In this, episode 8 of a 15-part TV series, Michael Buerk and Anna Haugh cooked up some recipes enjoyed by Royals when eating out and with friends and family.
The dishes that caught my eye today, made by Anna Haugh while Michael Buerk watched, were:
- Steamed Woodcock Pudding with Demi Glaze and Truffle
- Miniature Jam Puffs
- Mille Feuilles Mont Blanc – taken directly from Mildred Nicholls’ recipes book
There was also a piece with Geoffrey Bunting, a favourite dish of Royals called Seafood Eggs Drumkilbo – which is like a Seafood Cocktail.
Steamed Woodcock Pudding with Demi Glaze & Truffle
This Woodcock pudding is like a steak and kidney pudding, cooked in a suet pastry.
As with other programmes, the quantities of ingredients weren’t shared with the audience.
- Suet pastry: add suet to flour, pinch of salt, add water in gradually. Suet gives you a meatier finish than using butter or oil.
- Bring the suet pastry together slowly, by hand. It shouldn’t be sticky at all.
- Grease your pudding basin with butter and put a piece of paper on the bottom to stop the pudding sticking.
- Cut a chunk of the suet pastry off, which will become the lid.
- Roll out the suet for the sides of the pudding, roll it over the rolling pin so it doesn’t
break and drop it into the pudding basin. Squeeze it into shape.
- Roll the pastry lid before you put the filling in – so you can check it for size.
- Filling: Sweat down mushrooms, onions and a demi glaze (this is a fancy word for meat stock, including some red wine and madeira)
- Add the raw chopped woodcock to the sweated down vegetables. There was no cooking of the woodcock, it went into the pudding basin raw.
- Add some fresh parsley, chopped.
- Pour the vegetables/woodcock filling into the lined pudding dish.
- Fit the suet lid on and trim the edges so the top’s neater.
- Cover the top of the pudding basin with some folded foil, press it down, nice and tight, tie string round the basin to hold the foil in place.
- Steam for 3 hours in a saucepan of water.
- Remove foil lid, run a knife round/down the inside of the pudding basin to double check it doesn’t stick. Get a plate and turn the pudding out upside down. Remove pudding dish.
- Spoon some demi-glaze over the top of it. She put a lot of grated truffle on top.
Serve with swede, freshly steamed greens
Miniature Jam Puffs
Next, Anna Haugh made Miniature Jam Puffs, one of the Queen Mother’s favourites, especially at picnics.
- Use a sheet of shop bought puff pastry and cut out as many rounds as you can get from the sheet of pastry, using a pastry cutter. Anna got 12 from her sheet.
- Make 6 mincemeat and 6 jam:
Apricot jam – on one side of the disc, place a small teaspoon of
jam down – keep it to one side/half.
Mincemeat – repeat for mincemeat.
- Eggwash the edges of each disc and fold each one over and give it a good squeeze to seal the edges. Make sure there’s no air in there.
- Use a pastry cutter to remove the excess pastry where there’s no filling, so you’re just left with the spoons of jam/mincemeat covered in pastry.
- Lay down the pieces on a baking tray – into the oven at 180°C for
10 minutes. Do not eggwash these – they go in without any extra wash.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with icing sugar – then pop them under a really hot grill and 1-2 minutes later they turn into caramelised glazed mirrors.
Michael Buerk said that the Queen mother would serve these at picnics and had a special
way of eating them – she would eat one end off, then fill it with pouring cream and eat it, making a huge mess!
Seafood Eggs Drumkilbo.
These were a favourite of the Queen Mother. Anna Haugh visited Geoffrey Bunting, who made them.
Gladys Davidson, the chef, invented this as a cold dish to leave out for late guests.
- Lobster, prawns, tomato puree, small amount of tabasco sauce – and something I didn’t hear… I’ll try to find that ingredient!
- Mix it all together
- Add chopped tomatoes
- Add mayonnaise, a lot of it.
- Mix lightly.
- Add Chopped hard boiled eggs.
- Pot up into ramekins. Garnish, dill.
Mille Feuilles Mont Blanc
This is a pudding course. A tower of white pastry and whipped cream – Anna Haugh made this from Mildred Nicholls’ recipes book exactly as she’d written it down. Mille Feuilles means “1000 leaves” and refers to the layers of puff pastry.
This recipe makes one Mille Feuille Mont Blanc – large enough to serve 4-6 people!
- Puff pastry
- Apricot jam
- Marron glace (crystalline chestnuts)
- Whipped cream
- Chestnut puree
- Crushed pistachio nuts
- Puff pastry: Cut out five discs of puff pastry, cutting a circle
in the centre of four of them. Bake these in the oven for 20
minutes at 180°C.
- Warm some apricot jam in a saucepan and use this to stick the five
pieces of pastry together into a tower, starting with the solid disc at the
bottom. You are building a single tower of the discs, glued
together with a thin layer of apricot jam.
- Filling: Cream and chestnut puree in the middle. Start by spooning some chestnut puree into the bottom of the hole in the middle of the tower – then a layer of whipped cream – and repeat.
- Let the cream poke out of the top of the hole, then liberally cover the top of the stack with whipped cream which you palette knife on. Then pile it up on top and nudge the cream over the edges so it drops down the side.
- Use the knife to smooth it all round the sides – smooth round the sides until the whole of the pastry is completely covered in the whipped cream, so you can’t see the pastry at all.
- Generously sprinkle crushed pistachios on the top. Place the marron glace round the outside at the base of the tower, with gaps – pipe a blob of cream into those gaps.
I’d certainly make any of the dishes above, with my own little shortcuts and cheats of course!
E&OE: I typed the above up as I was watching the programme, most of the recipes can be adapted and you can use nifty little food cheats to reproduce them more quickly, or with less effort, if you wish.