Four times every year in the Catholic calendar, there were “Ember Days” – consisting of a Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday – when meat was forbidden. Cheese and eggs, however, were allowed. An ‘Ember Day Tart’ therefore was a filling dish served instead of meat on these fasting days. The tarts in the recipe are a little like a sweet quiche.
The recipe uses galingale, it is well worth finding some as its aromatic taste is not easily replaced. You can use ginger as a substitute but this will give heat rather than a more rounded flavour.
The recipe was originally written down as follows:
‘Tart in embre day: take and parboile onynons; presse out the water & hewe hem smale;take brede & bray it in a mortar,and temper it up with ayren; do perto butter, safron, spice and salt and corans & a ltel sugar with powdor douce, and bake it in a trap,& serve it forth.’
Tak fayre porke y-broylid, & grynd it smal with yolkys of Eyroun; than take Pepir, Gyngere, & grynd it smal, & melle it with-al, & a lytel hony, & floryssche thin cofyns with-ynne & with-owte, & hele hem with thin ledys, & late hem bake, & serue forth – Original recipe
Karen who runs “Lavender & Lovage” writes: These little cakes are a cross between a biscuit and a scone and were traditionally made for All Soul’s Day, which is on the 2nd of November. Packed with currants and mixed spice, these lovely little cakes are delicious with an afternoon cuppa.
This recipe is adapted from “A Calendar of Feasts – Cattern Cakes and Lace” by Julia Jones and Barbara Deer.
A traditional cake recipe found in “Det Nye Kjøkkenbiblioteket” (The New Kitchen Library) published in 1971
Many may certainly find names like plum cake and plum pudding somewhat puzzling. And with good reason. The names are in fact misleading, It is not plums, but raisins and currants that gives these dishes their characterizing flavor.
This red fruit pudding is a popular dessert in the North. It’s made from black and red currants, raspberries and sometimes strawberries or cherries, which are cooked in their juice and thickened with a little potato starch or cornflour. It’s served with cream, vanilla sauce or milk.
The Eccles cake is an English tradition, something ancient and respected and well-loved all over Britain. To tell the truth, it isn’t actually a “cake” at all, it’s actually a flaky, buttery pastry wrapped around a spicy currant filling. The first appearance of this luscious little treat was in 1793 when James Birch began selling them out of his shop in Eccles, England.
Who knows what he called them back then, but such names as Squashed Fly Cake, Fly Cake, Fly Pie or even a Fly’s Graveyard have been bandied about ever since, due to the uncanny resemblance of the currants to little black insects.
It still appears wonderfully appetizing, however, so I know you’re just dying to make this toothsome pudding in your own kitchen.
An old-fashioned recipe from “Norsk Ukeblads Store Bakebok” (Norsk Ukeblad’s Large Book on Baking) published by Ernst G Mortensen’s Forlag in 1984
This recipe contains currants and since there is a little confusion about what this really is, here’s Wikipedia’s explanation on the subject; Currantsare dried, dark red, seedless grapes. They are dried to produce a black, tiny shrivelled, flavour-packed flavouring. The grapes were originally cultivated in the south of Greece, and the name currant comes from the ancient city of ‘Corinth’. These currants are known as Zante currants in the States.
A classic Norwegian Christmas cake found on tine.no
Mother Monsen, one of my favourites, is deliciously soft and juicy unlike most other Christmas cookies and cakes we traditionally bake for Christmas here in Norway, and it has a mild lemon flavour. In addition it is very easy to make.
The most accepted theory about the name of the cake: Mother Monsen was a skilled ‘bakste kone’* Hanna Winsnes honoured by naming a visit cake after her. When she wrote her famous cookbook “Textbook in the various branches of housekeeping” in 1845, Winsnes named one of the cakes “Mrs. Monsen’s Visit Cake”. Nowadays we just call it “Mor Monsen”.
*A ‘bakste kone’ (lit: baking wife) was a woman who went from farm to farm in the weeks before Christmas baking lefse, cakes and cookies for people in the old days. These women were particularly skilled bakers and where held in high regards. The Children on the farms used to gather round these women as they baked as many of them were great storytellers too.
Tip: The cakes keep well in the refrigerator. Cut it into nice pieces, and store it in an airtight box. It can also be frozen.
A tasty dinner recipe found at dinmat.no Here is a tasty and healthy Sunday dinner. Currants are full of vitamin C and has a strong flavour, and thus helps to establish a good and rich taste of the roast.