Downton Abbey with Grandma – Gougères Recipe

Grandma and Me
My grandmother and me when I was just days old – October 1971

Do you have any traditions that sustain your soul thinking of them? Spending time with my beautiful grandmother is my favorite pastime. She pops in for a random appearance in many of my earliest childhood memories. I spent so much time with her as a child, that I have never been quite clear on whether or not my cousin and I lived with her during our earliest years.

My grandparents’ home, hand-built by my grandfather and my uncle, stood in the center of a beautiful 10-acre wooded lot dotted with azaleas and jonquils so well-dispersed that, as a child, I thought they were wild. She later told me that she had “naturalized” them by standing in one spot, tossing the bulb, and planting it where it lay. I loved climbing the trees and exploring the trails. She also kept a small farm including chickens, ducks, and rabbits – and two vegetable gardens. One she let the wild deer eat. The other was for humans.

Our Guilty Pleasures

So, yeah, she was a major force in my childhood. Now, she is in her 80’s. Her farm, sold. But she’s still a huge part of my life. Tomorrow, she is coming over to share a guilty pleasure. We binge on Downton Abbey. Sometimes, we re-watch episodes to review a pivotal scene and refresh our memories. But sometimes, we just rewind so we can see the indulgent imagery, the fine turn-of-the-century clothing, and the decadent foods they serve with tea.

She spends about a weekend a month with me, and I try to make sure that nothing else impinges on our plans. Lately, she’s been sick. COVID kept us in lock-down (boo). Or something else came up – but tomorrow, our weekend begins.

And I have a surprise for her. I planned on saving it for Mother’s Day, but I don’t think I can wait that long. Yeah. I’m one of those people. Don’t ask me to store a gift for a long time. Can’t do it. I’ll be presenting her with the Official Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea Cookbook Gift Set. It comes with a tea towel with a quote by the Dowager Countess: “Then there’s nothing more to be said. Are we going to have tea or not?” Well, of course we will have tea. What do you think we are? Savages?

Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea Cookbook Gift Set with Tea Towel
Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea Cookbook Gift Set with Tea Towel

Gorgeous book with lavish imagery

My grandmother loves the Countess, portrayed by Maggie Smith, known for her quippy retorts. Grandma always giggles and says “Kitty’s got claws and they are out.” So, she will probably love the tea towel. My grandmother used to work in a wealthy woman’s kitchen preparing elaborate meals, but doesn’t cook so much any more. But I’m sure she’ll love the cookbook’s stunning photography – both of the recipes and characters from the series.

The hardcover book itself feels lavish and is clothbound. In addition to a selection of tasty savory and sweet recipes that would make Lord Grantham proud, the pages also cover English tea etiquette and a bit of it’s history.

The Official Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea Cookbook Gift Set is truly a gift I’m excited to give her tomorrow. I may even have to serve this tasty Gougères Recipe featured in the book. It calls for Alpine cheese, and I could really go for Gruyère.

Be sure to check out our other breakfast or dessert recipes.

Gougères Recipe from the official Downton Abbey Cookbook Gift Set

CategorySnack RecipesDifficultyIntermediate

The small, light, and airy gougère of the afternoon tea tray is rooted in Burgundy, where it first appeared in the seventeenth century and continues to be the preferred accompaniment to wine tasting in the local cellars. These pastries grew in prominence in the nineteenth century, spreading beyond central France and taking on new flavorings. But traditional cooks kept their classic composition of alpine cheese (typically Gruyère, Comté, or Emmentaler) and rich butter-and-egg choux pastry—a formula that would be put to work in the Downton kitchen.

Yields48 Servings
Prep Time30 minsCook Time30 minsTotal Time1 hr

 2 cups (480 ml) plus 2 TBSP Milk
 ½ cup (115 g) unsalted butter
 2 tsp Salt
 2 cups (250 g) flour
 8 eggs
 ½ lb (225 g) Gruyère, Emmentaler, or other Swiss-type cheese, finely shredded

1

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

2

In a heavy saucepan over high heat, combine 2 cups (480 ml) of the milk, the butter, and salt and bring to a boil. Add the flour all at once, reduce the heat to low, and stir until the mixture forms a ball and pulls cleanly away from the sides of the pan, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 2 minutes.

3

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until thoroughly incorporated and the dough is very shiny; this step should take about 5 minutes. Stir in three-fourths of the cheese.

4

Using a spoon, scoop out rounds 2–3 inches (5–7.5 cm) in diameter onto the prepared sheet pans, spacing them about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Brush the rounds with the remaining 2 tablespoons milk, then sprinkle evenly with the remaining cheese

5

Bake the pastries until well puffed and golden brown, 30–35 minutes. Let the pastries cool briefly on the pans on wire racks and serve warm, or let cool completely and serve at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1

Servings 48

Ingredients

 2 cups (480 ml) plus 2 TBSP Milk
 ½ cup (115 g) unsalted butter
 2 tsp Salt
 2 cups (250 g) flour
 8 eggs
 ½ lb (225 g) Gruyère, Emmentaler, or other Swiss-type cheese, finely shredded

Directions

1

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

2

In a heavy saucepan over high heat, combine 2 cups (480 ml) of the milk, the butter, and salt and bring to a boil. Add the flour all at once, reduce the heat to low, and stir until the mixture forms a ball and pulls cleanly away from the sides of the pan, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 2 minutes.

3

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until thoroughly incorporated and the dough is very shiny; this step should take about 5 minutes. Stir in three-fourths of the cheese.

4

Using a spoon, scoop out rounds 2–3 inches (5–7.5 cm) in diameter onto the prepared sheet pans, spacing them about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Brush the rounds with the remaining 2 tablespoons milk, then sprinkle evenly with the remaining cheese

5

Bake the pastries until well puffed and golden brown, 30–35 minutes. Let the pastries cool briefly on the pans on wire racks and serve warm, or let cool completely and serve at room temperature.

Gougères (French Cheese Puffs)

Excerpted from The Official Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea Cookbook Gift Set by Weldon Owen. Photographs by Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

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Happily married to the love of my life. It's just us, our 5 cats, and our beautiful woods. I'm loving living back in the Florida panhandle being close to family. I love cooking, living a healthy lifestyle, taking care of our cozy home, and trying new things.

We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.

Alicia Taylor

Happily married to the love of my life. It's just us, our 5 cats, and our beautiful woods. I'm loving living back in the Florida panhandle being close to family. I love cooking, living a healthy lifestyle, taking care of our cozy home, and trying new things.

We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.

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