For those of us who dream in romantic images of the English countryside, sitting down to watch a British costume drama provides a delightful escape. Whether we indulge in a current Masterpiece sensation or revisit a past favorite, the cares of the modern day seem to fade as stories of old come to life on the small screen.
A friend who shares my affinity for period pieces introduced me to Lark Rise to Candleford, a BBC television series that aired from 2008 to 2011. Set in nineteenth-century Oxfordshire, this charming adaptation of novelist and poet Flora Thompson’s autobiography follows Laura Timmins as the young woman leaves the humble comforts of her hamlet to begin an apprenticeship as postmistress in the nearby market town.
As an ode to the show—available now on DVD through Netflix and online via Amazon Prime —I developed a pastry treat worthy of the Candleford Post and Telegraph. Luscious fruit filling spills from these dainty envelopes, baked until the crust is flaky and golden brown.
What could be more enjoyable than settling in for a wintertime marathon of a beloved melodrama or mystery? The only bliss greater might be savoring the poignant story lines over teatime with like-minded viewers.
–Melissa Lester, Associate Editor, Victoria magazine
To see more of Melissa’s teatime ideas, visit her blog.
- 1 refrigerated piecrust
- 1 peach, sliced
- ½ cup raspberries
- 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon flour, divided
- Sugar sprinkles
- Garnish: fresh raspberries
- Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside.
- Using a sharp knife, cut piecrust into 4 equal pie-shaped sections. Cut rounded edge from each wedge to make a square. Cut decorative shapes, such as the scalloped-heart accent shown above, from scraps of dough.
- Center a few peach slices atop square of piecrust, and nestle a few raspberries around peaches. Sprinkle fruit with ½ teaspoon sugar and ¼ teaspoon flour. Repeat to assemble remaining 3 piecrust squares.
- Fold first piecrust square into an envelope by pulling 3 points toward center, gently pressing seams. Add decorative shapes to dough, and top with sugar sprinkles. Repeat to assemble remaining 3 envelopes.
- Transfer envelopes to prepared baking sheet, and bake until golden brown, about 14 minutes. To serve, prop a warm tart against a scoop of ice cream. Garnish with raspberries, if desired.