We are now in Downton Downtime after the completion of Season 3. For those who have not caught up, beware of spoiler as this Season ends, well it ends quick unexpectedly.
I love hosting virtual tea parties where we can dish on Downton news as well as other current events near and dear to Downton Abbey fans.
Today’s dish is a wonderful tea time treat. Manchester Tarts have a humble history in the Victorian era which had a royal makeover when Queen Victoria came to visit.
- Music to our Ears: Why we love the Downton theme song so much
- But Why? Julian Fellowes Explains Season 3: his interview with New York Times
- She is just drawn that way: Jessica Fellowes provides her take on the S3 Finale and insight into O’Brien.
- Mrs. Patmore: Interview with Lesley Nicol in Vulture Magazine
- Fun Video Collage Clip: What Makes you Beautiful by One Direction
- Season 4 Casting News: for inquiring minds only
- Dame Maggie Smith’s Interview on 60 Minutes
- 60 Minutes Overtime: Interview clips didn’t see on TV
Abbey Cooks Entertain: Because Food Provides Comfort
With 220 Downton era recipes, you will want to get this book for recipes for the famous Downton dishes. Book sales help offset my costs in food, equipment and time to keep bringing you new dishes each week. You can only get a signed copy here on my site. If you don’ have an eReader I would suggest the PDF version which can be printed if you like.
Be THE Cook in Your Own Abbey
While I am passionate about Downton Abbey, I get really excited when I can inspire others to get into the kitchen to cook real and healthy food, particularly those like Lady Sybil who have no skills, but are eager to learn. Cooking is a labour of love and sharing that love is so important in building/maintaining relationships.
The Crawleys and servants shared most of their meals together. It is a shame our busy lives prevent many of us from sitting down together to eat on a regular basis. Keep sharing your pictures of Downton era foods and I will post here and thank you with a free download of my book.
The Original Receipt
The Manchester tart is based on manchester pudding from the Victorian era. The tart originated in Manchester, England as a working class dessert made of bread crumbs. When Queen Victoria came to visit the city, the meringue topping was added to make it more regal.
This particular version is one of the earliest published versions brought to us in 1861 by the young Mrs. Beeton, the original domestic goddess diva of the Victorian Era.
This particular version is one of the earliest published versions brought to us in 1861 by the young Mrs. Beeton, my favorite domestic diva of the Victorian Era: She taught a generation of middle class housewives, like Isobel, how to run an efficient home.
You might be interested to see how a Victorian recipe was laid out. Prior to Mrs. Beeton there was no separation of ingredients and method so you didn’t know what you needed until you read the whole “receipt”. Mrs. Beeton not only included the yield, but when best to prepare the dish and cost.
Original Recipe 1300. INGREDIENTS — 3 oz. of grated bread, 1/2 pint of milk, a strip of lemon—peel, 4 eggs, 2 oz. of butter, sugar to taste, puff—paste, jam, 3 tablespoonfuls of brandy. Mode.–Flavour the milk with lemon—peel, by infusing it in the milk for 1/2 hour; then strain it on to the bread crumbs, and boil it for 2 or 3 minutes; add the eggs, leaving out the whites of 2, the butter, sugar, and brandy; stir all these ingredients well together; cover a pie—dish with puff—paste, and at the bottom put a thick layer of any kind of jam; pour the above mixture, cold, on the jam, and bake the pudding for an hour. Serve cold, with a little sifted sugar sprinkled over. Time.–1 hour. Average cost, 1s. Sufficient for 5 or 6 persons. Seasonable at any time.
Victorian Manchester Tarts
Victorian Manchester Tarts
- 1 sheet puff pastry*
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 2 strips lemon peel
- 4 large eggs 4 yolks, 2 whites
- 3 tbsp. brandy
- 2 tbsp. sugar or sugar substitute
- 1/2 cup quality jam damson jam is the traditional jam of choice
- 2 tbsp. icing sugar dust
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Heat milk and lemon zest in a medium-sized pan to the boiling point. Take off the heat and let sit for 30 minutes to infuse the lemon, then remove the zest.
- Add the bread crumbs to the pot, and reheat.
- Beat together egg yolks, egg whites, butter, sugar and brandy in a bowl. Pour in about half the hot milk to temper. Mix thoroughly then pour the egg mixture back into the pan. Heat gently for 1 minute then take off the heat and set aside to cool.
- Roll pastry and cut 12 circles and fit into muffin tins. Alternatively you can make one large 9" tart.
- Put a thick layer of jam in the base (1 tsp. in your muffin cups) then ladle in the custard mix. If you put in lots of jam you will get a nifty volcano effect at the end.
- Bake the individual tarts for 45, the large tart for 60 minutes, or until filling has set and is slightly browned.
- Serve cold, dusted with icing sugar.