Recipes from the British Isles

Welsh Rabbit*

4 slices toasted white bread, crusts trimmed

2 cups grated Cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon flour

1/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1 egg yolk

Arrange one slice of toast in each of four shallow ovenproof dishes.

Combine cheese, flour, milk, butter, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in a heavy two-quart saucepan. Cook, without boiling, over moderate heat. Stir constantly with a fork until the cheese has melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.

Place egg yolk in a bowl; stir with a fork, and then stir yolk into cheese. When thoroughly mixed, pour evenly over each slice of toast. Place the dishes under the broiler for two minutes to brown the cheese lightly. Serve at once. Serves four.

* Note: The traditional name for this recipe is Welsh rabbit. It was probably a joking reference to the fact that cheese was always available when rabbits were not. In the eighteenth century, this recipe was called Welsh rarebit, as it is listed in most recipe books.

English Gingerbread

1 tablespoon softened butter

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 tablespoon ginger

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 pound plus 4 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter

4 tablespoons dark molasses

4 tablespoons dark corn syrup

2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350º F.

Coat the bottom and sides of a 7x12-inch baking pan with 1 tablespoon softened butter.

Sift flour, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt together into a large bowl.

Combine the butter, molasses, and corn syrup in a heavy two-quart saucepan and simmer over low heat. Stir constantly until the butter melts.

Pour slowly into flour mixture, stirring constantly. When batter is smooth, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Pour batter into buttered baking pan and bake 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool and serve at room temperature.

English Trifle

5 one-half-inch slices poundcake

1 package thawed frozen fruit (raspberries, strawberries)


1 cup fresh fruit


1/2 cup fruit jam

3 packages gelatin dessert (one each of raspberry, lemon, strawberry)

1 package vanilla pudding mix

1/2 pint whipping cream

Note: This dessert must be started several hours before serving.

Cover bottom of deep dish with slices of poundcake. Cover cake with fruit. Make one package raspberry gelatin and pour over cake and fruit. Place in refrigerator until set.

Make the lemon gelatin and pour slowly over mixture in dish. Place in refrigerator until set.

Make the vanilla pudding according to instructions on package. Set aside. When cool, spoon it on the mixture in dish. Place in refrigerator.

Make strawberry gelatin and spoon it carefully onto pudding mixture. Place in refrigerator. To serve, scoop dessert into serving dishes and top with whipped cream. Serves ten.


1 cup flour

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 pound small, fresh pork sausages

Combine flour, eggs, milk, salt, and a few grindings of pepper in a blender. Blend at high speed for a few seconds. Turn off and scrape down the sides of the jar. Blend at high speed for a few more seconds. (To make the batter by hand, beat the eggs and salt with a rotary or electric beater until frothy. Slowly add flour, beating constantly. Pour in the milk and beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy.) Refrigerate the batter for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 400º F.

Place the sausages in a single layer in a heavy skillet. Prick the sausages once or twice with the tines of a fork. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of water and cover. Cook over low heat for three minutes. Remove lid and increase heat to moderate. Continue to cook, turning sausages frequently. When water has completely evaporated and sausages have begun to brown, remove and arrange them in a single layer in baking dish one inch apart. Moisten with two tablespoons of their drippings. Pour batter over them and bake for 30 minutes. Serve at once. Serves four.