I start by saying a big thank-you to Jo and Phil James for writing a stonking guest article and for sharing their Turlu Turlu recipe with Truly Scrumptious readers in the last Digest, but also thank them for providing all the ‘ravishing’ locally sourced foods that has resulted in our Ludwell Stores being awarded the Countryside Alliance ‘Britain’s Best Village Shop / Post Office’ award 2011.
Without Ludwell Stores and Buttling’s we wouldn’t have had any of the recipes covered in this column. I have an unwritten rule that the main ingredients, if not all of those contained within the Scrumptious recipes, must be available in the village. I have rarely been short of ideas. Inspiration flies off the shelves and from the counters as I visit these two shops. The staff have volunteered some weird and wonderful ideas for recipes too although I resisted some of them – not believing readers were ready for novel uses of offal for example!
Sometimes, a food event, seasonal display or special days influence my musings – and there have been many food events celebrated by someone somewhere in the past couple of months. We have had National Sausage Day in February and National Pie Week in March. We’ve also had Shrove Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday as it is known in some places, marking the start of Lent. I was in Darlington on Shrove Tuesday this year and there wasn’t a whiff of a pancake to be had, so felt I should make up for this, and did so with gusto.
Pancakes are not complex but classic to make and the end result always delicious, they can also be whisked up in a sensible amount of time. For sweet or savoury, mixing poppy seeds or fresh herbs into the batter gives a lovely flavour and crunch (but not an attractive look if you get either of them stuck in your front teeth). In experimenting with this month’s recipe, which is perfect for Easter weekend, I found it took longer to cook a pancake (all of about 90 seconds!) than it did to eat one with lemon and sugar and I must have eaten at least four before disciplining myself and start stacking them as they came off the production line, ready to try this new recipe.
I write this at the end of Fairtrade Fortnight, another food-related community project. The Donheads were very fortunate to help mark this with an evening of live music and chat. Donhead St Mary Village Hall was decorated with candles and twinkly lights, as 20 plus of us listened to some moving stories through music and words from Gareth Davies-Jones in a relaxed informal setting. It was truly one of the best evenings I have spent together with friends and neighbours for a long time. Thank you Simon and Julie Lewis for hosting the evening and reminding us that supporting Fairtrade food is well within all of our reach as, naturally, it’s found on the shelves at Ludwell Stores. AIF
Lemon Curd Soufflé Pancakes
Approx. £2.60 when all ingredients purchased in Britain’s Best Village Shop (Ludwell Stores). Please buy Fairtrade or local when you can…..
Pancake mix (makes approx. 10) Ludwell Stores sells ready-made pancakes!
2 whole eggs
2 tsp caster sugar
100g plain flour
dash oil (try Green Weald rapeseed oil from Cranborne Chase)
Cooking oil (as above)
2 tbl lemon curd (not straight out of the fridge!)
50g caster sugar
6 egg whites (room temperature)
Preheat the oven – 200°C / Gas Mark 6 / AGA roasting oven with cold shelf on top rack
1. Make the pancakes by beating the eggs with the caster sugar, adding the milk and sift in the flour.
2. Whisk in the salt and the olive oil – leave for 10 minutes or more.
3. Heat a small crêpe pan and then add some cooking oil, enough to coat the base of the pan with a thin film. Heat until barely smoking
4. Ladle approx 2 tablespoons of the batter into the pan. Tilt and rotate until the batter is spread evenly. Cook for 30–60 seconds on each side.
5. Repeat with remaining batter and oil. Cool on large plate, stacking them between greaseproof paper or cling film.
For the soufflé mix
6. Whisk the egg whites until semi-stiff.
7. Add 25g sugar and whisk for just 10 seconds more.
8. Fold in the lemon curd.
9. Line a metal tray with greaseproof paper. Alternatively use a shallow dish or individual ear dishes (no need to grease).
10. Lay out the pancakes individually and spoon a portion of the egg and lemon curd mixture on to one half of each pancake and wrap over the other side.
11. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and bake in the middle of the preheated oven for ten minutes or until puffed up, golden and crisp.
Serve straight away with Fairtrade chocolate shavings or warmed stewed blackberries; blackcurrants or raspberries with cream. Alternatively, make a fruit (blackcurrant/raspberry) coulis by blending 150g fruit with a mixture of 25g sugar and 100ml water and use half in place of the lemon curd, serving the remaining warm coulis with some additional fruit.
A truly, truly scrumptious pudding any time of the year
These musings and recipes are gleaned from The Donhead Digest with the permission of AIF, their author.