art, history, film, books for the culinary enthusiast

The National Trust Farmhouse Cookbook, a Review

The National Trust Farmhouse Cookbook, a Review

National Trust Farmhouse Cookbook Review, along with a recipe for Devon Scones

From historic houses to castles, forests, mills, pubs, parks and ancient monuments, the National Trust works to preserves Great Britain’s heritage. As it happens they also put out cookbooks, quite a few of them judging from the list I found on Amazon. However, I was doing a search for English country cooking, and I came across their book entitled, The National Trust Farmhouse Cookbook.

The National Trust's Victorian historical house, Knightshayes, in Devon
The National Trust’s Knightshayes, Devon. ©National Trust Images/William Shaw

It’s not a recent publication, but it is still available, and I would encourage you to seek it out. Especially those interested in both British dishes and the history behind them.

The National Trust Farmhouse Cookbook
The National Trust Farmhouse Cookbook, by Laura Mason.

Welsh Rarebit, Shrewsbury Cakes  and Kailkenny?

The National Farmhouse Cookbook is charming with photographs, illustrations, and dishes that cover the various regions of the land. Many of the recipes sound familiar to our American ears, even though we may not actually know what they are. For example, Welsh Rarebit, Shrewsbury Cakes  and Kailkenny. The first being a toasted cheese open-face sandwich type meal, the next a biscuit, and the last a potato and cabbage dish similar to Ireland’s Colcannon.

By the way, the savory pie on the cover of the book is a Beef, Guiness, and Oyster Pie, and it’s something I plan on trying in the near future. I love the scallop-cut edges of the puff pastry, don’t you?

Throughout the book there are passages describing Farmhouse cookery in different parts of Great Britain, along with a bit of history. It makes for interesting reading and is a nice accompaniment to the recipes. This would be a wonderful book to investigate before taking a trip through the English countryside if you’re interested in their food (which I’m assuming you are if you’re reading this)

Devilled Chicken from the National Trust Farmhouse Cookbook recipe
Devilled Chicken with noodles.

I chose three recipes to try first – Devilled Chicken from the Surrey and Sussex areas, Scones from Devon, and Blackberry Curd from Wales…however, not having blackberries on hand, I made Blueberry Curd instead.

The Devilled Chicken was delicious, but I did alter it quite a bit to suit my husband’s taste for a lighter curry and mustard. It’s an easy meal to prepare, and one I’ll keep on hand to use again and share in a future post.

I’m including the scone recipe below, and the other chicken and curd recipes can be found in the National Trust Farmhouse Cookbook, though I’m also including a link to a blackberry curd recipe that was very similar.

So, if you would like to sample the English countryside, try the Devon Scone recipe below…and maybe pop in a Jane Austen movie or a re-run of Rosemary & Thyme to set the mood.

Dining with the National Trust - Devon Scones

Yield: about 15 small scones

Dining with the National Trust - Devon Scones

This recipe is adapted from the National Trust Farmhouse Cookbook by Laura Mason.


  • 250 g (9oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 30g (1oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 200 ml (7fl oz) whole milk


  1. Pre-heat oven to 425F
  2. Prepare baking sheet by lining with parchment or by lightly flouring.
  3. Sift all dry ingredients together into medium bowl
  4. Rub in the butter until it's distributed in small, flattened pea-sized pebbles in dough
  5. Add the milk, stir until combined into sticky dough
  6. Flour a clean work surface, and turn out dough
  7. Flour your hands, and press or roll dough into rectangle approx 3/4" thick.
  8. Using a 2" round cutter, cut out scones and place on sheet pan lined with parchment or lightly floured.
  9. Bake for 8-11 minutes.

Helpful links:
The National Trust Website and a sampling of other recipes
Farmhouse Cookbook available on Amazon, click here.
Blackberry Curd Recipe (this is not the same one, but it’s similar – I halved the recipe)