Redwall

Woodland Stew – A Redwall Recipe

For Christmas, my husband gave me two Redwall picture books, A Redwall Winter’s Tale and The Great Redwall Feast. Both books are a fun read, and they are also beautifully illustrated. I expected to find lots of food inspiration in The Great Redwall Feast (and I did!), but A Redwall Winter’s Tale also had some cozy depictions of food and feasting. That’s where I got the inspiration for this recipe.

A Redwall Winter’s Tale takes place across the span of two days: the last day of autumn, and the first day of winter. For the evening meal on the last day of autumn, the creatures feast on woodland stew, among other things. When I read about woodland stew, I imagined the creatures of Redwall venturing out into the woods on a cold autumn day to gather the last remaining vegetables and herbs before the freeze. It’s with that image in my mind that I created this woodland stew. Instead of creating a recipe first and then going to buy ingredients, I did the opposite, and instead “foraged” for ingredients first. I went to the grocery store and picked up any vegetable or herb that I thought would be at home in a warm autumnal stew, and this was the result! Using that same inspiration as a guide, I encourage you to recreate this stew using whatever vegetables and herbs you like, though I’ll offer suggestions. Let’s get cooking!

Woodland Stew – A Redwall Recipe

Ingredients:
3 cups chopped veggies*
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch

*Use whatever veggies sound good to you. Some veggies that work well in stew are onion, garlic, celery, carrots, potatoes, corn, peas, and mushrooms.

Directions:
1. Place the veggies and broth in a big pot, and boil until the veggies are tender.
2. Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, seasoning, and balsamic vinegar.
3. Mix the cornstarch with about 2 Tablespoons of water.
4. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the stew, and stir well.
5. Allow the stew to boil, stirring frequently, until it thickens.

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Skilly ‘n Duff – A Redwall Recipe

Skilly N Duff - A Redwall Recipe

 

It’s been awhile, but I’m back with a new recipe! For my first blog post in almost 6 months, I thought I’d go with something a little unique. The Redwall books are full of foods that are quite original. Skilly ‘n duff is one of them.

Skilly ‘n duff is a dish enjoyed by Guosim shrews, searats, and pretty much any other seafaring critter. It’s essentially made of sweet dumplings stuffed with berries or nuts poached in a pudding-like sauce. For inspiration, I turned to a recipe for sweet German dumplings, but I made quite a few changes to the recipe to more closely fit the skilly ‘n duff described in the books. The result is sweet and comforting, perfect for a chilly night at sea.

 

Skilly ‘N Duff – A Redwall Recipe

 

Ingredients

For the Dumplings:

  • 2/3 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 packet instant dry yeast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • Fresh berries for the filling

For the Sauce:

  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 7 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

  1. Either in the microwave or on the stove top, heat the milk until it is lukewarm. Be careful not to make it too hot.
  2. Stir the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar into the warm milk, and set aside for about 10 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the sugar, the egg, the melted butter, and the yeast mixture.
  4. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it is smooth.
  5. Allow the dough to rise in a greased bowl for about an hour.
  6. For the sauce, combine the milk, sugar, butter, and vanilla extract in a saucepan and heat until simmering.
  7. Divide the dough into 8 separate balls.
  8. Flatten out each dough ball in the palm of your hand, stuff it with a few berries, then fold the dough over the berries, pinching to seal it.
  9. Place the dumplings in the simmering sauce, and place the lid on the pan. Allow the dumplings to cook for about 30 minutes on medium heat.
  10. Remove the cooked dumplings with a slotted spoon.
  11. In a separate bowl, combine the cornstarch and the water, whisking until no lumps remain.
  12. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the sauce, continuously stirring until it thickens to a pudding-like consistency.
  13. Serve the dumplings warm with the pudding sauce.
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Blackberry Sponge Cake – A Redwall Recipe

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Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like there’s something very rustic about blackberries. Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries get a lot of attention and seem to have a lot of modern uses, but I don’t often see recipes involving blackberries. That’s why, when I came across a reference to a blackberry sponge cake in one of the Redwall books, I knew I had to get baking.

I baked this cake in the Fall, but I never got around to posting it until now. I know it can be hard to find fresh blackberries to use this time of year, but I think frozen berries could work well, too. You can also substitute for a different kind of berry, or just save this recipe for the summer when you can find fresh blackberries.

I had a hard time finding a blackberry sponge cake recipe to follow, but I finally found this recipe. A note about the measurements for my fellow American cooks: You’ll notice I’ve kept the ingredient measurements in weight measurements (grams) instead of cups. Usually, I like to convert British recipes to American baking measurements since I know not everyone has a kitchen scale. However, I’ve discovered the hard way that sponge cake really does turn out best when the ingredients are measured in grams rather than cups, since it’s more precise. You can find a kitchen scale for around $10 to $15, so it’s a relatively inexpensive addition to your kitchen, and I think you’ll find a lot of other uses for it, too, in addition to making delicious sponge cakes.

