I'm thrilled to present Miss Windsor's Quick & Easy Victorian Boiled Fruitcake - a delightful addition to your afternoon tea pageantry of goodies; or a rather toothsome, time-saving alternative to the traditional Christmas cake.
Oh, and I'm proud to say that my version is 'loosely' based on my beloved grandmother Josie's recipe. You see, ever since she sadly waltzed through the Pearly Gates in 2013, I've tirelessly strived to resurrect her scrumptious culinary creation. I say, but Grandmother Josie is quite a hard act to follow, plus she left no written record of her recipe.
Miss Windsor excitedly presents Mrs Beeton’s Traditional British Christmas Pudding recipe - a frightfully fruity, remarkably rich, temptingly moist, and abundantly boozy classic festive dessert, which I discovered buried deep within my culinary bible - the 1906 edition of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management - page 939, to be exact - How spiffing!
And I must say, what thrill it was, although rather laborious, to step back in time to the late 1800's and re-create an age-old recipe following traditional methods. And so, with a whole day set aside, and with my great great grandmother Georgina in mind, I wished to experience the joys of a Victorian 19th-century cook, slogging away in the kitchen as one prepares for the Christmas Day feast - well, so far, just the Christmas pudding!
Okey dokey - let’s crack on and make some pumpkin puree from scratch! Perfect for pumpkin pie or as a tasty, seasonal, healthful alternative to our beloved starch ladened mashed potato!
I say, if you're keen on creating the latter, then Miss Windsor recommends to ‘jazz’ it up with a dollop of butter, followed by a sprinkling of sea salt and cracked black pepper – Oh, how spiffing!
I excitedly present Fannie Merritt Farmer’s good old-fashioned American pumpkin pie!
You see, I discovered this rather fabulous and frightfully easy recipe in my 1909 edition of The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book - How Spiffing!
But rather interestingly, the origins of pumpkin pie tumble all the way back to the 1500’s, where Medieval cooks served stewed pumpkin, sweetened with sugar, livened up with spice, and enwreathed with pastry – sounds scrumptious!
Also, there are many early recorded recipes of pumpkin pie, one of which has a French connection - Ooh la la! - Tourte of Pompion - created by Francois Pierre La Varenne in 1653. Then of course, as the years zoomed by, during 1796 a recipe for pumpkin pie appeared in the first known American cookbook by Amelia Simmons, which is very similar to Fannie’s version, although it requires scalded milk, eight eggs, and one may add grated lemon-peel instead of spices.
Anyone for tennis? Oh, dearie me, last shout for The Championships Wimbledon was on Sunday 15th of July. But not to worry, Miss Windsor’s here to console you with a sup or two of her frightfully fruity Pimm’s cocktail - which is just the tonic to soothe one’s post-tennis blues. Or why not join Mrs Simkins (my culinary collaborator) and I for a jolly good quaff at our summer garden party!
So, move over Mr Original Gin Sling, and make way for Miss Windsor’s intensely vibrant vodka-based tipple – Toot sweet! which oozes a luxurious touch of Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur.
Miss Windsor and I can scarcely believe our Queen has now been on the throne for 65 years. It’s a whole lifetime! She is our longest reigning monarch, Queen Victoria ruled for 63 years, seven months and two days, in case you are wondering!
The Queen loves afternoon tea and there are several cakes she particularly enjoys: Dundee cake, ginger cake, sponge cake filled with jam and maybe cream, possibly Battenberg, but her favourite cake of all is chocolate biscuit cake.
I say, my royal counterparts are really putting on a jolly good show this year – Bravo!
Not only were we treated to a beautiful wedding as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle become the Duke and Duchess of Sussex - Oh, how spiffing! Then on Saturday 2nd June, we joined the gaiety as HM Queen Elizabeth II celebrated 65 glorious years on the throne – Well done your grace!
You see, to commemorate the anniversary of the coronation, my darling Mrs Simkins and fellow collaborator rustled up Her Majesty’s most favourite teatime dessert - Chocolate Biscuit Cake.
I say, so following such merriment we now prepare for our next royal ‘knees-up’ – the Queen’s official birthday of Trooping the Colour which takes place on June 9th (2018)
Miss Windsor and I send our very best wishes to newly married royals Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. And what a fabulous wedding they had, so very moving and full of wonderful and lovely surprises.
Eat cake, sip champagne, and be merry!
Come and join the revelry, as I crank up the volume to ‘Congratulations’ by pop sensation - Sir Cliff! One, two, three - now altogether, “Congratulations, and jubilations, I want the world to know I’m happy as can be!” – Oh, what a classic!
In keeping with the ‘spirit’ of The Championships, Wimbledon, one hoped to stumble across a recipe with a tennis connection. Well, 'lo and behold' whilst flicking through my 1906 edition of Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, there I discovered a recipe for Tennis Cake!
Darlings, as you’ll soon discover, Miss Windsor’s spin on Mrs Beeton’s most decadent, moist and luxurious Tennis Cake boasts an appealing light texture and colour - bestrewn with a plenteous amount of chopped almonds and flavoured with a subtle zing of lemon.
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