Although our trains don't journey far into the North West, we still wanted to celebrate some of the delicacies it has on offer. Teamed up with 'God's own county' of Yorkshire, we're sure to get your taste buds craving these tasty local dishes!
Cut and Come Again Cake
Cut and Come Again Cake has been made for many years and is Yorkshire through-and-through. It’s deliciously moist and fruity, and you’ll be left begging for another slice, hence the name. In Yorkshire, it’s traditional to eat fruit cakes with Wensleydale cheese to balance out the sweetness - this is not a modern fad but a staple, bound by heritage.
• 340g self-raising flour sifted
• 1 teaspoon mixed spice
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 175g butter, cold from the fridge
• 110g soft brown sugar
• 225g mixed dried fruits, to include half cherries
• 3 eggs, lightly beaten
• 170ml milk
- Preheat the oven to 180c/Gas Mark 4.
- Line and grease a 21cm cake tin with parchment baking paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, mixed spice and nutmeg and mix them together well.
- Rub in the cold butter so it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the sugar and dried fruits and mix well until all the fruits have been covered by the mixture.
- Add the beaten eggs and milk and stir well with a wooden spoon, so everything is combined and picked up from the bottom of the mixing bowl.
- Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin and level the top of the cake with a spatula.
- Bake your cake in the middle of the preheated oven for around one hour, until it’s golden brown in colour and a skewer comes out cleanly.
- Once baked, allow the cake to stand in the tin for five minutes, before transferring onto a cooling wire.
A staple on school menus from around the 1950s until the 1980s, the original Manchester tart is a variation on the Manchester Pudding. An earlier recipe, the Manchester Pudding was first recorded by Victorian cookery writer, Mrs Beeton. The traditional Manchester Tart consists of a sweet shortcrust pastry shell spread with raspberry jam, topped with custard, and sprinkled with coconut (please note Mrs Beeton chose not to use coconut), and finished with a cherry on top.
• 300g plain flour, plus extra to dust
• 75g cold butter, diced
• 75g solid white vegetable fat
• 25g icing sugar
• 200g seedless raspberry jam
• 100g desiccated coconut
• 1 glace cherry, optional
For the custard
• 450ml whole milk
• 3 large egg yolks
• 60g caster sugar
• 30g plain flour
• 1½ -2 tsp vanilla extract
- Start several hours ahead to allow for setting time. For the pastry, whiz or rub together the flour, diced butter, white fat and icing sugar until breadcrumb-like.
- Mix in 3-4 tablespoons of cold water, then bring together as a ball. Wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Use the pastry to line a deep 23cm tart tin, prick the base and chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan 170°C, gas 5.
- Line the tart case with baking paper and baking beans, then put it in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove the paper and beans and bake for 5-10 minutes or until the pastry is dry and crisp. Spread the jam in the base of the tart and scatter with half the coconut.
- For the custard, heat the milk to just below boiling point. Mix the egg yolks, sugar and flour until smooth in a bowl, then pour in the hot milk, stirring.
- Rinse out the pan and pour in the custard mixture. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring until thickened. It should take around 2 minutes, but make sure to taste and check there is no raw flour flavour; cook for a little longer if necessary.
- Add vanilla to taste, then strain through a sieve into a bowl. Stir for a couple of minutes to cool it slightly, then pour into the tart. Sprinkle with the rest of the coconut and leave to cool.
- Cover and chill for 4 hours or until set. Add a glace cherry in the centre for a truly retro feel and cut into slices to serve.
Lancashire Hot Pot
The Lancashire Hotpot is thought to have originated during the cotton industry in the 19th century. It’s a simple meal that would have been left to cook slowly all day, ready for the hungry cotton workers at the end of their shift. It was more likely to have contained mutton in those days and would invariably have been left to cook with a lamb bone still in the dish for added flavour. The meat was often bulked out more with oysters, which were very cheap in the 19th century.
• 6 lamb chops, weighing approximately 500g in total (or 1kg diced lamb)
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
• 1 celery stalk, trimmed, roughly chopped
• 1 large onion, roughly chopped
• 2 tbsp plain flour
• 1 litre beef stock
• 8 sprigs fresh thyme
• 1 bay leaf
• 100g butter, melted
• 2 large floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper, sliced into 1cm/½in-thick discs
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/Gas 3.
2. Season the lamb chops with plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, then fry the lamb chops for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until browned all over. Transfer the lamb chops to a medium casserole.
3. Fry the carrot, celery and onion in the same frying pan for 4-5 minutes, or until coloured and softened.
4. Stir the flour into the vegetables and continue to fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the flour turns a biscuit colour.
5. Pour in the beef stock and stir well until the liquid has thickened and there are no visible lumps of flour.
6. Transfer the vegetables and thickened stock to the casserole. Add 7 thyme sprigs and the bay leaf, then bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat until the mixture is just simmering.
7. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat.
8. Arrange the potato slices on top of the hotpot, overlapping the edges slightly. Brush the potato slices all over with the melted butter. Sprinkle the top with a few thyme leaves from the remaining sprig of thyme.
9. Bake the hotpot in the oven for 1-1½ hours, or until the potato topping is crisp and golden-brown and the vegetables are tender.