The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter

Recipes from the Land Between the Lakes

The Tale of Hawthorn House (#4)

The Tale of Hawthorn House (#4)
(click for pdf [printable] version)

These are the recipes that are included in The Tale of Hawthorn House (#4). Authentic Lake District foods are usually calorie-rich and based on locally grown meat, poultry, vegetables, garden-grown fruit and berries, and dairy. Mutton and lamb are favorite meats (cattle are mostly kept for their milk, rather than meat).

Mr. Vulpes' Turkish Delight / Parsley's Potato Pancakes with Mushroom Filling /
Jane Crosfield's Glazed Currant Buns / Sarah Barwick's Teabread / Dimity Woodcock's Lemon Curd

Mr. Vulpes' Turkish Delight
Turkish Delight
Turkish Delight

Jemima Puddle-duck is not alone in her love for Turkish Delight, a candy which was often presented by Victorian gentlemen to the ladies they were courting. It is probably best known as the seductive confection offered by the White Witch to Edmund Pevensie in C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. There are several versions of this recipe; this is Jemima's favorite.

2 cups sugar
1¼ cups water
1 lemon, peeled the peel cut into strips, the juice squeezed and strained
1 orange, the peel cut into strips, the juice squeezed and strained
4 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
½ cup toasted nuts or candied fruit, chopped fine (optional)
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Peel the lemon and orange. Scrape the pith from the peel and cut it into strips. Squeeze the juice and strain it. Dissolve the sugar in half of the water over medium heat. Add the strips of lemon and orange peel and the juices. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir the gelatin into the hot liquid and allow to set for 5-10 minutes. Strain the mixture into a bowl and add nuts or fruit. Pour into a shallow pan and let it set for 24 hours. Cut into 1-inch squares. Sift the confectioner's sugar and cornstarch together onto a plate. Roll the candy squares in the mixture. Store the squares, layered and dusted with confectioners' sugar and cornstarch, in closed containers.

Parsley's Potato Pancakes with Mushroom Filling

Potatoes were (and still are) a staple food in the Land between the Lakes. Everyone grew them, everyone ate them at every meal, and every cook had a repertoire of family favorites. Parsley's rich potato pancakes are made, omelette-style, with leftover mashed potatoes, and filled with mushrooms. The quantities given are for one large pancake. Double or triple as necessary

1 cup mashed potatoes
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon grated onion
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1½ cups mushrooms
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
parsley for garnish

To make the pancake, beat the eggs into the potatoes and add grated onion, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

To make the filling, heat the butter in a small skillet and sauté the onions and garlic until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, then stir in the parsley, thyme, and salt and pepper.

To cook, heat butter in an 8-10" skillet, and pour in the potato mixture. Cook until nicely browned on bottom, then turn and cook. Spoon on the mushroom mixture, fold and serve to two. Garnish with parsley sprig. Serve with sausage and Jane's currant buns.

Jane Crosfield's Glazed Currant Buns
hot cross buns
Hot Cross Buns

1 package dry yeast
¼ cup milk, scalded and cooled to room temperature
1 cup milk, scalded and cooled
2 cups flour
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup melted shortening
½ cup currants (raisins may be substituted)
1¾ cups flour

2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
¾ cup boiling water
granulated sugar

To make the sponge, dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup milk. Add to the rest of the milk, and pour into a large bowl. Mix in 2 cups flour, beating until the sponge is smooth. Cover and let rise in a warm place. When light, stir in the egg, sugar, salt, shortening, currants, and flour and mix to a soft dough. Knead until elastic, cover and let rise. When doubled in bulk, turn onto a board, roll out ½" thick, and cut into rounds. In a greased baking pan, set close together or separated, depending on whether you'd like a soft or a crusty bun. Cover and let rise. When doubled in bulk, bake about twenty-five minutes at 350°.

To make the glaze, make a paste of the cornstarch and cold water. Add to the boiling water in a small pan and simmer ten minutes. About 5-10 minutes before the buns are done, brush the cornstarch mixture over the tops and dust thickly with sugar and cinnamon. Return to the oven until done.

Sarah Barwick's Teabread
Anvil Cottage
Anvil Cottage

This traditional teatime favorite comes from the Borrowdale area and is served throughout the Lake District. Anvil Cottage, where our fictional Sarah Barwick lives and operates her bakery, really did house a bakery for many years. From 1911 on, it was operated by Mrs. Green and then by her daughter Mollie. Until recently, Mollie Green had a tearoom in the front parlor.

3 cups raisins and currants, mixed
1¼ cups strong black tea
¾ cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
1¾ cups flour
½ teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cloves

In a large bowl, soak the raisins and currants in the tea for 6-8 hours. Stir in the sugar, egg, and margarine or butter. Sift together the flour, soda, cinnamon, and cloves and mix into the sugar-egg mixture. Pour into a lightly greased and line loaf pan and bake at 350° for 60 to 75 minutes, until top springs back from a touch. Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack. Slice.

Dimity Woodcock's Lemon Curd

Traditionally, lemon curd is spread on scones at afternoon tea, but you can also use it as a tart filling or spread it between the layers of trifles or cakes. Do stir.

4 large egg yolks
2 large whole eggs
¾ cup sugar
½ cup fresh lemon juice (don't use bottled juice)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Grated zest of 2 lemons

Beat together the egg yolks and the eggs in a medium bowl. Put the sugar and lemon juice into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the eggs. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a metal spoon, about 8 to 10 minutes. Pour the curd through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Cut the butter into four pieces and add a piece at a time, stirring until smooth. Stir in the zest. Cover the surface with plastic wrap so a skin doesn't form. Cool completely before using, or refrigerate for up to 4 days. Makes 1½ cups.

For a less lemony taste, whip ½ cup heavy whipping cream and fold into the curd.

Click here for pdf [printable] version of these recipes

Check out some other Cottage Tales recipes:
The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood (#3) / The Tale of Briar Bank (#5)