Lord D and I spent a wonderful St. Valentine’s Day together, taking time for each other after a hectic week, and ignoring the frigid temperatures outside. He made his famous pork roast dinner (featured in Abbey Cooks Entertain), served with my homemade applesauce and horseradish. After tucking into comforting apple crumble, we topped off the evening with the latest installment of Downton Abbey.
Brace yourselves, we only have 2 episodes left. Start polishing your silver for your finale party, the series finale will be broadcast on March 6th. I believe I am mentally prepared to say goodbye to Downton, hoping to look forward to The Gilded Age, Julian’s next project which will focus on the millionaire titans of New York.
In keeping with tradition, I will continue to share one recipe from each episode as my love letter to the Downton kitchen staff and to those fans who love the food on the show. Charlie Carson is tricked into cooking dinner for his wife so he would gain an appreciation for cookery. Today’s recipe is a scrumptious apple-cheddar crumble, a dish Mr. Carson barely stayed awake to enjoy.
With only a few more episodes to go, we have to treasure every last morsel of Downton news:
- Downton takes on Super Bowl: rated 2nd for the 5th year in a row
- Recap of Season 6 Episode 6: best quotes, courtesy of PBS
- Life After Downton: what our favorite cast members are up to now
- Dowager zingers: best one liners through the series.
- The joys of growing older: ditching diplomacy in your old age
- Up close with Molesley: bad hair days, Lady Edith and fan encounters
- Celebrating Shrove Tuesday: a very Victorian Pancake day
What Happened in Season 6, Episode 7
A quick recap of what went on down and upstairs this past week:
- The family is invited to watch Henry race at Brooklands race. Tragically his best friend dies. Mary is horrified and breaks it off. Is this the end for Mary and Henry?
- Mrs. Patmore devises a scheme to give Mr. Carson a lesson in wife appreciation. Elsie feigns an injury forcing Charlie to cook. Message delivered as he barely makes it through dessert, never mind clean up.
- Mrs. Patmore’s Bed and Breakfast is now open. She personally cooks up a full English breakfast for her first guests.
- Violet gifts her son with a new puppy, while she heads off sailing to lick her wounds
- Before leaving for France, Violet confronts Amelia about the Isobel’s wedding invitation, and discovers she only wants a nurse maid for Lord Merton.
- Carson continues to pressure Thomas into finding a new position, and questions his motives for spending time with Andy. His only joy left in life appears to be playing with little George.
Valentines Cupid’s Scorecard
With Valentine’s Day in mind, I thought it would be a good time to check in to see how well our favorite characters are doing in love in Season 6.
- Robert and Cora: solid as Downton itself.
- John and Anna: baby on the way…
- Charlie and Elsie: the newlyweds are adjusting to married life
Love is Blooming
- Edith and Bertie: proposal!
- Mrs. Patmore and Mr. Mason: vegetable bouquet!
- Molesely and Baxter: supportive friends is a great start
Struggling in Spite of Themselves
- Mary and Henry: death by motor car
- Isobel and Lord Merton: meddling daughter in law makes for murky waters
- Daisy and Andy: will Daisy ever like someone who likes her back?
Downton Abbey Series Finale Contest: closes Feb. 19th, 2016
Since Downton Abbey is sadly coming to an end after 6 glorious seasons, I think we deserve to treat ourselves to one last feast. Keep your entries coming in. I will drawing the lucky winner on the 19th.
My good friends at Stonington Seafood and The Art of Pudding are graciously donating enough smoked cod and Christmas pudding to impress 8 guests at your Christmas Special Finale party, broadcast on PBS March 6th, 2016.
- Skill Testing Question: What is the first dish we see Mrs. Patmore prepare?*
- Send in your entry: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Entries limited to residents of USA or Canada
- Contest Closes February 19th
- Winner will be drawn from correct answers and announced February 22nd.
*hint: I shared this recipe on January 12, 2012; it is a breakfast dish make with smoked fish.
Don’t despair if you don’t win. As part of our finale celebrations we will be sharing Downton-worthy Finnan Haddie (cold-smoked haddock) recipes from chef Richard Penfold.
Prizes graciously donated by:
Fundraising Idea: Relaxing Over Afternoon Tea
Afternoon Tea: what a lovely way to host fellow Downton fans as you discuss the latest episode, and ponder what Downton will deliver next. The book contains 60+ recipes for tea treats, the three S’s: scones, sandwiches/savouries and sweets.
The book provides a brief history of afternoon tea, tea etiquette and tips on how to host your own tea for fun or fundraising. Amazon sells the print version and Kindle versions, or a you can download PDF version here.
Abbey Cooks Entertain: 2nd Edition
Whether you are hosting 2 or 20, this book has lots of ideas. Containing 220+ traditional Downton era recipes with a modern twist, this is a great book to create some simple or complex dishes for your Mary or Anna.
This 448 page ebook has been updated to include both metric and imperial measurements and now includes famous Downton dishes throughout the series. Book sales help offset my costs in food, equipment and time to provide you new recipes on a regular basis.
This ebook is now available for download on my site and on Amazon: Abbey Cooks Entertain: 220 recipes inspired by Downton Abbey, Seasons 1 – 5
Print Version is here. The good news is that the 2nd Edition is available on Amazon. The full book is 450 pages and will contain famous Downton recipes from Seasons 1-5.
This is the second crumble recipe we have prepared. Crumbles and crisps are essentially the same type of old fashioned dessert – lightly sweetened fruit topped with crumbly shortbread pastry. Crisps are often called crumbles in the UK. The first apple crumble recipe from Season 2 which Daisy is a lower fat version.
With the bitter cold, this crumble is is more indulgent, featuring the love affair between apples and cheddar cheese. The practice of combining cheese, fruit, and nuts dates back to ancient times, often served at the end of a meal because they were thought to aid in digestion. From the earliest days through the Renaissance, the partaking of these foods was generally considered a privileged of the wealthy. This practice was continued by wealthy dinners composed of many courses up until the 19th century.
- 2 pounds tart green apples, peeled, cored and sliced (6 cups)
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. ground cardamon
- 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese, at room temperature
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1″ pieces
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- Créme Anglaise, vanilla ice cream, or non fat plain yoghurt sweetened with honey.
- Preheat your oven to 400.
- Combine the apples, raisins, 2/3 cup of the brown sugar and spices. Turn mixture into a shallow 3 quart baking dish.
- In a small bowl, combine the remaining sugar, flour, oats, and 3/4 cup of the cheese. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender to rub in with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the remaining cheese and pecans. Sprinkle over the apples.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the apples are tender and juicy and the topping is golden brown. Let sit 5 minutes, then spoon into bowls and serve hot or warm with Créme Anglaise, ice cream, or non fat plain yoghurt sweetened with honey.
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1 2-inch piece vanilla bean, split
- 3 large egg yolks
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- Combine milk and cream in heavy medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring milk mixture to simmer. Remove from heat.
- Whisk egg yolks and sugar in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into yolk mixture. Return custard to saucepan. Stir over low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 5 minutes (do not boil).
- Strain sauce into bowl. Cover and chill. (Can be made 1 day ahead.)
For Your Downton Abbey Collection
Marvelous additions to your Downton Collection.