Poor Knights of Windsor

January 3, 2015

Poor Knights of Windsor

I’m really sorry about this, but I have to post it before we all go over the edge into healthiness and abstinence for the rest of the month.

The PKoW (yes) is a group of retired military officers, paid to doss about at Windsor Castle officiating ceremonies and the like for The Order of the Garter. Thanks Wikipedia. What? Did you expect me to go The British Library or something?  Not going to happen. I’ve got a boiling sprout-water related injury on my foot, for a start.

PKoW is also another name for eggy bread (French toast, pain perdu) but I can’t for the life of me find out (from my arm chair) when or why it became the name for this sandwich. Perhaps it just refers to the bread, which is dipped in egg and fried in butter a la Eggy B. The red jam does add an extra military flair, I suppose.

Anyway, it’s a cream cheese and raspberry jam filling. Health. The whole thing is then, as mentioned, dipped in an eggy milk mixture and fried in butter, dusted with icing sugar, and served with more jam and a referral to a diabetologist.

A warning – this will ensnare you. I kept going back for another bite. Slightly salty, sweet…FRIED IN BUTTER.

Poor Knights of Windsor

(makes 2)

4 slices white bread of the pre-sliced, pre-packed variety
125g cream cheese
1 tablespoon icing sugar plus extra for dusting
4 tablespoons raspberry jam
25g butter
4 eggs
100ml milk

Beat the icing sugar with the cream cheese until well mixed. Spread the cheese over two slices of the bread and the other two with half of the raspberry jam.

Close the sandwiches with the other slices of bread.

In a shallow bowl, combine the eggs and milk. Melt the butter in a frying pan. Submerge the sandwiches in the egg mixture, making sure they soak it up for about 30 seconds on each side, and then fry in the butter until golden brown.

Dust each with icing sugar and serve with the remaining jam.

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  • Avatar
    Reply Katie January 4, 2015 at 10:47 am

    These look amazing! They’re taunting me with their buttery goodness!!

    Katie xoxo

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen January 4, 2015 at 11:15 am

      They’ll do that…beware.

  • Avatar
    Reply Lizzie January 4, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    JESUS, HELEN. Yes please.

    (Wouldn’t it be the PKoW?)

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen January 4, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      Yeah, what did I put? Oh yeah. Duh!

  • Avatar
    Reply Andrea Kirkby January 4, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Now that is lovely. But by pure coincidence I have just finished reading Walter Scott’s ‘Bride of Lammermoor’, and in the appendices – which I think are sometimes the best bit of his novels! – I find Note IV: Poor-Man-of-Mutton.

    “The blade-bone of a shoulder of mutton is called in Scotland ‘a poor man’, as in some parts of England it is termed a ‘poor knight of Windsor’; in contrast, it must be presumed, to the baronial Sir Loin.”

    I wonder when the recipe changed? Without doubt, this is by far the better recipe, and I shall be making it for my tea as soon as I can procure a bit of sliced bread (unfortunately all we have in the house today is baguette, which wouldn’t do at all).,

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen January 4, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      Hi Andrea, I’m not sure that the recipe changed, but perhaps it’s just that the terms is used to refer to several different things. Interesting though!

  • Avatar
    Reply Helen P January 4, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    Sweet Jesus, yes!

  • Avatar
    Reply Kate January 24, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    I ate these on Christmas morning at a hotel in Hangzhou, China. It was part of their “health breakfast” order, which wouldn’t ordinarily be my idea of Christmas breakfast but I knew I had an enorma-feast coming up. And there these were, with pickles on the side, and it was like the best Christmas stocking surprise ever…

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen January 25, 2015 at 10:45 am

      Pickles and JAM?!

      • Avatar
        Reply Kate January 28, 2015 at 6:48 pm

        It was a sort of mixed-up set menu. I like both pickles and jam, though, so it felt like a good sort of Christmas to me. Also a nasty rolled up omelette.

  • Avatar
    Reply Nicola September 15, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Hi, don’t know if anyone will see this, but here goes.
    One of the stories I heard about this dish is that it was also called just “Poor Knights”. So called because not every Knight was rich, but he still had to follow social order. That was to serve a sweet dish after dinner or a feast. You lost status if you didn’t. But sugar and spices were expensive. This dish could be made with no sugar and very little spice, then severed with honey and/or seasonal fruit. This way, a poor knight filled his duty to his guests.

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen Graves September 17, 2018 at 8:17 am

      That’s really interesting Nicola – thank you!

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