Traditional foods from Durham

Epiphany tart

Twelfth Cake

Into a saucepan, put 1 kg of worked butter and mix in 1 kg of sugar, 15 g of allspice, grated nutmeg, 7 g of ground cinnamon, 7 g of ground mace, 7 g of ground ginger and 7 g of ground coriander for 1 ks then work in 1 kg of flour.  Mix in 2 kg of currants, 0.25 kg of citron, 0.5 kg of thinly sliced candied orange peel and candied lemon peel and 0.25 kg of (chopped) blanched almonds before baking between 410 K and 420 K for 15 ks.

Since the Middle Ages, Christians could celebrate Twelfth Night (January 5) by baking a Twelfth Cake, with a bean (or different token).  The individual with this token in their slice of the cake would be designated king for the festivities.  The spices hark back to the exotic gifts of The Magi.

Twelfth Night Cake

Epiphany tart

Star of Bethlehem Epiphany tart

Into a bowl mix 200 g of flour, 75 g of icing sugar, 1 g of salt then rub in 130 g of butter.  Mix in the lightly beaten yolk of 1 egg then lightly knead in any unmixed ingredients before pressing into a tart pan and pinch out the regular hexagram with seven internal compartments and six external compartments for a total of thirteen compartments.  Put into the freezer for 2 ks then bake at 460 K for 1.5 ks.  Fill each compartment with a different colour of jam bake for a further 0.5 ks for the jam to set and the tart to lightly brown.

Since the Middle Ages, English Christians could celebrate Epiphany (January 6) by baking an Epiphany tart with a regular hexagram.  This star represents the Star of Bethlehem that led The Magi to Bethlehem.  The use of thirteen different jams afforded Victorians the opportunity to demonstrate their skill, with the jam tart looking like a stained glass window.

Lammas bread

Lammas Day bread

Into a bowl, pour 570 g of milk and stir in 15 g of vinegar then gradually add to another bowl that contains 0.5 kg of flour, 0.5 g of salt, 2 g cream of tartar and 2 g baking soda.  Knead then shape this dough before baking at 450 K for 2 ks.

Since the Middle Ages, Christians could celebrate Lammas Day (August 1) by baking bread.  Lammas, the loaf mass, celebrated the beginning of the harvest season and farmers made the bread using the first wheat harvested.

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