Recipes from a November kitchen

Each evening, warmed by the smouldering fire in the servants’ hall, the staff at Ickworth would tuck into a sumptuous dinner as a reward for their hard day’s work.  The cooks were highly skilled in their craft and, night after night. produced delectable dishes for the upstairs family.

Poachers Pie
8oz plain flour
2oz butter
2oz lard
1 lb. boneless rabbit skinned and cubed
2 medium potatoes
1tbsp parsley
¼ tsp. herbs
4oz streaky bacon rashers, chopped
Chicken stock
1 egg
Put the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl and rub in the butter and lard until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 3-4tbsp cold water and mix to form a firm dough. Fill a 3 pint pie dish with alternate layers of rabbit, bacon and vegetables, sprinkling with seasoning and herbs Half-fill with stock Roll out the pasty on a lightly floured surface to 2
inches wider than the top of the dish. Cut a 1 inch strip from the outer edge and line the dampened rim of the dish. Dampen the pastry rim and cover with the pastry lid. Trim and seal the edges. Make a hole in the centre to let the steam escape. Decorate with pastry leaves and brush with egg. Bake in the oven at 190 degrees for a further hour.

Cheese and Onion tartlets

8ozs short crust pastry (made with ratio of half fat to flour, lard and butter)
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 eggs
¼ pint milk
½oz finely grated cheese
Salt and pepper
Carefully roll the pastry to 1/8th inch thick. Using a 2 inch plain cutter, make the tart bases and press them into a patty tin. Place some onion into the cases. Beat the eggs into the milk and add salt and pepper. Pour a little of the mixture into each case and top with cheese. Do not overfill. Bake in a moderate oven until the custard sets and the tarts are golden brown. Cool a little and then carefully remove them from the tin with a palette knife. Serve hot or cold.

Ginger Pudding

6oz Flour
6oz sugar
6 eggs
8oz preserved ginger
1 pint cream
6oz butter
Put the cream, sugar, butter and a pinch of salt into a stew pan and as soon as they begin to simmer, take off the heat. Throw in the flour and stir the whole together quickly. Pour this paste back again on the fire and continue stirring it for about five minutes. Take off of the heat and gradually mix in the six eggs. Cut the ginger into small pieces and add to the preparation. Spread a mould with butter and pour mixture in. Steam for an hour and a half. When done, serve with custard and ginger syrup.

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