This post seems a bit late – but better now than never!
Winnipeg was blessed with a few glorious summer days last weekend – which, luckily, coincided with our rescheduled Downton Abbey inspired picnic. Our crew of five arrived in the formal gardens of Assiniboine Park just as a garden wedding was being set up. We – complete with hats, Seersucker and bow ties (practically dressed for the imminent nuptials) – brought appropriately concocted British and seasonal dishes for the occasion.
David and Alan brought homemade ginger ale – with an effervescent nose and slight after burn similar to Vernors, a ginger ale originating in Detroit, Michigan. I grew up with Vernors poured over baked Easter hams in place of milder Canada Dry. What a pleasant memory! The gents also brought stuffed ham and pickle baguettes.
In true Downton-style, Rachel called upon her support team to deliver her delightful treats. Light-as-air scones were the perfect foil for rich clotted cream and tangy raspberry purée. The raspberry blend was a product of Rachel’s family farm, Poplar Grove. Scones freshly baked by her father, Rika. I took on the easy but time-consuming task of creating the clotted cream (recipe below).
Still wanting to link back to British colonial days, Eric and I chose to contribute tandoori chicken, mango chutney and pickled string beans. The tandoori chicken spice rub from a few weeks ago made plenty for a second batch. The mango chutney calmed the spiced intensity of the tandoori chicken with its slightly sweet, tangy ginger, golden raisins and tender mango pieces.
Finally, we could not host a summer picnic without a pitcher of Pimm’s No. 1 complete with cucumber and citrus slices!
Clotted Cream (from The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook)
yields 4 cups
4 cups heavy whipping cream
1. Preheat oven to 180°F.
2. Pour the cream into an oven-safe pot or dutch oven. The cream should come up to about 3 inches. Cover the pot, then place in the oven for at least 6 hours. The cream will be done when there is a thick yellowish skin on top.
3. Let the cream cool at room temperature, then put the pot in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours. Remove clotted cream from the top of the pot and serve cold.
Note: I cooked the cream for approximately 9 hours. I also incorporated some of the remaining cream into the clotted cream until the desired consistency (room temperature cream cheese) was achieved.