Dear Customers,

After ten years of running Balham County Market we have decided to hang up our aprons and put away the craft scissors.

We have been unable to find sufficient producers and a covid-safe venue that would secure the sustainable future of Balham Country Market.

We have loved meeting you all and thank you for your support over the years.

For those of you who have been missing Jane’s cheese bites, shortbread or lemon posset the recipes will remain on the web site for a few more months.

We wish you all the very best for the future and leave you with some images of our last market held on 4th September 2021 below to remind you of the many good times we shared.

Balham Country Market Producers

BCM Treats

Cheese and Thyme Bites - makes about 30

The uncooked dough can be shaped and kept for 3 – 4 days in the fridge or it can be frozen.

  • 150g mature Cheddar cheese – coarsely grated
  • 50 g butter at room temp
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 heaped teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 level teaspoon mustard powder
  • Pinch of salt

Cream the butter and grated cheese together with the back of a fork.

Mix in the remaining ingredients to form a stiff dough.

On a floured surface knead the dough until it binds together well. Cut in half and roll each piece into a log about 4cm across.

Shape each log into a ‘toblerone’ shape. Chill for at least 2hrs. Cut into 0.5cm slices and place on a baking tray – preferably lined with non stick silicone sheet.

Bake at 170 C (fan 150C) for about 20 mins then remove tray, leave to cool for 2 – 3 mins then turn biscuits over and bake for about 10 mins until evenly coloured.

When cool store in airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

All Butter Shortbread

Shortbread is made with a 1:2:3 ratio of simple ingredients: 1 part sugar, 2 parts butter and 3 parts flour - and a pinch of salt. I think salted butter gives the best flavour but a block margarine such as Stork can be used for a vegan version.

In the recipe below I've replaced some of the flour with a mix of fine semolina and cornflour which gives a crisper, 'shorter' texture.

You can bake the mixture in a round or square loose bottomed tin but you'll need to cut it after baking - and sometimes it breaks. It takes a bit longer to roll the dough and cut it into rounds but the individual biscuits cook more evenly and won't need cutting.

It's OK to open the oven during cooking to check the shortbread. The dough needs enough time to 'dry out' but it shouldn't colour too much. If you're making individual biscuits you can remove the baking tray, allow the biscuits to cool for a couple of minutes then turn them over and return them to the oven.

The recipe below makes 16-18 pieces but if you're making it for the first time try using half the quantities to see how it works out. Depending on the results you can adjust temperature and timings and make more next time round.

  • 75g caster sugar
  • 150g butter at room temperature
  • 175g plain flour
  • 25g fine semolina
  • 25g cornflour
  • pinch of salt
  1. Mix together the flour, semolina, cornflour and salt.
  2. Beat the sugar and butter until smooth.
  3. Gradually stir in the flour until it's all combined with the butter and sugar.
  4. FOR BISCUITS - roll the dough on a floured work surface to a thickness of 0.8 - 1cm and cut with a 6cm plain or fluted cutter.
  5. Space the rounds out on a baking tray lined with a silicone sheet or a double layer of grease proof paper. Sprinkle with caster sugar.
  6. Bake in the centre of a preheated oven Gas 3/160C/fan 140C. Check the colour after about 15 minutes. Remove the tray, cool slightly, turn the biscuits over and return to the oven for about 10-12 minutes.
  7. Let the shortbread cool on the tray.
  8. FOR TIN - put the dough into a loose bottomed tin and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Prick all over with a fork. Sprinkle with caster sugar. Place the tin on a baking tray on the centre shelf of the oven as above.
  9. Check the colour after about 25 - 30 minutes. If browning too quickly place a sheet of grease proof paper over the tin and return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes.
  10. Remove form the oven, while still warm score the shortbread into 8-10 wedges. Allow to cool completely, remove from the tin and carefully cut along the scored lines.

The shortbread will keep well in an airtight container for 3 weeks.

Lemon Posset

In response to a customer request, here's the recipe for the one we make for the Market. It's quite rich so it's best eaten in small quantities. Serve with home made shortbread for a special treat. This recipe makes 4 small portions:

  • 300ml double cream
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 medium lemon).
  1. Mix the cream and sugar together in a medium sized saucepan.
  2. Place on a moderate heat, stirring until boiling point is reached.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  5. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a jug and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Stir before pouring into 4 ramekins or small glasses.
  7. Cover, cool completely then refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Posset can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.