It’s nearly St Piran’s Day, which means a day of fun and feasting in Cornwall. I always like to mark the occasion with some form of Cornish themed treat, after all we really do produce some amazing food down there. Previously I’ve made wonderfully fragrant […]
It’s St Piran’s day on Thursday! This means I get to spend the day generally being smug about coming from the best place on the planet (yes, I have checked that.) It also means that I get to have a pasty for my dinner (https://coriandercooks.com/2013/07/08/pasties/) and, if there’s room, some of this for pudding. This is a pretty classic bread and butter pudding but the saffron adds a very subtle flavour to it and makes a nice change to the usual vanilla and nutmeg combination.
I got quite excited recently when I learnt that there’s a place in the Chesapeake bay where the residents speak with a Cornish accent due to their Cornish heritage. Having found a clip on YouTube I don’t think they really sound particularly Cornish but they do have a St Piran’s cross on their town flag! I’d still quite like to visit it to find out if they have pasties though (unless they put carrots in them, which would be an abomination.)
Whilst I was bouncing around Google learning things about Tangier Island I also learnt that there are quite a few well-known Americans with Cornish heritage including Mark Twain, whose family were from Looe, which isn’t far from where I grew up!
So Gool Peran Lowen everyone!
If you live in the UK then you can probably just go and buy a saffron loaf but if you can’t get a ready-made one then use my recipe for saffron buns and just bake them into a loaf. Here it is.. https://coriandercooks.com/2013/11/15/cornish-saffron-buns/ How convenient is that?
1 saffron loaf
30g ish butter
1 tbsp dark rum
pinch of saffron
Warm the rum a little and steep the saffron strands in it for five minutes or so.
Grease your baking dish and preheat the oven to 190°c.
Slice the saffron loaf into thick slices and butter them on one side. Lay the slices into the dish so that they overlap, butter side up.
Whisk together the eggs and the sugar and then add in the milk, cream and the rum/saffron infusion. Pour this over the prepared slices of loaf and then let it sit for about five minutes to absorb the liquid a little. Sprinkle the top with sugar and bake it for 35 mins. The top should be golden and crusty once it’s done and the custard should be largely set. Serve warm with clotted cream (naturally.)
This is a reusable bag that I made for a friends Birthday. I needed a small gift that I could send home as I am making her wait for her main present until she comes to visit. She’s a fellow Cornish girl so has an inherent love of the sea and all things coastal and nautical.
I had lots of bluish-coloured scraps of fabric left over from various other projects so waves seemed like the logical pattern to use. I lined the bag to make it a little stronger and cover up the stitching at the back of the applique. Obviously the bag didn’t need an actual pattern so I just took the dimensions from one of my own bags.
Now she only has to wait a few more weeks for her main gift…
Something else that I simply couldn’t spend the next three years without! A staple in my family, eaten on everything from cornflakes and porridge to Christmas cake. My Dad even claims to have eaten it on a lettuce leaf – allegedly a Cornish delicacy but I’m not so sure that I’d push it that far.
It’s dangerously simple to make but does take a little bit of forward planning. Having said that however it’s not really possible to get truly authentic results of this side of the Atlantic but what follows is the closest approximation that I have managed. It’s spot on for texture but the favour is sometimes a touch reminiscent of creme frâiche but this does vary depending where the cream comes from.
Double or whipping cream (heavy cream here in the US) You need something with quite a high fat content and non-homogenised will give the best results.
A little full fat milk (to help the cream float) I use about a 1:4 ratio.
I haven’t put quantities here because you can make as much or as little as you want, it really all depends on the size of dish that you use. It isn’t really worth doing though with less that 500ml of cream.
Pour the milk and cream into a large shallow baking dish and let it stand in the fridge for about 12 hours. This allows the fat in the cream to rise to the surface. After the 12 hours put your oven onto its lowest possible setting. Cover the cream with foil and place it in a bain marie. Then very carefully (you don’t want to agitate the cream) place this in the oven and leave it for a further 12 hours or so. I do mine overnight. Obviously this is most safely done if you have an oven (preferably electric) with an automatic shut off.
You may want to carefully check it after about 10 hours because I sometimes find that it helps the crust form if you give it a couple hours without the foil covering. You definitley want a crust but you don’t want a skin. When you can see that the cream has a nice butter-like crust and that clots have started to form below remove the dish from the oven and allow it to cool.
When it’s down to room temperature place it in the fridge to get really cold. At this stage all you need to do is skim off the thickened cream on the surface using a slotted spoon and transfer it to a tub for storage.
It’ll keep for good few days and freezes really well. Eat with absolutely anything and everything. (Okay maybe not lettuce)