Blackberry Sponge Cake – A Redwall Recipe

Ingredients

  • 125 grams unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  • 125 grams sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 125 grams flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Splash of milk (any kind)
  • 12 ounces blackberries

Directions

  1. Beat together the butter and sugar.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add a splash of milk and mix until just incorporated.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased round cake tin.
  6. Lightly coat the blackberries with flour and scatter them over the top of the batter.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees F.

You can serve this cake with ice cream or whipped cream, but it’s also delicious on its own. A dusting of powdered sugar is yummy, too.

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Oat Farls – A Redwall Recipe

Oats are a common food in Mossflower Country. Whether cooked into a porridge, baked into a scone, or sprinkled on a berry crumble, oats provide hearty nourishment for all creatures at Redwall Abbey. When reading in one of the Redwall books about the adventures of a travelling band of creatures, I saw that they ate a lot of oat farls.

Oat Farls - A Redwall Recipe

I had never heard of oat farls, only soda farls, so I looked it up. It turns out, “farl” is just the word used to describe the shape of a type of bread or scone, rather than describing the actual ingredients or method. A farl is a scone cut into a sort of triangular shape before it’s baked.

As the base of the farls, I adapted this recipe for Scottish Oat Scones. I changed up the ingredients slightly and shaped them accordingly to earn the name “farl.” These oat farls are sweet and hearty, perfect for any time of the day, and they travel well, too, as they’re not too crumbly.

 

Oat Farls – A Redwall Recipe

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Mix together the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Add the egg, butter, and buttermilk to the dry ingredients, and mix until just incorporated.
  3. On a floured surface, pat the dough into a circle, about 1/2-inch thick.
  4. Cut the circle of dough into 6 farls (triangular pieces).
  5. Place the farls on a baking sheet, using a silicone baking mat.
  6. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Notes

You may use either rolled oats or quick oats, but I prefer quick oats because they incorporate into the dough better. The rolled oats will give you a chewier texture, so it’s really up to personal preference.

 

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Autumn Harvest Breakfast Bread – A Redwall Recipe

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Autumn Harvest Breakfast Bread - A Redwall Recipe

The inhabitants of Mossflower Country are very in tune with the seasons. They count their lives in seasons instead of years, and they cook and eat seasonally as well. The gardens and orchards of Redwall Abbey provide much of the food they need, and it’s up to the Friar to turn this bounty of nature into a delicious meal.

I think of the Redwall gardens in autumn practically bursting with a plentiful harvest, and I recalled that the inhabitants of Redwall often enjoy seasonal breads with their breakfast. So, I set out to make a breakfast bread perfect for the autumn season. I started with this pumpkin bread recipe from Betty Crocker, added a few of my favorite autumn flavors, and reduced the sugar a bit to make it more suitable for breakfast.

I am sure the creatures of Redwall would have added some chopped nuts to this bread, but I left them out since I personally don’t like nut bread. But if you like them, it would make this autumn harvest breakfast bread heartier and more authentic.

Enjoy this bread with a warm cup of herbal tea for a truly comforting breakfast.

 

Autumn Harvest Breakfast Bread – A Redwall Recipe

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, sugar, maple syrup, applesauce, vanilla, and eggs.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, and stir until just combined and no clumps remain.
  3. Divide the batter into two greased loaf pans.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for just under an hour (start checking at around 50 minutes). If the middle is not done yet, but the top is getting too dark, cover it with aluminum foil to prevent it from burning while it finishes cooking.
  5. Allow to cool before serving.
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Raspberry Cordial – A Redwall Recipe

At Redwall Abbey, whenever the creatures gather together for a feast (which is quite often!), they offer a variety of drinks. Many of these drinks, like October ale, are alcoholic and therefore not enjoyed by everyone. I wanted to recreate one of the nonalcoholic drinks offered so that it could be enjoyed by all! All the dibbuns (the children) at Redwall Abbey love raspberry cordial, and can be seen drinking it in almost all of the Redwall books.

Raspberry Cordial - A Redwall Recipe

I had never had raspberry cordial until now, but I can see why the dibbuns like it so! It is sweet and fruity, but quite rich, so a little bit goes a long way. Follow this recipe for raspberry cordial to bring a little nonalcoholic cheer to your next gathering.

Raspberry Cordial - A Redwall Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 cups water

Instructions

  1. Place the raspberries and sugar into a sauce pan, and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

  2. As the berries cook, crush them a bit to help release the juices.

  3. Once the raspberry mixture appears thick and bubbly (about 5 minutes), remove it from the stove.

  4. Pour the raspberry mixture through a fine strainer into a pitcher, crushing the berries against the strainer to release all the juices. The strainer should remove all the seeds and excess pulp.

  5. Add 6 cups of water to the pitcher, and stir well.

  6. Chill the cordial in the refrigerator for several hours, and stir once more before serving.

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Salamandastron Forge Scones – A Redwall Recipe

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“Nothing like Salamandastron Forge Scones. They’ll put some iron into your muscles, young un.”

The Sable Quean

 

Salamandastron Forge Scones - A Redwall Recipe

Miles from Redwall, beyond Mossflower Wood, lies the formidable mountain Salamandastron. The Badger Lords who reign at Salamandastron are fierce and strong, but they are also good and kind. The forges of the mountain aid in the creation of great weapons, and, on occasion, great scones.

