27_penny dreadful

* Cornish pie

(The recipe is from my English friend, John)



For the pastry

  • 125g chilled and diced butter

  • 125g lard

  • 500g plain flour, plus extra

  • 1 beaten egg

For the filling



Rub the butter and lard into the flour with a pinch of salt using your fingertips or a food processor, then blend in 6 tbsp cold water to make a firm dough. Cut equally into 4, then chill for 20 mins.

Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Mix together the filling ingredients with 1 tsp salt. Roll out each piece of dough on a lightly floured surface until large enough to make a round about 23cm across – use a plate to trim it to shape. Firmly pack a quarter of the filling along the centre of each round, leaving a margin at each end. Brush the pastry all the way round the edge with beaten egg, carefully draw up both sides so that they meet at the top, then pinch them together to seal. Lift onto a non-stick baking tray and brush with the remaining egg to glaze.

Bake for 10 mins, then lower oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and cook for 45 mins more until golden. Great served warm.

We match a Wrotham Pinot and off we go with the Penny Dreadful marathon.



Such an English TV series deserves a British meal par excellence! I thought about it since the pilot, even if at the time I was sitting on the desk chair lent to me by my friend Anna, munching on simple biscuits (though of an English brand). It should be watched in the late afternoon, after sunset (which in winter could mean even after 16, but let’s say for 18, to understand each other), with a blanket on the shoulders and the soul ready to be transported to the wild London and imaginative of the television transposition of the homonymous comic.

Anna had already watched the first season, but she did not want to tell me anything and I spent all the first two episodes jumping from the chair (and crumbling!) Because of the tension and enthusiasm!

The series takes its name from the nineteenth-century publications of the same name, the dreadful pennies, and inspired by the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore, the series intertwines the origins of horror literature characters such as Victor Frankenstein, Dorian Gray (the only note I have to do is the error, once again, of the hair colour alas), Dr. Jekyll, Count Dracula, werewolves, witches and vampires, all of whom are grappling with their creepy madness in Victorian London.

I really like the scenes because they remind me of a huge theatre, with the pictorial poetry of some sequences to make this show a product of rare workmanship and emotion.

The English accents of almost all the characters (except for the American werewolf) are sublime and sensual.

It is a series that must be watched, especially since it lasts only three seasons. Not an impossible recovery and then, if you accompany everything with wine and Cornish pie*, you will see what a perfect match it is; what I really like about this series is that makes me want to read the books it is referred to,, it is without a doubt a great homage to the Gothic novel, a genre that increasingly moves into the “classics” and which fewer writers approach, think of The Phantom of the Opera :, the poem of Keats, Paradise Lost, Frankenstein, Dracula! , but with a substantial difference: in Penny Dreadful evil triumphs, and if even one out of ten spectators will decide to read the boosit will be a great, huge victory!