Secret Garden Oatcakes


You can trifle with your breakfast and seem to disdain your dinner if you are full to the brim with roasted eggs and potatoes and richly frothed new milk and oatcakes and buns and heather honey and clotted cream.

The oatcakes of Yorkshire, where the Secret Garden takes place, are a pancake made from oats and leavened with yeast, and are the type of thing that Mary, Colin, and Dickon were able to make on their little oven in the hollow. They can be eaten savory, such as wrapped around sausages, or sweet, as they are here, topped with peaches, honey, and whipped cream.

Secret Garden Oatcakes

Adapted from Stafforshire Oatcakes

  • 150 grams oats, blitzed fine in a food processor
  • 50 grams wholewheat flour
  • 100 grams all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 300 milliliters milk
  • 300 milliliters water
  • 1 packet quick-rising yeast
  • butter for frying

Whisk together flours, salt, sugar, and yeast. Gently heat the milk and water until warm (but not hot), and mix into the flour mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for one hour.

On a pan or skillet, heat butter, and fry the batter as you would pancakes, flipping after a few minutes on each side.

Serve as a savory flatbread, or topped with fruit, honey, and whipped cream.

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Yorkshire Puddings, Steak with Stilton and Caramelized Onions


While The Friends of English Magic don’t actually practice magic, and are only moderately well-read, they certainly do eat well! The Old Starre Inn in Yorkshire looked like it had some decent pub fare, so that’s what I set out to make.

Just a note, the Yorkshire puddings were very eggy – there was a comment on the original recipe that you could use less with success. These were made with batter rested half an hour per the recipe, but there are also a lot of tips to let this rest in the fridge overnight for better results. I may come back and try this with one less eggs, and a longer rested batter.

Yorkshire Pudding

From The New York Times

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon/5 grams kosher salt
  • About 1/4 cup rendered beef or pork fat, olive oil or melted butter (I used the little bit of rendered fat from the steaks, below, plus about a tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 400°. Mix eggs, milk, flour and salt and let rest 30 minutes.

In a muffin tin, add a spoonful of fat to the bottom of each cup, then transfer to the oven to heat for 5-7 minutes. Remove, and equally divide the batter between the cups. Bake for 10-12 minutes until puffed, golden and crispy. Serve immediately.

Steak with Stilton and Caramelized Onions

Adapted from

For the onions
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter on high heat. Cut an onion into medium sized rings. Cook until slightly charred, then lower heat to medium to caramelize the rest of the way. Remove from heat.

For the stilton sauce
Mix together 2 ounces stilton, 1/2 cup toasted and finely chopped walnuts, and 1 tablespoon butter

For the steaks
Since you have the goodies above, the steaks only need to be flavored with salt and pepper. I used super cheap thin cut sirloin, but you can use whatever you want and cook appropriately. Sprinkle well with salt and pepper and allow to come to room temp (just 15 min for my cut), then sear each side on a screaming hot pan (3 min each side). If you have a thicker cut you can move to the oven to cook through. Rest for 20 minutes or so, then serve with stilton sauce and onions.

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 31: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

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