Tudor Cottage B&B's Granola

This is so popular with my guests I seem to be forever making it, but it's little trouble so that's fine and I'm happy to have found such a winner.  

Ingredients tend to alter slightly depending on what I have in my cupboard and quantities of each ingredient vary with my mood.  In fact just porridge oats and seeds and nuts would still be delicious, but freeze dried raspberry crumb stirred in at the end is a must.  

300 g porridge oats

Handful of oat bran

Handful rye flakes

Large handful mixed seeds, I use pumpkin, sunflower and sesame

Large handful mixed nuts, chopped if large

Handful milled flax seed

Half tsp. salt

2 large tsps. ground cinnamon

2 big dollops olive oil or melted coconut oil

150 ml golden syrup

2 egg whites + pinch of cream of tartar

Good handful freeze dried raspberry pieces

Oven 180c

  • Whisk the egg whites with the pinch of cream of tartar to stiff peaks and set aside

  • Put all the dry ingredients except the freeze dried raspberries into a large bowl

  • Glug in the olive oil or the melted coconut oil

  • Add the golden syrup and mix together really well so that everything is coated with oil and syrup

  • Stir in one third of the egg whites then fold in the remaining egg whites

  • Spread the mixture onto a large baking tray lined with baking parchment

  • Bake in the oven at 180c for 20 minutes then take out of the oven and turn over the mixture to bring it sides to middle to help the whole quantity to cook evenly. 

  • Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes or so until it is golden brown.  Try not to scorch it as this will make it bitter.

  • Allow to cool and crisp up on the baking tray

  • When cool stir in the freeze dried raspberry crumb and store in an air-tight jar

Helpful Hints

Don't use extra virgin olive oil, the taste will be too strong.

Adding cream of tartar when whisking egg whites gives extra body so that the egg white retains its stiffness longer. I prefer granola without dried fruit because I think it stays crisper longer without it, but feel free to add it if you wish.


The granola will be very clumpy when you turn it over for even cooking.  If you like your granola with large clumpy chunks, take care not to break them down too much at this stage.

The granola will keep at least three weeks in an airtight jar; It's delicious with thick greek yoghurt topped with compote.

Damson Jam

The thing about damson jam is, although it still contains as much sugar as any other jam so that it keeps well, it doesn't taste quite as sweet. 


A sort of deceptively sophisticated jam and hugely popular here at Tudor Cottage B&B - which is a good thing because it has to be admitted, scooping out all the damson stones is a bit of a labour of love

1 kg damsons

500 ml water

1.5 kg sugar

  • Slip a saucer into your fridge

  • Wash the damson and using a sharp knife cut a slit in each one

  • Transfer to a large pan, add the water and simmer gently until soft and falling apart, approximately 20-25 minutes

  • Remove from the heat, add all the sugar and stir until it has completely dissolved

  • When you are satisfied all the sugar crystals have melted, bring up to the boil, remove from the heat and scoop out all the damson stones as they rise to the surface


  • Now bring to a rolling boil and continue to boil for approximately 8-10 minutes.  Remove from the heat.

  • Take the saucer out of the fridge and drip a little of the jam on to the saucer and allow it to cool.   

  • Now gently push the jam with your finger and if it      appears to have formed a skin which wrinkles as        you push it, the jam is ready for potting in sterilised jars.       



Oven 180c

2 x 1lb loaf tins, or I use 1 tin 30cmx10cmx7cm

Loaf tin liners make life less stressful

Tudor Cottage's Seedy Brown Bread

This quick no yeast bread is my adaptation of the incomparable Ballymaloe Cookery School's brown bread and I thank them everyday in my head for such a simple and reliable recipe.   


I vary the types of flour regularly, but whatever I do, it seems to work out well.  

2 x 264ml cartons buttermilk

2 tblsps. sunflower oil

1 egg

225g wholemeal spelt flour

225g white rye flour

60g mixed seeds, I use pumpkin, sesame and sunflower

1 level tsp. bicarb. of soda

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

  • Put the buttermilk, oil and egg together in a bowl and whisk well together

  • Put all the other ingredients into another bowl and mix together throughly

  • Make a well in the centre of the dry flour mixture and pour the wet ingredients into it

  •  Mix everything together; I find it easiest to use a knife for this

  • Now transfer the dough to your lined loaf tin, you will find it easiest to do this with a wet hand

  • Bake 55 minutes.  

Helpful Hints and Avoiding Stumbles

I find this bread is best kept in the fridge and provided it is to be toasted, it will be fine for 

at least 5 days

The bread freezes beautifully,

An all white flour version of this is delicious too.  However I find if I use only wholemeal flour, it is too heavy, so it's best to incorporate some white flour.  It will still appear completely brown when cooked.

