Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Day Seven-Homity pie, Dorset apple cake and Longhorns-Dorset

The Bakehouse, Abbotsbury
Years ago we stumbled across this beautiful friendly tea room in the heart of Abbotsbury and became firm friend with Steve its proprietor. I've a sneaky suspicion he is firm friends with all who came through his doors but I was most impressed when after 2 1/2 years we ventured through his door again and he remembered exactly what we had habitually ordered those 2 1/2 years ago. A very friendly man with a wonderful business that supports local foods. He stocks the best Dorset apple cake and Blue Vinny Homity pie and I bet anyone would be hard pushed to leave The Bakehouse without a broad smile on their face. Definitely worth a visit, or even better a special trip down to Dorset just to see him. I'm sure you’d be very welcome.

Blue Vinny Homity pie
Use Wholemeal shortcrust pastry or bought pie case:
  • 450g potatoes
  • 450g onions
  • 3tbsp of oil
  • 30g butter
  • A bunch of parsley, chopped.
  • 225g crumbled Dorset Blue Vinny
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1tbsp milk
  • Salt and black pepper
Roll out the pastry and line six 4" individual flan tins or on 8" flan tin. Boil the potatoes.Chop the onions finely and fry on a low heat, with a small pinch of salt until soft. Mix the potatoes and onions, add the butter, parsley, half the Blue Vinny, garlic, milk and season well, to taste. Cool, then use to fill the pastry cases. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bak in the oven at 220C (Gas mark 7) for about 25mins until golden.

Dorset Apple cake
  • 225g butter,
  • 450g apples
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 225g caster sugar,
  • 3 large freerange eggs
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (gas 4). Grease your deepest cake tin and line with baking paper. Peel, core and cut the apples into 1cm pieces, and toss with the lemon juice.
2. Cream together the butter, caster sugar and lemon zest in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, adding a little flour with each addition to keep the mixture smooth.
3. Sift the remaining flour and the baking powder into the bowl and fold in with the ground almonds. Drain the apple pieces well, then stir into the mixture.
4. Spoon into the prepared cake tin, lightly level the top and sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until well-risen, brown and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. If the cake starts to look a little too brown, cover with a sheet of baking paper after about 45 minutes.
5. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the tin and place on a serving plate. Dredge heavily with the extra caster sugar. Serve warm with a spoonful of thick Dorset cream.

Bride Valley farm shop and Longlands Farm

After our nostalgic visit to Steve’s Bakehouse tea rooms I rushed around the corner to a tiny old farm shop in the centre of Abbotsbury.
Without it’s boards and signs you could easily miss it as the shop front is so small.

The Bride Valley Farm shop offers only high quality produce from the local area and on entering the shop I saw bags upon bags of flour from Arthur and Josephine’s Tamarisk farm. All the beef the shop sells is from their own herd, raised at Longlands Farm in nearby Littlebredy. They graze the chalk downland, which is specially managed for conservation, without the use of Chemical fertilizers or herbicides.

The land is home to an abundance of flora, including several species found only in this type of pasture. All of the cattle are pure-bred Longhorns, an old English breed producing a superior meat and the meat is very popular with Bride Valley Farm shop customers. The pork and lamb is supplied by the Longlands farms neighbours in Longbredy. The animals are traditionally reared with access to the outside Dorset downs.

As well as fantastic meat, the shops sells pate, huge pies and sausages rolls made from their own meat. They stock Dorset cream, cheeses, chutneys, honey and much more. All from selected local producers. Most from within a 4 mile radius of the shop at Abbotsbury.
Special orders are welcomed and interestingly enough they can also supply beautifully cured Longhorn hides from their own herd. Waste not want not.

For shop and hide enquiries contact: 01305 671235
For further enquiries concerning Longlands Farm. Please contact John and Patricia Barker at Longlands Farm, Littlebredy, Dorchester, Dorset. Telephone:01308 482371

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