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Deliciously Downton Abbey: Viewing Party Picks for Food and Drink

The final episode is Sunday; let the celebrations begin!

Downton Abbey's second series concludes on Sunday night. Loyal viewers approach the two-hour event, which aired in the United Kingdom as a Christmas special, with the fervor of football fans planning for the Superbowl. Since the food and drink should complement the event, Patch asked local food experts for their best Edwardian era picks.

EthnicNJ's own Anthony Ewing offers menu picks and a thoughtful analysis. "According to the NPR segment I heard," explains Ewing, "the period drama portrays universal themes with particular relevance for current times, and plenty of class and sexual tension. I'll suggest a mix of modern and traditional British fare.

For modern British, serve Madras Curry Lamb from Brick Lane Curry House  in Montclair. This dish captures the legacy of British Colonialism, reflects the vibrant immigrant communities of modern Britain, and it's spicy. For traditional British, serve a Steak and Kidney Pie from the Pie Store, also in Montclair." Ewing notes that, "This dish is probably prepared in the basement kitchen of Downton Abbey, reflects traditional British cuisine, and is best enjoyed if you don't know everything going on under the surface."

Once the savory is cleared away by the footmen, it's time for the sweet. The Able Baker, Julie Pauly, recommends Apple Charlotte. Pauly notes that the dessert "was referenced in season 2 as an all-the-rage dessert."

And for the beverages, served by the butler in both the dining room and the sitting room after the meal? Hank Zona of Swirl Wine Events, explains, "The very short answer is sherry, port and clarets...and the word is sherry sales in the UK are up about 20 percent due in part to the show."

Here's to another successful season of Downton Abbey!

Easy Apple Charlotte

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 (1 pound) loaf bread, crusts trimmed
  • 8 apples - peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • nonstick cooking spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a bread pan or a "pudding basin" with 1 tablespoon butter. Press bread slices onto the bottom and sides of pan. Overlap slices and keep in mind this part of the dessert will be visible.
  2. In a bowl, combine apples, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons cubed butter. Place apple mixture in bread-lined pan. Cover with bread slices, and coat with cooking spray. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes. Cool in pan, then invert onto serving dish. Serve with ice cream or creme fraiche.             

Adapted from AllRecipes.com

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