If you are missing your visits to The Islands of Guernsey, why not get into the kitchen and try out one of these traditional recipes?
There is more than one way to travel and exploring the food of your favourite destinations from the comfort of your kitchen is just one of them. We miss welcoming our wonderful visitors from all over the world, so we wanted to share these warming winter recipes, traditional to our islands for you to try out, to reminisce over and to plan your future visits to our islands with. Do let us know if you try them out.
(pronounced Gosh Mel - are)
Gâche Mélée is a traditional Guernsey apple dessert and an absolute favourite with locals. It is particularly satisfying to enjoy it in the autumn, when the cooler nights are drawing in and apples are freshly picked. It is wonderful eaten hot or cold and with a dollop of Guernsey cream or custard.
½ lb plain flour
¼ lb suet or Guernsey Butter
1½ lb apples (peeled, cored and chopped)
½ lb demerara sugar
¼ tsp of nutmeg
¼ tsp of cinnamon
¼ tsp of mixed spice
½ teacup of water
1 tsp salt
1 free range egg
Tip: Prior to making this dessert all dry ingredients and apple can be mixed together and stood in the fridge to improve the flavour. Also, why not keep back some sugar to sprinkle on top prior to cooking – this makes a crunchier top.
Coffee and Gache
One of Guernsey’s definitive delicacies is the Guernsey Gâche. Tune in your tastebuds before you visit with this genuine recipe that's really easy to make too.
I.5 lbs wholemeal or plain flour
1.5 lbs Guernsey butter
Two free range eggs
4 oz candied orange peel
1 lb sultanas (currants may be used, if preferred)
Quarter pint of Guernsey milk
2 oz yeast
Pinch of salt
2 oz dark brown sugar
Best served with cider from the jug, whilst hay making.
(Guernsey French: enne Jarraie d'Haricaots)
Bean Jar was never designed to be a delicacy, but rather a cheap wholesome winter meal designed to feed a hungry family. Traditionally, the dish would be started on a Friday night with the soaking of dried beans. Then on the next day, Saturday, cheap cuts of meat, such as pigs trotters would be added. The beans and meat would be briefly boiled and transferred to a pottery jar, the Bean Jar, covered with thick brown paper, tied with string and marked with the family name. Then families would drop their jars at their local bakery where they were put into the cooling oven on a Sunday, as no bread was baked that day. The Bean Jar was then stored and eaten on a Monday, traditionally washing day, as the women were too busy washing clothes to cook and then the jar would be often reheated on a Tuesday, as this was ironing day and they were still too busy. Luckily, many people believe Bean Jar always tastes best once it has been reheated on the second day!
On the island, you'll note that every family has a recipe for Bean Jar, passed down through generations with no two recipes the same, often due to ingredient availability, but generally 'the simpler the better' is the advice. There is also a vegetarian version these days.
1 lb Haricot Beans
1 lb Butter Beans
1 lb Belly Pork
1 lb Onions
Enjoy with a thick slice of farmhouse bread and Guernsey butter. Delicious!
(only to be used seasonally)
The Ormer is an abalone found on Guernsey shores, and the traditional way to cook Ormers is in a casserole.
As many ormers as possible
A strip or two of belly pork
Salt and Pepper
Enjoy with a Guernsey Biscuit (See below!)
A Guernsey Biscuit is a savoury roll with a firm crust and soft, fluffy centre that can be filled with Guernsey delicacies such as crab, beef or a beautiful local cheese.
1lb Plain white flour
1oz Fresh yeast
½ oz of salt
4oz Guernsey butter and/or lard
8 fl. oz warm Guernsey milk (or combination of water & milk)
½ oz of sugar
12 oz Guernsey whiting, or other locally caught white fish
1pt Guernsey Milk
2oz plain flour
3 tbsp chopped parsley
1tbsp lemon juice
2lbs freshly cooked potatoes
¼pt Guernsey Milk
A little nutmeg
To make extra special, add 4oz peeled prawns or 2oz chopped fried mushrooms and some sweetcorn.
If you try any of our traditional Guernsey recipes, please do share your pictures with us on social media. We would love to see what you create from across the world!