Victoria Sponge Cake
At England Preserves, we take great pride in doing the simple things well. Our jams, for example, are mostly made with a single fruit, sugar and lemon juice. We feel there is no need to overcomplicate things, as you can often stifle the beauty of the individual components. In many ways, Victoria sponge (named after Queen Victoria) is a quintessential example of this. Jam and cream sandwiched between two light sponge cakes. Simplicity at its finest and always delicious.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease cake tins with butter and line with non-stick baking paper.
- With their shells still on, weigh the eggs. Measure out the same weight of butter, flour and sugar.
- Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl along with the butter, sugar, milk, flour and baking powder. Mix until smooth.
- Divide the batter between the two cake tins and smooth the mixture. Tap the tins on your work surface to remove any air bubbles.
- Bake in the middle shelf of your oven for 20-25 minutes. Then leave to cool on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, whip the cream to soft peaks and, once the cakes are cool, spread an even layer of cream onto one of the cakes. Spread your jam on top of the cream and sandwich the two sponges together.
- Sprinkle with icing sugar and top with fresh strawberries. Yum!
Note: this recipe has been adapted from the brilliant 'Oats in the North, Wheat from the South: The History of British Baking: Savoury and Sweet', by Regula Ysewijn
Raspberries have always played a pivotal role in the development of our company. Our jam, Raspberry Deluxe, is Kai's favourite. His Norwegian heritage has caused him to work diligently to produce the ultimate pot of raspberry jam. A dedication to the fruit (and his roots) has seen us experiment with several varieties of fruit and sugar contents, and we'd say it's pretty close to perfection. These raspberry squares, inspired by the Danish treat hindbærsnitter, are delightful sweet and simple that are guaranteed to satisfy the little ones (or big ones!).
Ingredients (makes 12-16)
- 1 portion of sweet shortcrust pastry dough
- 200g raspberry jam
- 300g icing sugar
- 1-3 tbsp hot water
- butter (for greasing)
- sprinkles (to decorate)
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Divide the shortcrust pastry dough into two equal portions and roll into two even squares (around 3mm thick and 30 x 30cm long). You must ensure the squares are the same size as they will be layered.
- Grease two baking sheets and line with baking parchment. Add the squares to the baking sheets snd prick several times with a fork (this prevents air bubbles from forming as they bake).
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. Once slightly golden, remove and cool on a wire rack.
- Once cool, generously spread your raspberry jam onto one of the pasty sheets.
- Next, place the other piece of pastry sheet on top of the jammy one. Be careful to to break the sheets, as they can be quite delicate.
- Mix the icing sugar with hot water to form a smooth paste. If the paste is too thick, add more water. If it is too thin (you guessed it), add more icing sugar. It should look like runny honey!
- Spread the icing on top of the pastry evenly, and cover with sprinkles.
- Leave to dry, then cut into equal pieces (we think 12 works well). Enjoy!
Small Raspberry Treats/Hallongrottor
Another homage to Kai's Scandinavian roots, these Swedish bakes are a bit like very, very good Jammy Dodgers. Raspberry jam, filled into vanilla biscuits topped with flaked almonds - a winner, right?
Ingredients (makes 20)
- 250g butter (cubed)
- 1 tsp grated lime zest
- 200g plain flour
- 80g cornstarch
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 75g icing sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 150g raspberry jam
- flaked almonds
- a muffin pan and paper cases
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- In a food processor, combine the butter, lime zest, flour, cornflour, cornstarch, vanilla extract, icing sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt until you have a smooth dough.
- Roll the dough out into a sausage shape, then cut into 25g pieces. Roll into balls, then place into the prepared cases in the muffin pan.
- Press your thumb into each ball to create a well for the jam. Fill the wells with a teaspoon of the jam then layer almonds around the jam on the top of the dough.
- Bake for around 20 minutes, until slightly golden. Allow to cool and enjoy!
Note: both of these recipes were adapted from our family favourite, 'Scandikitchen: Fika and Hygge: Comforting Cakes and Bakes from Scandinavia with Love', by Bronte Aurell.
Lemon Marmalade Swiss Roll
- 4 egg whites
- 100g sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- zest of 1/2 lemon (grated)
- 45g plain flour
- 45g cornflour
- caster sugar (for dusting)
- Femminello Lemon Marmalade
- 200ml double cream
Method (39 x 27cm Swiss roll tin)
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease the Swiss roll tin with butter, line with baking paper and dust with caster sugar.
- Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks in a bowl, then add the lemon zest. Add the egg yolks, and mix well.
- Slowly add your flour and cornflour to ensure volume is retained.
- Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth the top.
- Place the tin into the oven and bake for 6-8 minutes, until it is golden. Remove the cake from the tin and place onto a baking sheet. Roll it up and let it rest.
- Meanwhile, whip the cream into soft peaks. Unroll the cake, then spread on your lemon marmalade, followed by the whipped cream.
- Roll the cake back up and you are ready to enjoy!
- You can eat this as it is, or you can use it as the base of a trifle (can you think of another pudding that champions a lemon preserve? Hmm).
