Saturday, 18 August 2007

Cherries, Cobnuts, Hops and Apples galore ...

I live in a beautiful cottage, nestled in a village, in the heart of the countryside of beautiful southeast of England .

Today, in the late summer sunshine, I am revelling in the scents and sounds of the orchard that surrounds my humble cottage. Birds are flying back and forth from several bird feeders that we have hanging from the eaves . . . nuthatches, blue tits, chaffinches, little wrens, wag tails and the inevitable sparrows. The golden sounds of the song thrush regale us from the top of the shed and a late summer breeze rustles the leaves and the branches in the trees and floats across the hedgerows that divide our garden from the orchard behind. The air is redolent with the smell of ripening apples and pears. "Scrumping" is not allowed, but my husband assures me that the windfalls are free for the picking, and so I have taken advantage of that and picked a few to make a dish from out of this little cookery book I have which is entitled "Favourite Kentish Recipes."

There's alot of tasty looking recipes held inside it's pages . . . Kentish Huffkins (little yeast rolls with a hole in the top to be filled with jam, topped with whipped cream and then eaten) Kentish Well Pudding ( a suet pudding studded with currants and lemon rind, steamed and then served warm with lashings of custard) Ginger Cob Nut Cake (full of roasted and chopped cob nuts and delicately spiced with ginger) Folkstone Pudding Pie (looking for all the world like a delicately lemon scented custard pie, studded with sweet currants and dusted with nutmeg) . . . so many delights await me, but for today I decide to go with a Kentish Pan Cake. The name intrigues me . . .

*Kentish Pan Cake*
Serves 6

Not so much a cake, as it is a stack of thin and delicately spiced pancakes, full of delicious and tart little chunks of apple. Serve dredged in icing sugar and cut into wedges along with a spoonful or two of lovely Bramley apple sauce and a big dollop of whipped cream . . .

3 large eggs
2 egg whites (save the yolks to make a cake)
1/4 pint (1/2 cup) of double cream
2 TBS sherry*
3 dessertspoons of calvados (apple brandy)**
4 ounces plain flour
pinch of powdered ginger
pinch of salt
freshly grated nutmeg to taste
1 TBS caster sugar
1/2 medium sized cooking apple
lard for frying

Whisk the eggs, egg whites, milk, cream, sherry, brandy, flour, salt and the spices together in a mixing bowl. Beat well until smooth. Peel and core the apple and chop it finely. Add the sugar and the apple to the batter and then set it aside in a cool place to rest for 30 minutes.

Lightly grease a non-stick skillet with lard. Pour pancake batter in to barely cover the bottom, tilting the pan to make it even and as round as possible. Cook for a minute or two on the first side, or just until it looks dry on top. Flip it over and brown the other side, only about a minute or so longer. Remove to a large piece of greaseproof paper. Continue in this same manner until all the batter is used up, stacking each one on top of the previous one when done. (Keep the finished ones warm in the oven while you are cooking the others)

Turn the "stack" onto a warm plate and dredge the top with sifted icing sugar. Cut into wedges and serve warm with whipped cream and warm applesauce.

Tommorrow I think I'll make another spiced applesauce cake with the leftovers . . .

* ** Note: because I don't do alcohol, I was able to substitute apple juice for these two ingredients successfully.

(This is an entry in the Sugar High Friday event, hosted by The Passionate Cook . Details of the event can be found on Is My Blog Burning )


  1. Living in Kent sounds lovely!! Talking to my mom and dad I now know what "scrumping" is and also a "lashing". You would think I would have heard these words before growing up in Ontario where there is a high British population. Anyway, the "Kentish Pan Cake" looks fabulous with it's luscious apple layers and applesauce.

  2. wow... i never knew that there were so many regional dessrts still to be explored - and you live so close! thanks for your contribution, this sounds like a great treat!

  3. Interesting entry, and that sounds like a great little book.

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