Meat Pie – A Downton Abbey Recipe

Meat Pies - A Downton Abbey Recipe

In Downton Abbey, most of the food we see is the fancy stuff that the “upstairs” folks eat. A lot of this fancy food looks beautiful and delicious, but some of it just sounds gross. However, we don’t see a lot of what the “downstairs” servants eat. So, when I saw an opportunity to recreate some more common English foods, I knew I had to take it.

In one of the episodes where Alfred is learning to cook, Jimmy makes fun of him for cooking such fancy things. As a retort, Alfred says, “We can’t all live off of battered fish and meat pies.” Well, that actually sounds pretty good to me.

English meat pies can be made with a variety of different meats and vegetables, but the most common vegetables are potatoes, carrots, and peas. I left the peas out of this pie because my husband hates them (which really stinks because peas are my absolute favorite vegetable!) But I’m going to include peas in the list of ingredients for you because they really give an added element of authenticity to these pies. You can make one big pie, like I did, or you can make smaller individual pies. It’s really up to you.

Meat Pie - A Downton Abbey Recipe

Meat Pies – A Downton Abbey Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef, browned
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup sweet peas
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup beef gravy
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 pie crusts
  • 1 egg

Directions

  1. Boil the potato pieces and carrot pieces in a pot of water on the stove for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables start to get soft.
  2. Drain the water from the carrots and potatoes.
  3. Combine the browned beef, cooked potatoes, cooked carrots, peas, onion powder, worcestershire sauce, gravy, and salt and pepper into a large bowl, mixing well.
  4. Line a pie dish or a deep pan with one pie crust, and pour the meat mixture on top of it.
  5. Place the second pie crust on top of the meat mixture, sealing the edges closed.
  6. Cut some slits into the center of the crust.
  7. Whisk the egg in a small bowl, and brush the top of the pie with egg.
  8. Bake the pie at 375 degrees F for about 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

 

Good food is meant to be shared!

Homemade Ladyfingers – A Downton Abbey Recipe

Homemade Ladyfingers - A Downton Abbey Recipe

At some point on this blog, I really want to recreate the Charlotte Russe pudding served in one particular episode of Downton Abbey. While researching Charlotte Russe recipes, I realized that it calls for ladyfingers. Ladyfingers are small thin biscuits that are often used to line pudding dishes. I decided that before I tackled the actual pudding recipe, I wanted to try my hand at making ladyfingers from scratch, and I think they turned out pretty good! I slightly adapted this recipe from Allrecipes.com.

There are 2 keys to making these ladyfingers perfect. First off, you have to make sure the batter doesn’t get too warm, or else it will melt too quickly in the oven, creating biscuits that are too flat. Second, make sure to be gentle when folding in the egg whites so as not to deflate them. Deflated egg whites will also result in a biscuit that is too flat.

Homemade Ladyfingers – A Downton Abbey Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder

Directions

  1. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form and the surface becomes glossy.
  2. In a separate bowl, whip the egg yolks and sugar together. Continue to whisk the yolk mixture until it turns a pale yellow color. This should take a couple minutes.
  3. Fold half of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
  4. Sift the flour and baking powder together on top of the egg mixture, and stir carefully to combine, without deflating the egg whites.
  5. Carefully fold in the remaining egg whites.
  6. Allow the batter to sit in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  7. Scoop the batter into a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch-wide round tip, or you can use a large plastic zip-top bag with one of the corners snipped off to form a 1/2-inch-wide hole.
  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  9. Pipe the batter onto the baking sheet in strips about 1 inch wide and 3 inches long.
  10. Bake at 400 degrees F for 8 minutes.

These homemade ladyfingers would be perfect for using in a pudding or trifle, but they’re also simplistically sweet and yummy enough to eat on their own.

 

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Good food is meant to be shared!

Cheese Straws – Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey cheese straws recipe

Recently I rewatched most of Downton Abbey to take note of the food references, and the show was just as captivating as it was when I first watched it. I had forgotten about some events in the story, and even the ones I remembered were still exciting the second time around.

