Christmas Brownies

The tree is up and decorated, the turkey and goose are nearly ready to be collected and there’s just time to squeeze in one last recipe before the family arrives for Christmas.

Make these chocolatey, fudgy, gently spiced brownies as an alternative to a traditional fruit cake, for a dessert or just for a sweet treat with a cup of coffee or tea … they’re versatile enough to fit in pretty much anywhere. Continue reading

Damson Gin Truffles

Image of damson ginEvery time I make a fruit gin (which is often) I look at the boozy fruit left over and wonder what to do with it. This is the perfect solution, especially as gins of this sort are usually ready to be strained and bottled close to Christmas, and these truffles make such great presents. Continue reading

Medlar Tart

“Take medlars that are rotten, strain them, and set them on a chaffing dish of coals, season them with sugar, cinamon, and ginger, put some yolks of eggs to them, let it boil a little, and lay it in a cut tart. Being baked, scrape on sugar.” The Accomplisht Cook, Robert May, 1660/1665.  Continue reading

Grilled Pineapple with Mint Sugar

I know, this is rather a summery dessert for this time of the year, but at least it’s served warm and it’s lovely after a spicy main course.

I needed to cut back my Moroccan mint before winter and didn’t want to waste the pepperminty leaves, so I made some mint sugar then had to decide what it would go best with. If you’re anything like as lazy as me, you’ll love this, an impressive-looking pud with minimum effort. Continue reading

Baked Quince with Mead

Image of quince in a basketQuince have been used in British kitchens since (probably) the 13th century and mead’s history goes back even further, so I’ve gone a bit medieval on you today. The flavours complement each perfectly, the sweetness of the fermented honey drink cutting the astringency of the quince. Continue reading

Redcurrant and Almond Cake

TImage of redcurrant bushhe squirrels got the cherries, the blackbirds scoffed the white currants, but we had a good haul of redcurrants from the garden this year. They usually end up made into jelly and the occasional summer pudding, but I thought it was time for a change. Continue reading