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  • Ah! You find me just finishing off writing my Christmas cards.

  • They are a little expensive to send, but I think they are a wonderful way to let people

  • know I'm thinking of them.

  • This one is for my sister Sarah. She's also a cook. But I must get on. We're all very

  • busy making plum puddings and mincemeat. Even Fanny's busy making butter in the dairy.

  • I'm going to make Swiss Baskets. A lovely dish to have between the meat and the plum

  • pudding but before the ices.

  • For this recipe you will need...

  • Butter.

  • Sugar.

  • Eggs.

  • Lemon zest.

  • Flour.

  • Redcurrant jelly.

  • Pistachio nuts.

  • Cream.

  • Cherries.

  • ...and angelica.

  • First I'm preparing my moulds. I've already buttered them so now I'm going to sprinkle

  • them with a mixture of flour and sugar.

  • I'm using dariole moulds, fluted dariole moulds, but you can use any small pudding moulds or

  • even coffee cups.

  • Now I'm going to make my Castle Pudding mix.

  • And to begin I'm going to cream the butter and sugar together.

  • Adding the zest as I go.

  • Now the Castle Puddings are only going to use about half of my mix, so I'm going to

  • think ahead and use the rest for making small cakes for afternoon tea.

  • Now I'm going to add my eggs one at a time.

  • Leading up to Christmas the servants can be busy across the estate and so we often bring

  • in help from the local village.

  • Retired servants or married women, or one of Mr Barker the gamekeepers' sons - of which

  • he has many.

  • Now I'm going to fold in the flour.

  • Now I'm going to fill my moulds two-thirds of the way up.

  • Christmas day itself should be quite peaceful. Perhaps their daughter Augusta or Mr Strutt

  • might come up from London. Lady Monson, Lady Braybrookes sister might be expected.

  • And the rest of this mix I'm going to give to Mary Anne so she can make the small cakes.

  • There we are. They're ready for the oven.

  • Now that these have properly cooled, I can turn these Castle Puddings into Swiss Baskets.

  • If they've risen, you'll need to cut them off so they are nice and flat. Mine are already

  • flat.

  • I'm going to cut out the middle of each one.

  • These aren't Christmas dishes as such. But I think the colours will complement the flowers

  • and greenery on the Christmas table.

  • And Lady Braybrooke was very complimentary when I last made them.

  • Now I'm going to brush them with redcurrant jelly.

  • Mary Anne!

  • Is it hot?

  • Yes, Mrs Crocombe.

  • Now you can go and whip the cream.

  • Yes, Mrs Crocombe.

  • Come to think of it, there aren't very many specific Christmas dishes.

  • All of the houses I worked at before had asparagus and Palestine Soup. That's Jerusalem artichoke.

  • Nesselrode Pudding was very popular at Langley Hall - the last house I worked at.

  • They also liked roast swan.

  • There is turkey of course.

  • And goose.

  • Poultry is popular throughout December.

  • Now I'm going to roll them in the pistachios.

  • Now that Mary Anne has whipped the cream, I'm going to fill each basket in the middle.

  • And add a cherry on top.

  • And to make them look a little bit more like baskets I'm going to add a tiny strip of angelica

  • for the handle.

  • Angelica is from a plant that's easily as tall as myself. And it has a hollow stem.

  • Angelica is green. We bought this from the grocer in Walden. I suspect a little colouring

  • has been added to make it this vibrant.

  • And there we are - Swiss Baskets.

  • Oh! And Merry Christmas.

Ah! You find me just finishing off writing my Christmas cards.

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How to Make Swiss Baskets - The Victorian Way

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    Summer posted on 2020/12/25
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