In Downton Abbey, there are a few scenes that revolve around food, but there are also a bunch of foods mentioned just in passing by one of the characters. These are actually my favorite food references, because it’s just a little something to lend an authentic feel to the world, rather than to move the story along.

One of these such references was to cheese straws. During a scene in the kitchen, Daisy mentions casually that she is going to make some cheese straws. I love cheese, so I looked up a good traditional recipe for cheese straws to recreate and share with you. I found a recipe from BBC Food and adapted it to my tastes.

Cheese Straws Recipe – Downton Abbey

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne powder
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 Tbsp. cold water (or more, if needed)

Directions

  1. Sift together the flour and salt.
  2. Add the butter, and crumble it together with the flour with your fingers until it is well incorporated.
  3. Add the cheddar, parmesan, cayenne powder, and egg yolk and mix.
  4. Pour some cold water into the mix, a few Tbsp. at a time until a stiff dough forms.
  5. Chill the dough for about 30 minutes
  6. Roll out the dough until it is about 1/4-inch thick.
  7. Cut the dough into thin strips (mine were a bit too thick in the photos…now I know for next time!)
  8. Lay the strips onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  9. Bake the cheese straws at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes.

What I loved about this recipe is that most tea-time recipes I find online are sweet, and this is the perfect tea-time snack with a savory flavor. So, make up a batch of these Downton Abbey cheese straws before your next tea party!

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!

Good food is meant to be shared!

Apple Charlotte Recipe – Downton Abbey

apple charlotte recipeOne of my favorite things about Downton Abbey (besides all the juicy drama, that is) is that food actually plays a rather important role in the story. When the downstairs staff, many important scenes take place in the kitchen while Mrs. Patmore and Daisy are preparing meals. Upstairs, a lot of riveting conversation and drama occurs at the dining table, especially when there are visitors present. For this reason, I have loved coming up with recipes to recreate so that I can feel more integrated in one of my favorite shows.

This apple charlotte recipe was inspired by one of the earliest episodes of the show. In season/series 1, Cora is desperate for her eldest daughter, Mary, to find a husband. To this end, she invites Sir Anthony Strallan over for dinner. Cora hopes that Mary and Sir Anthony will hit it off over dinner, but Lord Grantham isn’t so optimistic since he is “at least my age and as dull as paint.” Well, then.

In preparation for Sir Anthony’s visit, Cora asks Mrs. Patmore to make Sir Anthony’s favorite apple charlotte recipe for dessert. That sounded very fancy, and I do love a good apple dessert, so I did some research. A “charlotte” is a type of molded pudding. Traditionally, it should be baked in a charlotte mold, though you can use a casserole dish or souffle dish like I did. It will certainly look prettier if you use a charlotte mold, however.

I used this recipe from Food Network and it turned out great.

apple charlotte recipe

Apple Charlotte Recipe – Downton Abbey

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 12 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 12-20 pieces of white bread, crusts removed
  • Extra butter

Directions

  1. Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat, then add the apples, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla.
  2. Cook the apple mixture on the stove for 45 minutes.
  3. Butter 4 bread slices (or enough to cover the bottom of the pan), and place them butter-side down on the bottom of the pan. Trim the edges to fit the shape of the pan if necessary, but make sure the entire bottom of the pan is covered with bread.
  4. Cut 11 slices of bread (or however many are needed to cover the sides of the pan) in half, lengthwise. Butter the bread and place the pieces against the sides of the pan, buttered side out. Overlap the bread slices a bit to ensure there are no gaps.
  5. Pour the apple mixture into the pan over the buttered bread.
  6. Cut 7 bread slices (or however many needed for the top of the pan) into triangles.
  7. Fan the bread triangles across the top of the pan, ensuring they cover the apple filling entirely. Brush the tops with melted butter.
  8. Bake the pudding at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
  9. Allow the pudding to cool slightly and set. Flip the pudding onto a serving platter to slice and serve.

This apple charlotte recipe tastes great when served with whipped cream or ice cream. Serve it up for a fancy dinner to impress guests, or make it just for a fun treat.

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for any sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!

Good food is meant to be shared!