Tudor Cottage's Homemade Tomato Ketchup

So very much better than any commercial variety, you'll surely never go back to Heinz. 


The list of ingredients is a bit long I know, but you may well have most of them in your cupboard and the recipe is easy.  The ketchup will keep in the fridge for at least three months.

3 tins chopped tomatoes in thick tomato sauce

Half tsp. smoked salt

Half tsp. ground black pepper

Half tsp. mustard powder

Half tsp. celery salt

Half tsp. smoked paprika

Half tsp. ground ginger

Half. tsp. ground cloves

2 fresh bay leaves

2 fat cloves of garlic

130g soft brown sugar

6 tbsps. wine vinegar

  • Empty the three tins of tomatoes into a food processor and whizz to a smooth puree

  • Transfer to a large saucepan and stir in all the rest of the ingredients

  • Bring to the boil and then simmer, stirring occasionally, until it becomes thick and the consistency of ketchup.  Taste and adjust the spicing and seasoning to your liking.

  • Pour into sterilised bottles (jars put through the dishwasher on a hot cycle are fine).  The sealed jars of ketchup will keep in the fridge for at least three months.

Tudor Cottage's Brown Sauce (Spiced Plum Ketchup)

I have to admit this is a bit of a labour of love, but a very therapeutic way of using a glut of plums on a dreary Autumn day.  It fills the house with the most amazing autumnal aroma and the resulting shiny piquant brown sauce will put you off HP for ever.

Oven 180c

1 kg plums, halved and stones removed

300g onions, peeled and roughly cut up

600ml wine vinegar

500g light soft brown sugar

3 tsps. ground cinnamon

2 tsps. ground coriander

1 tsp. mustard powder

3 fat cloves of garlic, chopped

3 tbsps. maple syrup

  • Put the de-stoned plums and the onions into a deep roasting tray

  • Add half the vinegar and all the other ingredients apart from the maple syrup and give them a good stir around

  • Bake in the oven for 3-4 hours, stirring every hour or so.  It is ready when the plums and onions have become meltingly soft and the juices have become a sticky syrup.

  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little, then transfer the aromatic mixture to a food processor and whizz to a smooth puree

  • Transfer to a large saucepan and stir in the remaining vinegar.

  • Bring to a boil then simmer, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and becomes a pleasing ketchup consistency, about half an hour.

  • Add the maple syrup, pour into sterilised jars and seal.

Helpful Hints

Put the jars through a hot cycle of the dishwasher to sterilise

Allow to mature and mellow for at least two months before consumption

Sealed jars of brown sauce should keep for at least 12 months.

Crisp and Crumbly Orange Biscuits

Simple, irresistible and melt in the mouth, these biscuits are crumbly yet crisp and can be knocked up in moments.  I keep a supply of the dough in my fridge ready for those moments when a biscuit is definitely necessary.

225g block butter, soft

112g caster sugar

280g self raising flour

Grated zest of 1 orange

Oven 180.  Baking tray lined with non-stick baking parchment

  • Whisk the butter and sugar together until light in colour and fluffy


  • Whisk in the orange zest


  • Gently mix in the flour - the less you work the mixture, the more short and crumbly the biscuits will be.


  •  Using wet hands, form the dough into walnut sized balls and place on the lined baking sheet allowing space for the biscuits to spread.  Use a wet fork to gently squash the balls to about .5cm thick

  • Bake approx. 12 minutes until just beginning to show slight signs of browning at the edges.  

  • Cool on the baking tray for a minute or two before transferring to a cooling rack.

Helpful Hints

Alternative Flavourings, etc. 

 Chopped chocolate for chocolate chip

White chocolate chips and freeze dried raspberry pieces

Chopped stem ginger with a half a tsp. of ground ginger

Grated lemon rind

Currants, sultanas, chopped dates, dried cherries

Chopped walnuts, flaked almonds

Pears in Raspberry Juice with Star Anise

These sparklingly pretty pears are delicious for breakfast (or any time) with thick Greek yoghurt.  

Alternatively, they can be prepared with cranberry juice

6 pears, peeled and cored

400ml raspberry juice (from a carton)

75g granulated sugar

2 star anise

  • Pour the juice into a smallish saucepan and bring u p to simmering.  Remove from heat.

  • Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.  

  • Add the pears and star anise

  • Return to the heat and simmer gently for approximately 15 minutes until the pears are tender.  Timing will vary depending on the ripeness and variety of pears.

If kept unopened in a sterilised jar (run through a hot wash in the dishwasher is fine for this) and stored in the fridge, the pears should keep for at least 2-3 weeks.