazelnuts until golden.
Place the broken up chocolate and the butter in a large bowl, which should be sitting over a saucepan filled
with a couple of inches of barely simmering water, ensuring the bowl doesn't touch the water.
Let the chocolate melt slowly over a low heat - about 6 minutes until smooth and glossy.
Remove from heat and stir, then let the chocolate cool for about 2-3 minutes.
Fold in the whipped cream, followed by the soaked figs, ginger, hazelnut and biscuits and mix well.
Spoon into the cake tin as evenly as possible, cover with clingfilm and chill for a minimum of four hours.
Lightly dust with cocoa powder.
Store in the fridge until ready to serve.