Tag Archives: traditional British cooking

Singing Hinny

I was kindly sent a Kitzini silicone baking mat to review and I have been giving it a thorough test over the last couple of weeks. I started with a jammy dodger recipe, but the recipe needs more tweaking before it’s ready to share with you. They spread too much and needed to be a bit more substantial to be jammy dodgers that I would be proud to tell you about.  I made some buckwheat and almond cookies that are really good and will be shared at some point in the near future.

Jammy dodgers about to go in the oven

Jammy dodgers about to go in the oven

Buckwheat and almond cookies

Buckwheat and almond cookies

I have been impressed with the Kitzini mat. It has even heat distribution and is easy to clean, much easier than a buttered tray. Any spills wipe off very easily. The mats are oven, microwave and freezer safe and can also be used as pastry mats. They are available  at Amazon and are currently on sale.

I also made a Singing Hinny which worked really well with the mat on the simmering plate of the Aga. I have made a Singing Hinny a few times directly on the simmering plate and it works fine, but using the Kitzini mat did mean that it didn’t need turning as often to prevent the bottom scorching.

Singing Hinny

Singing Hinny dough with the underside cooking on the Aga

The Singing Hinny gets its name from the singing noise it makes when it hits the heat of the griddle. I sadly, have yet to experience a hinny singing to me yet. Maybe, one day.

The Singing Hinny is delicious served warm, sliced into wedges, split and buttered. Jam is optional but good.

Singing Hinny

Singing Hinny cooking on the Aga

This is supposed to cut into 8 wedges but Mr OC and I can eat it all in one sitting.

225g self-raising flour
½ tsp salt
50g butter (lard is more traditional but I don’t often have it in the fridge)
50g caster sugar
75g raisins or currants depending on what you have in the cupboard
1 egg
6 tbsp milk

Method

I make mine in a food processor which makes it very quick and easy. Put the flour, salt and butter into the processor and whizz together briefly. Add the sugar and whizz again. Add the egg and milk and whizz, then add the dried fruit and whizz very briefly. It should now be easy to bring together into a ball using your hands.

If you don’t have a food processor, rub the butter into the flour using the tips of your fingers. When it resembles breadcrumbs stir in the sugar and salt. Add the dried fruit, egg and milk and work gently together with a spoon or your hand until it forms a ball.

Place onto a lightly floured work surface and flatten to a disc using your hand. You can cook it on the simmering plate of the Aga or in a heavy based pan over a low-medium heat. Turn after about 8-10 minutes when it should be well browned. Cook for another 8-10 minutes. Leave to cool for a minute or two on a wire rack and then cut into wedges, split horizontally and spread with butter.

I was sent two silicone mats by Kitzini for review purposes. I received no other payment and any opinions expressed are honest and my own. 

Cornish pasty

I am feeling nervous telling you about this.  The Cornish pasty is the stuff of legends and I feel that to tell someone how to cook a Cornish pasty you should be both Cornish and have cooked them for years on a regular basis.  I fall down on both of those points.  Maybe I should call it a Shropshire pasty.

I have just glanced at the Wikipedia entry and that has just increased my nervousness.  The entry is very long, it details the cultural history of the pasty and the pasty even has its own trade association.  I apologise now to all my Cornish readers if by looking at the instructions below I cause you to reel in horror.  No hate mail please.

Anyway, on Saturday night I made fajitas with a bit of thin cut steak and chicken and so on Sunday we found ourselves housebound with a poorly child and a bit of thin cut steak in the fridge.  Mr OC was making enough minestrone to feed several armies (part of his take soup to work and save money campaign) and I fancied making a pasty for our tea.  The crimping of the first pasty left a lot to be desired but by the third one I had just about cracked it.  Not brilliant but good enough to prevent bursting or spillages:

Here is how I made them.

For the shortcrust pastry (enough for 4 pasties and a bit left over to make six jam tarts):

500g (16oz) plain flour
125g (4oz) butter
125g (4oz) vegetable shortening or lard (or you could use all butter)
about 6 -8 tbsp cold water

To make the pastry place the flour and the butter and shortening/lard in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Add most of the water and pulse again.  Add enough water to bring the dough together.  If you don’t have a food processor then place the flour in a bowl, add the diced butter and shortening/lard and using the tips of your fingers rub the fat into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.  Add most of the water and using a palette knife begin to bring the dough together, using your hands at the very end to bring it into a ball.  the trick is not to overwork the pastry in either of the ways of making it explained above.

Wrap the dough in clingfilm or a  plastic food bag and chill in the fridge for thirty minutes.

To fill the pasty:

About 400g  (14oz)  steak (not braising or stewing)
1 onion, chopped finely
half a swede  (rutabaga), diced small
1-2 potatoes, diced small
4 tsp plain flour
25g (1oz) butter
salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten to use as eggwash

Method
Cut the dough into four pieces and roll out each piece into a circle.  I used a plate measuring 22cm to cut my shape out.

In the middle of the circle pile a bit of steak, onion, swede and potato.  Sprinkle over a  teaspoon of flour, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper and dot with a quarter of the butter.  Brush eggwash around the edge of the circle and bring the two sides together, sealing gently.  Then using your thumb and forefinger of both hands pinch and turn the top to make a crimp.  Make sure you seal it really well.  Place on a baking tray and brush all over with egg wash.  Repeat to make three more pasties.

Place in preheated oven at 220°c, gas mark 7 or the roasting oven of an Aga for twenty minutes, then turn the oven down to 180°c, gas mark 4 or move to the baking oven of a four oven Aga for another forty minutes.  These can be enjoyed warm from the oven or allowed to cool and eaten for your lunch.

These were good but next time I will be a little more generous with the filling than I was in this picture, but only a little bit: 

I would also be more generous with the salt and pepper, but they were still good and they were very good with the onion and chilli jam I made to go with them.