When I was a child our parents would put us on our bikes and send us off to Sunday School at the nearest church, two and a half miles away. It was probably the only bit of peace and quiet they got all weekend.
We weren’t keen on sticking pictures of an improbably blond, blue-eyed Christ into little books while being catechised by well-meaning parish ladies, so we often faked a puncture. Continue reading
I’ve gone a bit nuts over oranges this last month. I blame Catherine Phipps, whose lovely book Citrus pushed me over the edge. I’ve probably bought Suffolk’s entire stock of blood oranges, Sevilles and Jaffas on top of lemons, limes and grapefruit. More exotic varieties elude me. Continue reading
I could cheerfully eat my own not inconsiderable body weight in blood oranges, they’re such a seasonal treat. Straight out of the fruit basket, sliced up with other citrus for breakfast, baked into cakes. This, though, makes a refreshing dessert, particularly good if you want something light at the end of a hefty meal. Continue reading
I once tried to make a strawberry pavlova and it was such a disaster that I broke up the meringue and turned it all into an Eton Mess. Pavlovas … those big meringue nests you fill with cream and fruit to spectacular effect … can be a bit tricksy. They conspire with your oven to make you look like a bad cook. Then all your friends tell you how easy they are and how theirs work perfectly every time. Pah. Time for a fight-back. Continue reading
For anyone who, like me, loathes Christmas pudding this is a lighter but festive alternative, berry-bright and fruity, with a welcome whiff of brandy. Oh, go on, you can atone later. Continue reading
Great British Bake Off fans may recall an episode when Mary Berry ticked off a competitor for failing to interweave the lattices on his or her pastry properly, just laying the strips over each other instead.
On a scale of one to 10, whether or not one can lattice a pie is hardly up there with masterminding world peace and ending global hunger and more competent pastry cooks will probably be rolling their eyes, but I confess it’s an art that had largely eluded me, too. Continue reading
Ahem. I say Tudor-style because it’s a pale imitation of the incredibly elaborate pies our ancestors would knock up on feast days and it’s not an authentic recipe. But verily, it tastes really good. Continue reading
It’s Murphy’s Law but the gnarled old pear tree on the corner of the house, with its scabby leaves, generally produces better fruit than the ones we planted in the orchard.
We were told it was a hard cooking variety but picked and left in a basket, the pears ripen into honeyed perfection, ideal for this recipe.
These individual tarts are a nifty make-ahead dessert. Continue reading
Recipes, ‘Pam The Jam’ Corbyn once said to me on Twitter, are for sharing. So are ingredients. I recently sent a pot of Norfolk saffron to an American Facebook friend (yes, I fritter away far too much time on social media) and he responded with typical generosity.
Joe Pettit and his husband Andrew Fink run Clean Bite Catering in Washington state, producing local and seasonal food for clients around Seattle and South Sound, so they know their onions. And hazelnuts and honey.
Joe sent me a bag of raw Oregon hazelnuts, Continue reading
I treated myself to a new cake tin the other day. I don’t actually make cakes all that often (which is usually obvious from their clunky look) but I can’t resist shiny bits of kitchen kit.
Equally, I rarely buy jams and preserves because I make my own, but I have fallen in love with Scarlett and Mustard‘s tangy and more-ish Passionfruit and Lemon Curd.
The two came together in this recipe, Continue reading