grandma sarah’s antique recipes

Here I am with the lovely ladies from the Bolton Museum. Julie Lamara (historian) and Melanie Graaf, (events organiser)

Here I am with the lovely ladies from the Bolton Museum. Julie Lamara (historian) and Melanie Graaf, (events organiser).

Last week I met the organisers of the ‘Bolton Food and Drink Festival’  and for those of you who don’t know, this is the biggest event in the Bolton calendar and I am thrilled to be asked to be a part of it this event, which takes place on Thursday 21st August at 2.30pm onwards.

International stallholders from Europe come to visit Bolton and sell their various cuisines and produce from their individual countries to the food loving  public. The Festival takes place on the town hall square, and the air is filled with the smell of exotic take-away dishes, spices, breads, and pastries and cakes from Europe.

There are also beers on sale from Germany, and wine from Italy and France and all sorts of cakes and yummy sweets, the atmosphere is amazing everyone has a good time eating and drinking and trying all the different foods from all over Europe.

As well as the busy bustling market, famous Chefs are such as Gino de Campo, James Martin, Paul Hollywood and The Hairy Bikers are invited to carry out demonstrations for the public.

Julie Lamara and Melanie Graaf, are also baking enthusiasts.

Julie Lamara and Melanie Graaf, are also baking enthusiasts.

For my part, I am invited by the organisers to the lecture theatre in the Bolton Museum and Arts building, there, I am intending introduce to the guests, the GAR book, and how I came to get it, and why I wrote it,  I am hoping that, the afternoon will develop into a nice informal couple of hours, whereby people will chat to each other, swap recipes and tips, have a cuppa and a piece of bygone cake, buy the book a have it signed and generally relax and I am really looking forward to the afternoon meeting and chatting to the people

I will let you know how it goes.

Patricia Matthews.

Delicious! Manchester Tart

Delicious! Manchester Tart

This is a good old fashioned sweet recipe, it’s so easy to make and a perfect treat for everyone it can be served with ice cream or fresh whipped double cream.

Delicious. !!!

Manchester Tart

For the pastry base.

8 ozs Plain flour

3 ozs lard

200 mls water.

Rub together the fat and flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the water little by little, until a firm dough is formed.

Set aside in the fridge for 15 mins.

or 1 sheet ready-rolled short crust pastry

575ml full-fat milk

3 tablespoons of raspberry jam

3 tablespoons custard powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons caster sugar

Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 6.

Line a 24cm/10in round baking tin with pastry. Prick the base with a fork. Lay a sheet of baking parchment on top and top with dried beansand bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes remove the beans and baking parchment and let the pastry base cool.

The good old fashioned sweet recipe that's so easy to make

The good old fashioned sweet recipe that’s so easy to make

Meanwhile, make the custard. Place milk, custard powder, 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla extract into a pan, whisk/stir untilsmooth and all the custard powder is thoroughly mixed in with the milk and other ingredients. Gently heat until thick and set aside to cool slightly, sprinkle the custard mix with icing sugar or cover with a lid to stop a skin forming on the top.

Spread plenty of jam over pastry case base and sprinkle with half the coconut (and sliced banana optional) Pour in custard mixture and set to one side.

In a small pan put the remaining coconut in and dry roast until golden brown.sprinkle the pie with the toasted coconut (slice a banana and arrange it around the top of the pie (optional)

Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hrs (overnight preferably)

This pie is just as delicious with or without the added fruit if preferred.


Decorate the top of the Manchester Tart with a circle of banana followed by a circle of raspberries and serve with pouring cream.


Home Baked Egg Custard Pie

Home Baked Egg Custard Pie

This recipe was a very popular nutritious sweet in the north of England and still is today. I have eaten this many times at Grandma Sarah’s when I went to visit her accompanied by mugs of hot tea and endless chats. It is economical to make therefore it was perfect for large families although it can be made as a large or as small as you like.

In the picture I have tried to suggest a couple of different ways to serve the Custard Pie from the normal plain way it was always eaten. Either way, I’m sure you will enjoy it.



Basic sweet pastry

225g/8oz plain flour

110g/4oz of butter or ½ butter and ½ lard

Pinch of salt

80g/3oz sugar (castor, icing, or granulated sugar, will do fine)

1 large egg

For the egg custard filling:

4 eggs

100g castor sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla essence

500 ml milk

Nutmeg. ( whole nutmegs finely grated make all the difference) or dust with icing sugar if preferred.

Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6

Lightly grease the cake tin with butter.

In a large bowl rub together the flour and fat until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Add the sugar, salt and the egg and mix until a dough is formed and place in the fridge for 5 mins.

Home Baked Egg Custard Pie

Home Baked Egg Custard Pie

Roll out the pastry and place into the tin, making sure that the pastry fits snug around the tin. The pastry may feel a little soft so it’s best to handle it very carefully, pressing it by hand into the base of the tin and around the sides, be careful not to stretch the pastry or it will shrink away from the tin when cooking and the custard mixture could then seep underneath the pastry and the bottom of the pie will be soggy.

