Recipes for brown soda bread, halibut with fennel and orange, steamed ginger and cinnamon syrup pudding, and apple pudding
Below are the recipes chosen by Martina Maher and Colette Scully during their 22 years cooking Sunday dinners for Jesuit priests at Manresa House in Birmingham. They've compiled some of these recipes in a new book by Messenger Publications, Saintly Feasts: Food for Saints and Scholars
Martina Maher and Colette Scully choose some o their favourite recipes:
BROWN SODA BREAD
butter or margarine, for greasing
450g/1lb self-raising white flour
450g/1lb self-raising wholemeal flour, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp caster sugar
850ml/1½ pints buttermilk, skimmed milk or yogurt
Makes 1 loaf
Preparation: 10–15 minutes
Cooking: 40–50 minutes, plus cooling
1. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5.
2. Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl, tipping in any bran left in the sieve.
3. Slowly add enough buttermilk to make a soft dough. You may not need it all.
4. Knead the dough lightly until smooth, then transfer to the prepared baking sheet and shape into a large round about 5cm/2in thick.
5. Use a sharp knife to make a large cross on the top of the dough. Sprinkle over a little extra wholemeal flour and bake in the preheated oven for 40–50 minutes until risen and firm. Leave to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
6. Cover the bread with a damp (not wet) cloth and leave to cool.
Tip: Don’t be tempted to double up on the wholemeal flour and omit the white flour – it may seem like a healthy option, but the result will be heavy and dense.
HALIBUT WITH FENNEL & ORANGE
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
juice and grated rind of 1 orange
150ml/5fl oz dry white wine
4 halibut steaks, about 200g/7oz each
55g/2oz butter, plus extra for greasing
salt and freshly ground black pepper
fennel fronds and orange wedges, to garnish
Preparation: 15 mins
Cooking: 15–20 mins
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Grease a shallow baking dish.
2. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil, add the fennel, bring back to the boil and boil for 4–6 minutes until just tender.
3. Meanwhile, put the orange juice and rind into a saucepan with the wine and cook until reduced by half.
4. Drain the fennel well, then spread in the baking dish and season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange the halibut on the fennel, season to taste with salt and pepper, dot with butter and pour over the orange and wine reduction.
5. Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 15–20 minutes, or until the flesh flakes.
6. Serve immediately, garnished with fennel fronds and orange wedges.
STEAMED GINGER & CINNAMON SYRUP PUDDING
3 tbsp golden syrup
125g/4¼oz softened butter, plus extra for greasing
3 eggs, lightly beaten
115g/4oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
25g/1oz stem ginger, finely chopped
2 tbsp milk
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 1½-2 hours
1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Meanwhile, lightly grease a 600 ml/1 pint pudding basin. Put the golden syrup into the bowl.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs until the mixture is glossy. Sift the dry ingredients together and fold into the mixture with the ginger. Add the milk to make a dropping consistency.
3. Spoon the batter into the prepared basin and smooth the top. Cover with a pleated piece of greaseproof paper to allow for expansion. Tie with string and steam for 1½–2 hours, topping up the water level as required.
4. Turn out onto a plate to serve.
450g/1lb cooking apples
85g/3oz demerara sugar
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
100g/3½oz caster sugar, plus extra for dredging
100g/3½oz butter or margarine, plus extra for greasing
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
100g/3½oz self-raising flour
custard or cream, to serve
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 35–40 minutes
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Grease an ovenproof dish.
2. Peel, core and slice the apples in layers into the prepared dish, sprinkling each layer with demerara sugar and lemon rind.
3. Cream the caster sugar and butter together until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and the eggs and beat in very gradually, adding a little flour if the mixture looks like curdling.
4. Fold in the remaining flour and spread the sponge mixture evenly over the fruit. Bake in the preheated oven for 35–40 minutes until well-risen and golden brown. The pudding is cooked when a skewer inserted into the centre of the sponge topping comes out clean.
5. Dredge with caster sugar and serve hot with custard.
Variation: You could add some blackberries to the apple layers, or substitute sliced pears for the apples. In season, use gooseberries, rhubarb with grated orange rind, or halved plums or apricots.
MESSENGER PUBLICATION 2019