“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
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
Yes, yet another quince recipe, but it’s a good one. Faced with a glut, I’ve been searching my historical British cookery books for a meat-and-quince recipe but can’t find one, which is odd when you think we’ve been cooking these gloriously perfumed fruits since medieval times. Our ancestors seemed to use them exclusively for sweet dishes but if you know different, I’d love to hear from you.
So today’s dish is based on the fragrant Persian/Iranian stew Khoresht-e Beh. Continue reading
A fruit cheese is denser than a jam, softer than a fruit leather. If you’re familiar with membrillo, or quince cheese, you’ll get the idea. Damsons are easier than quince to source and I reckon the result is just as good. Continue reading
This is a cheat’s version of cherry and almond tarts, knocked up almost entirely from ready-made ingredients. They are so good though … make them before the stoned fruit season is over. Continue reading
A ridiculously easy but mouth-watering pud, this is elegant enough to serve at a supper with friends but it’s just as good devoured with your loved one, head down, wings out, at the kitchen table. Continue reading
Strictly speaking parkin, a North Country ginger cake, contains oatmeal and this doesn’t, but I couldn’t resist the alliteration. It departs from tradition too in being topped, or rather bottomed, with pears (it’s a sort of upside down cake). Continue reading
When I worked 12 hour overnight shifts, among my most popular colleagues were those who, apparently casually, knocked up a tub full of cakes to be shared round when everyone was at a low ebb in the early hours. Continue reading
Cor, look! We’ve had a bumper crop of strawberries this year and it’s been way too hot to make jam, so with friends coming for supper I made a strawberry tart. Few things look more lusciously edible but I have to say I’m not a huge fan of crème pât, Great British Bake Off notwithstanding. The contestants seem to bathe in the stuff. This tart has a much quicker and easier filling and one that I think is nicer to eat. Continue reading
The first time I made this the rhubarb sank without trace and the flaked almonds slid inexorably sideways as the topping rose. Then I glanced at Instagram to see a five year old had knocked up a perfect rhubarb frangipane tart after she got home from school. Her mum Jess says she’s hoping for a three course meal by the time the prodigy hits 10. Continue reading