Copy Lincolnshire Echo September 2018
This month’s recipe is for Quaker Oat Scones, featured in a charming little book called “Aunt Margaret’s Pudding”, published earlier this year. The recipe is thought to date back to mid Victorian times, the addition of oats makes them wonderfully crisp on the outside with a delicate light texture on the inside. These would be a welcome treat for an Autumnal weekend breakfast or supper dish. This is just my sort of baking, the alchemy of mixing humble inexpensive ingredients together to produce something understated, but completely delicious.
I recently had the pleasure of corresponding with the Author of this book, Alison Brackenbury. Alison has written nine books and her poetry has featured in many publications including The New Statesman and The Spectator. The book is a delightful compilation of poetry inspired by her Grandmother Dorothy Eliza Barnes (Dot), featuring some of Dot’s own recipes and a brief biography of her life in Lincolnshire.
One of the recipes featured in the book is for “Flamberries Pudding”, a good old fashioned steamed pud’ with jam swirled through it. The word Flamberries is a bit of a mystery though, defeating both Google and Food Historian Dr Annie Gray! One theory that has been suggested is that “Flamberries” are Raspberries and the word may be a corruption of the French Framboise. Perhaps it was an old Lincolnshire generic term for any soft fruit available, much the same as Plum was used as a catchall for any dried fruit. Alison has asked me to put the word out there, to see if any readers can shed any light. If you have any recipes or have heard the word Flamberries used, we would love to hear from you. Just send me an email on the address below.
Dot was born in Lincolnshire in 1894 and her Grandma’s family lived in Sutton on Sea. The family had associations all over the county, spanning several generations, including Riby, Brocklesby, The Fens and Horkstow. During the Edwardian era Dot worked for a time as a professional cook in Nottingham and neatly kept a record of her recipes in a little black book. This treasure trove of recipes, including one of the family favourites “Aunt Margaret’s Pudding”, was the source of inspiration and title for Alison’s book.
The poetry and biography are evocative of a Lincolnshire rural way of life in the late 19th and first half of the 20th century. Dot’s recipes take me back to those of my own Gran and Grandma’s – Cheesecakes (not the fancy American New York style ones), Raspberry Buns and Bramble Vinegar. Simple, unpretentious rural recipes, handed down from generation to generation, that have stood the test of time, because they work!
If you would like to purchase a copy of Alison Brackenbury’s book “Aunt Margaret’s Pudding”, you can do so directly from this independent publisher Happenstance Press. RRP £8 plus p&p.
Dot’s Quaker Oat Scone recipe only yields 4 to 5 medium sized scones, but you can easily scale it up to produce more and they are so quick to make, you can have a batch rustled up, baked and on the table within half an hour! Be aware though that they don’t rise as much as “normal” scones due to the inclusion of oats. I made this recipe a few times to get it just right. I have included a ¼ tsp of baking powder, which Dot has in her original recipe. I’ve increased the temperature of the oven, from the original moderate to a high oven and this gives a better rise. Don’t use baking paper to line your tray, as this seems to affect the rise and be really careful not to use too much milk. When the dough is just starting to come together with the knife, but still looks too dry, it probably isn’t if you gather it carefully together with your hands and form into a firm ball. Final tip, is don’t roll your dough too thinly or your scones won’t rise at all. Happy baking!
Dot’s Quaker Oat Scones
Makes about 4 to 5 scones with a medium sized approx. 5cm/2inch cutter, you can scale the recipe up if you need more.
· 4 heaped tablespoons of Quaker Porridge Oats.
· 3oz/100g Self Raising Flour.
· ¼ tsp of baking powder.
· Pinch Salt.
· 1 ½ oz/50g Caster Sugar.
· 1 ½ oz/50g Butter.
· Drop of milk to bind.
· Drop of milk or beaten egg to glaze, I prefer milk.
· Preheat oven to 200c fan/400f/gas mark 6.
· Grease baking tray, don’t line.
· Sieve flour, salt and baking powder into a mixing bowl.
· Rub in the butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
· Stir in the oats and sugar.
· Add the milk cautiously, just a little drop at a time and mix with a broad bladed knife, until dough binds in a firm ball, be careful not to add too much.
· Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and flatten gently with a floured rolling pin
· Roll it out carefully until it is roughly as thick as the top joint of your thumb approx. 2 ½ cm to and inch. You need at least this depth to help them rise.
· Cut out and reroll until you have used all your dough up.
· Place evenly spaced on tray and carefully glaze the top with milk or beaten egg. I prefer milk.
· Bake on shelf above centre for approximately 12 – 15 minutes until a lovely golden brown.
· These won’t rise as much as normal scones due to the inclusion of oats, but the texture is light, with a delicate texture inside.
· Delicious served warm with butter.
Sadie Hirst is a Public Speaker on the subject of old cookbooks and food history with her two talks “Off the Beeton Track” and “Much Ado About Food”. Sadie has worked with many community, history and heritage organisations with her talks, historical cookery workshops and demonstrations. If you would like to contact or to discuss booking Sadie for your group in Lincolnshire, you can do so by emailingFollow on Twitter Sadie Hirst@sadiemhirst or Sadie Hirst on Instagram