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Countdown to Downton Abbey: Viewing Party Food and Drink

Series 3 begins new season on Sunday, Jan. 6.

Downton Abbey's third series arrives in the U.S. in January and loyal viewers are approaching the season with the fervor of football fans in the pre-season. Season 3, which begins on Sunday, Jan. 6, is a red-letter day for fans. 

Viewing parties are commonplace during the show, and since the food and drink complement the event, Patch asked local food experts for their best Edwardian era picks.

EthnicNJ's 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, "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. 

 Julie Pauly, recommends Apple Charlotte. Pauly notes 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
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • ½ 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

A version of this story ran in Feb. 2012.

What's your favorite thing to eat while viewing Downton Abbey?

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