According to former royal chef, Darren McGrady, one of the Queen's favourite snacks is a raspberry penny. Small, circular raspberry jam sandwiches are incredibly easy to assemble and the perfect bitesize snack for a jubilee party! All you really need is bread, jam and a round pastry cutter, but we like to use a little bit of clotted cream to make it rich and delicious.
Ingredients (one sandwich)
- two slices any bread (we used a lovely white pain de mie from our neighbours Little Bread Pedlar)
- clotted cream
- raspberry jam
- Cut the crusts off your bread (you can use these to make bread crumbs or bread pudding - or give them to your kids if they want curly hair!).
- Spread clotted cream on one side of the bread (you are just making a crustless sandwich).
- Spread a nice, thick layer of raspberry jam on top of the cream and close the sandwich.
- Take a circle pastry cutter or biscuit cutter and cut as many circular pieces as your bread allows you too.
- Repeat the process to make lots and enjoy with a nice cup of tea!
Cheese & Pickle Sandwiches
I am sure you are all aware this one. The cheese & pickle sandwich is a classic for a reason. While many will reach for the jar of Branston Pickle at the back of their fridge next weekend, we'd encourage everyone to give our pear, Date & Ale Chutney and Spicy Tomato Relish a go. Pair them with good quality cheddar and bread and you're onto a winner. Simples.
Ingredients (per sandwich)
- two slices of good quality white bread (again, we used LBP's Pain de Mie)
- 100g good quality cheddar, grated or sliced (try Montgomery's cheddar; so good we named our dog after it).
- Pear, Date & Ale Chutney and/or Spicy Tomato Relish)
- butter (for spreading)
- Again, because the Queen will only eat her sandwiches with the crusts removed (apparently), we've removed ours - but do as you please.
- Spread an even layer of butter across one of the slices of bread, before layering on your cheese.
- Add a thick layer of your desired chutney on top of the cheese, then close the sandwich.
- Cut into triangular pieces and serve on a sharing plate.
This is less of a recipe, more of a suggestion. Actually, scrap that - it's an imperative: if you are eating pork pies or scotch eggs next weekend, you MUST serve them with Piccalilli. I joke, of course, but we grabbed a couple of pork pies and scotch eggs for our photoshoot and they were easily the most picked at snacks on the table. A spoonful of bright, mustardy, chunky piccalilli alongside porky goodness...drool... Try it!
Raspberry Margarita (for the adults)
We first tried this before Christmas, and it has since become a factory favourite. By adding a heaped tablespoon of raspberry jam - which acts as a sugar syrup - to your regular Margarita, you're left with a beautiful, refreshing summer drink that's perfect for the long bank holiday weekend. Our good friend, Ian, named this one 'The Jamargarita'.
Ingredients (per drink)
- 1 lime
- 1 tbsp raspberry jam (or any jam you have in the cupboard)
- 25ml Cointreau
- 50ml tequila blanco
- a Boston shaker
- Add ice to your glass (or empty jam jar).
- Peel a round slice off your lime and fold up into a ribbon. Add it to your glass.
- Add the juice of half a lime to your Boston shaker (it should be around 25ml).
- Next add your Cointreau and tequila along with a tablespoon of your jam. Mix well to loosen the jam.
- Fill with ice and shake well for around 30 seconds.
- Single-strain into your glass and sip, sip, sip away!
Note: this recipe was inspired by listening to Jamie Oliver on 'The Off Menu podcast', by Ed Gamble and James Acaster
Forced Rhubarb Sour
When we first made this delightful rhubarb cocktail, it was on a dark, cold and wet evening in winter. Although it felt fitting for the time of year (with forced rhubarb being in season), we couldn't help but feel that this drink belonged on a garden table in the sun. So here it is again!
- 50ml London dry gin (we use Jensen's)
- 25ml lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Forced Yorkshire Rhubarb Jam
- 1 egg white
- a Boston shaker
- Mix the gin, lemon juice and Forced Rhubarb jam in a Boston shaker with plenty of ice. Shake well for about 30 seconds. This is known as a wet shake - when ice is involved.
- Strain and remove ice, then add your egg white to the shaker. Shake again, this time without ice (unsurprisingly known as a dry shake).
- Double strain into a tumbler, or whichever glass you like! You should have a beautiful light pink drink with a foamy, creamy head from the egg white. A 'Pink Guinness', as Jack titles it! Hmm.
Elderflower & Rosemary Lemonade (for the kids, or adults)
The taste of elderflower is one of my favourites. Our elderflower cordial is highly aromatic and delightfully refreshing when added to sparkling water, or - in this case - lemonade. The addition of rosemary adds an earthy scent as you take each sip. Heavenly.
Ingredients (per drink)
- 1 tbsp Elderflower Cordial
- a fresh sprig of rosemary
- a slice of lemon
- cloudy lemonade
- Add ice to the bottom of a tall glass, along with your slice of lemon and a sprig of rosemary.
- Next, add your Elderflower Cordial and then fill the glass with lemonade to finish. Simple and delicious.
That's it, folks! Thank you for reading and I hope you find some inspiration from our recipes. Queen Elizabeth's 70 years on the throne is an impressive milestone worthy of celebration, but, wherever you may be next weekend, we mostly hope that you enjoy the long weekend. We all deserve it.
|Best wishes, Sky, Kai & the England Preserves team