Sunday, 29 June 2014

Mary Norwak's Basic Cake Recipe

Aunt Clare lived in a number of picturesque villages through her lifetime, ending up in Cley next the Sea, on the North Norfolk coast. It is a lovely village, and is known by some as Cambridge by Sea, due to the fact that it is so popular eith people retiring from Cambridge. Mary Norwak was a long-term resident and friend of aunt clare, and besides writing many cookery books was happy to share her recipes and her baked goods at many village events.

This recipe is the traditional pound cake, or quatre quarts as they call it in France. Equal amounts of fat, flour, sugar and eggs, and with a strong arm or its electric equivalent, you can make this cake all in one.

I notice that my mum made a note in her lovely writing on the recipe written out by her sister, on the back of an envelope, in the traditional manner. Clare also added a note saying add vanilla and a little water. Mums note says add orange juice and zest for an orange version, and that is my favourite

butter and line 2x7"/18cm tin

set the oven to 170C or equivalent

4oz/110g sr flour
4oz/110g caster sugar
2 eggs
4oz/110g soft margarine
drop of vanilla

Put all together and beat well with electric beater. Put in two tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 20-30m
cool on rack in the tin - remove when cool

chocolate 1/3oz cocoa/flour (20/90g)/
orange add grated rind/juice of large orange

Recipe repository

I am the repository for my family's recipes, at least those handwritten by my mother and my aunt. Two people, starting from scratch, with a mother who probably didn't cook anything until she was in her twenties, and who, despite a visit to Italy in her twenties, served up a dish called risotto that was probably closer to savoury rice pudding.

I am going to work through their recipes. I will alternate. Aunt Clare will contribute a lot of cakes to the mix.

Be prepared.


Sunday, 2 February 2014

instant apple tart

It is very easy to make an impressive tart quite quickly - in this case a visit to a family member who is recovering after a hip replacement. When you are in hospital, or on a journey, it is especially nice to have the time punctuated by a mouthful of delicious food. In this case apple tart.


  • 1 packet ready rolled puff pastry
  • 3 or 4 apples - I used 4 small Cox apples - cored and quartered
  • lemon juice (3 tbsp or juice of 1 lemon)
  • caster sugar

optional: butter, custard


Set the oven to 200C or equivalent

prepare two baking trays with baking parchment

  • finely slice the apples and sprinkle with lemon juice 
  • cut the pastry into two pieces - put onto lined trays
  • score around the edge of pastry with a knife
  • if you are using custard, spread a thin layer of custard inside the scored lines
  • spread the apple evenly over the pastry, inside the scored lines
  • fold up the edges, pinching the corners of the pastry
  • sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of caster sugar over the sliced apples
  • if you are using butter, dot pinches of butter over the apples

bake for 20 minutes