A Salamandastron Forge Scone is a “rough-looking chunk of pastry, with nuts baked into it.” Though rough in appearance, these scones are warm, sweet, and filling. Served with jam, clotted cream, or just plain butter, the scones complement any tea-time spread nicely.

Since the Badger Lords do not share their recipe for Salamandastron Forge Scones, I had to make do with adapting this cinnamon almond scone recipe into the rougher-looking pastries we’re going for.

Salamandastron Forge Scones

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter cold, cut into small cubes
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/4 cup almonds slivered or sliced
  • cinnamon sugar
  • extra almonds

Instructions

  1. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, into a large bowl, and mix well.

  2. Add the cold butter to the dry mixture, and use your fingers to squish the butter pieces into the dry mixture, continuing until the mixture resembles a crumbly dough.

  3. Add the milk, vanilla, and almonds and mix until just incorporated.

  4. Turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface, and pat it down into a rough circle.

  5. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar and extra almonds on top, again patting down so that the toppings stick to the dough.

  6. Grab rough chunks of the dough, about the size of your palm, and place them on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

  7. Bake the scones at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Good food is meant to be shared!

Rustic Bread Recipe – For Fantasy Feasts

rustic bread recipe

This recipe today is not based off of any specific story, but an overall genre: fantasy! Fantasy is definitely my favorite genre in books, movies, and even video games. In pretty much every fantasy food scene, you’ll see some type of rustic bread. So, to help round out your fantasy feasts, I made some rustic bread! I adapted this crusty homemade bread recipe, and it turned out awesome.

As you can see from the photo, this bread works best when you tear off chunks rather than slicing it. Serve it with your favorite meats and cheeses, or just slather it with butter and jam. The possibilities are endless!

Rustic Bread Recipe - For Fantasy Feasts

Ingredients

  • 1 envelope rapid rise yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups warm water
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.

  2. Leave the dough in the bowl, and allow it to rise for 1 hour.

  3. Punch the dough down and form it into a ball shape.

  4. Place the dough ball onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat.

  5. Cover the dough loosely with a towel, and allow it to rise for another hour.

  6. Cut a slit in the top of the dough ball with a sharp knife.

  7. Cover the dough loosely with aluminum foil, and bake at 425 degrees F for 25 minutes.

  8. Remove the foil, and bake for 25 minutes more, or until the bread is a deep golden brown color.

 

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Potato, Leek and Cheese Pasties – A Redwall Recipe

Potato, Leek and Cheese Pasties

The creatures of Redwall are constantly going on adventures and having picnics, and of course they need plenty of easily portable food to bring along with them. In practically every picnic basket and adventuring haversack in Mossflower, you will find at least one kind of pasty. They are filling, savory, and self contained.

These pasties are based off traditional Cornish pasties, but they don’t contain meat since Redwallers are vegetarian. I was a little concerned about making a vegetarian pasty because meat pasties use gravy to keep the contents from drying out. So, I substituted the gravy for some vegetable cream soup and added some cheese for good measure, and they turned out quite well! So go ahead and make a batch of these potato, leek and cheese pasties and pack them along on your next adventure.

Potato, Leek and Cheese Pasties - A Redwall Recipe

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Potato, Leek and Cheese Pasties - A Redwall Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pie crust
  • 1 potato peeled and diced
  • 1 leek sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 egg beaten

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan.

  2. Add the sliced leek and saute it in the butter until it starts to caramelize a bit.

  3. In a separate pot, boil the diced potato until tender.

  4. In a large bowl, combine the caramelized leek, boiled potato, cream soup, and cheese.

  5. Cut the pie crust into individual circles, about 4 inches across.

  6. Place about 2 Tbsp. of filling onto each pie crust circle, slightly off center.

  7. Fold the pie circles over the filling, and crimp the edges closed.

  8. Brush the tops of the pasties with beaten egg.

  9. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until slightly browned.

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Summer Salad – A Redwall Recipe

Redwall summer salad recipe

Summer salad appears in many of the different books in the Redwall series. Pretty much whenever there’s a meal during summer, it includes summer salad. However, the specific ingredients of the salad are never mentioned, so I had to get a little creative with this one.

I started with lettuce, of course, then decided I wanted to include some fresh summer produce. Well, my very favorite fruit is strawberries, and I love strawberries on salad, so that was an easy choice. I knew this salad had to have some nuts and cheese on it, since Redwallers are all so fond of those two ingredients. Almonds are my favorite nut, and they taste great with strawberries. Finally, for the cheese, I went with crumbled bleu cheese to really give the salad a punch of flavor.

This salad is so easy to make, and you may just feel like a squirrel or a mouse while you eat it.

Summer Salad - A Redwall Recipe

Summer Salad – A Redwall Recipe

Ingredients

  • Lettuce or leafy greens of your choosing, chopped
  • Strawberries, sliced
  • Bleu cheese crumbles
  • Sliced almonds
  • Balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Directions

  1. Slice the strawberries and chop the lettuce.
  2. Add all the ingredients into a big bowl and toss to combine. Easy!

 

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