For the filling: In a bowl mix together the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence then add the milk and stir well pour into the tin and sprinkle with grated nutmeg.

Place the tin on a baking tray (this will make it easier to handle) and bake in the oven for about 45 mins until the custard is set, or until a skewer comes out clean.

In the picture I have tried to suggest a couple of different ways to serve the Custard Pie from the normal plain way it was always eaten. Either way, I’m sure you will enjoy it.

Patricia Matthews

Welcome again  to Grandmas Antique Recipes

patricia-ytI would like to introduce you to the paperback version of the book, which is also available to buy on Kindle from Amazon, Waterstones and The Bolton Museum and Art Gallery in the Local History department.

As well as family history, delicious recipes and medicines of a bygone era, I would like to bring your attention to a section at the back of the book on Bolton.

It is my intention to try to bring to life  some of the places of interest in this part of the book by interviewing and filming  the owners of the shops and premises I have written about, these shops have an interesting history attached to them and some have been owned by the same family for generations.

I am sure you will be enthralled with some of the historical events these premises have witnessed through the ages in the very colourful history of the Lancashire town of Bolton.

Happy Reading.

Patricia Matthews.

Live interview with Tony Dooley the manager of the Haunted Ye Olde Man and Scythe Pub Bolton.

Ghost of  Ye Olde Man and Scythe makes his presence felt once again.

This week I visited Ye Olde Man and Scythe pub on Churchgate in Bolton where the manager Tony Dooley agreed to talk to me about the ghostly goings on in the pub during the week.  In this  video he tells me what happened in the night and what he found when he came to open up the pub for the days trade.

I was also curious how a  poster from the famous 60’s band THE WHO came about which is on show in Ye Olde Man and Scythe when I asked him how it came to be in the pub, he told me that they called in for a drink on their way back from a gig in Leeds, and after a raucous night in Ye Olde Man and Scythe they signed it,  and left it to the manager of the day as momento of their visit and evening of frolics and fun in the pub.  Watch the video to reveal all.

Patricia Matthews.


My Valentine’s Day Challenge

This is the Valentines Day Challenge I have set up for the chaps/gents to have a go at to raise their street cred.

No cooking involved (fancy having a go?)

It’s a modern slant on an old fashioned sweet recipe from GAR (Grandma’s Antique Recipes), ‘Coconut Ice’  we’ll see what happens.

Go here to watch the video >>>

Easy Peasy :)

Live interview on Bolton FM

Live interview on Bolton FM

Live interview on Bolton FM radio.

It’s very humbling to receive feedback as the one below from a lovely person on You Tube.

Please have a look at the video of myself on Bolton FM

Excellent interview!!… Im from Little Hutlon and move to Australia 3 years ago! I am a 32 year old lad (one of seven) who is a keen beginner baker… I was looking how to make the classic meat and potato pie and I came accross you and your videos on u tube, I found your videos brilliant and easy to undersatnd and also it was nice to here the northern accent ha. this led me into finding you to have a book called “Grandmas Antique Recipes” which I am goin to purchase today! I am very interested into what the book has to offer and I am looking forward to reading it.

Also I would like to mention the world today has got faster and faster and most families have lost our old family values. I think it is very sad and real shame that most young people today can’t prepare a real nutritious meal from scratch and haven’t a clue where to start. Most families theses days live off fast foods and ready meals and process crap which I believe is going to cause problems later in life. Well enough of that lol, Id like to say a BIG THANK YOU for your videos and keep up the good work,,,,”HATS OFF TO GRANDMA SARAH!!!”

Bolton History Centre

Myself with the lovely Bolton History Centre people David Blair and Julie Lamara.

This as a photo of myself taken with  with David Blair and Julie Lamara, just two of the fabulous staff who work at the Bolton Art Gallery and Museum.

David Blair works in the Bolton History Centre department and what he doesn’t know about history is really not worth knowing in my view.

David revealed some very interesting facts about Grandpa Norman’s army records and I have recorded these in the Grandma’s Antique Recipes book. His ability to pick up a fact from an asterisk or a number on a document is astonishing and I am very grateful for his help.

Of course, the History Centre is only one part of the amazing Bolton Art Gallery and Museum, there is the adult and children’s library, the fabulous Aquarium where generations of children and grandchildren including my own have all visited and enjoyed.

Bolton Museum

Here I am with the book and David, who helped me with the research into Grandpa’s army records.

The amazing world famous Egyptology department and of course the pottery and artifact exhibitions both ancient and modern.

Then there is the art gallery itself, it houses the famous  Thomas Moran paintings amongst many others.

The Bolton Art Gallery and Museum in my view, is an integral and essential asset to the Bolton people and long may it remain so.

Please visit the website of the Bolton Art Gallery and Museum by clicking here >>>

Patricia Matthews