Welcome back to the world’s shortest series on posh sarnies!
If Part 1 was an assemblage requiring very little effort, then Part 2 sits firmly at the other end of the spectrum. This heavenly mouthful takes all the classic components of the Waldorf Salad and turns it into a lovely open sandwich which would not look out of place in the sandwich selection of a sophisticated Afternoon Tea as it tastes lovely but also looks really pretty too! Yes it requires effort but you will be rewarded with a lovely homemade loaf of walnut bread and a white grape jelly that will last you several sandwiches and beyond. Where possible, I have used great local / Irish produce as the stars of the show – Ummera Smoked Chicken and Cashel Blue Cheese. Persevere with this one and I guarantee you will enjoy the rewards of your efforts!
Step 1: Making the White Grape Jelly
Ideally cook the grapes the night before and leave the juices to drain overnight. Alternatively you can speed this along by straining through the muslin by hand.
1kg of white seedless grapes
450g jam sugar (rather than normal sugar as you need the added pectin for this to set)
Juice of 1 lemon
Put the grapes into a pan, cover and leave to cook for 5 minutes or so until the juices start to run, being careful that the grapes do not take on any colour.
Use a potato masher to crush the grapes. Cook for about 10 mins more crushing the grapes every now and again to extract as much juice as possible.
Take a clean tea towel or a piece of musin and place inside a fine sieve and hang the sieve over a bowl.
Pour the grape and juice mixture into the cotton lined sieve and leave to drain overnight.
You may need to work the grapes around to encourage the juice to seep through.
After draining, you should have apx 600ml of clear grape juice.
Place the juice into a pan and add the sugar and the lemon juice.
The lemon juice will help to clarify the liquid. Skim off any scum that rises as the juice begins to boil.
Boil the grape juice until it reaches a temperature of 105 degs celsius – this will be the jellys setting temperature.
Pour the hot jelly into sterlised jars and set aside to cool slightly before placing in the fridge for final cooling and setting.
You’ll find that the jelly will be “just set” as opposed to the kind of robust set sweet jelly you would buy in the shops.
Step 2: Making the Walnut Bread
This recipe comes from Rick Stein’s Padstow restaurant where they have their own onsite bakery. Apart from waiting for the yeast to ferment and the proving process which only takes time, this bread is actually super easy to make and tastes great.
Ingredients (makes 1 large or 2 small loaves depending on the size of loaf tin you have to hand):
1 tblsp of dried yeast / 1 x 7g packet of easy yeast.
1 tblsp of dark brown muscovado sugar
450ml of luke warm water
600g of wholemeal flour
2 tsp of free running table salt
20g butter, melted
40g of walnut pieces, chopped coarsly
2 tsp of sesame seeds
Take 150ml of the luke warm water and 1tsp of the brown sugar and whisk into it the packet of yeast. Leave in a warm place until there is apx 2cm of froth on top of the water (apx 15 mins).
Put the flour, remaining sugar and salt in a large bowl.
Pour in the yeast ferment only (not the water), the remaining 300ml of clean luke warm water and the melted butter and mix together to form a soft, sloppy dough.
Knead the dough manually for 3 miniutes stretching the dough lightly.
Add the walnuts to the bread after the kneading has finished.
If making two loaves, at this point cut in half and place each half in a buttered loaf tin; or pop the lot into one tin if it’s big enough. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes to prove and rise to the top of the tin.
Pre heat the oven to 230 degs celsius. Sprinkle the loaves with the sesame seeds and place in the oven to bake for 25 – 30 mins. Take out of the oven, turn out of the tin and place the loaf back in the oven for 5 more minutes to crisp up on the outside.
Turn out on a wire rack to cool.
Step 3: Assembling “The Waldorf”
Slices of homemade Walnut Bread
Little Gem Lettuce
Ummera Smoked Chicken crown (http://www.ummera.com)
1 sweet Irish apple
Cashel Blue Cheese or a local blue cheese that has a good whack of blue – go bold not mild in your selection!
Homemade White Grape Jelly
Cut the bread 1/2″ thick. Spread with a little butter.
Place a few leaves of little gem lettuce on the bread.
Cut some slices of Ummera Smoked Chicken and lay across the lettuce.
Cut the apple into quarters and thinly slice one of the quarters. Lay the apple on top of the chicken.
Crumble a few small pieces of the blue cheese on top of the apple.
Finally, dot some of the white grape jelly across the whole thing, and finish off with a couple of twists of black pepper.
And there it is. A lot of effort for a little thing, but worth it for sure!