Brandy butter

The essential accompaniment to Christmas pudding, brandy butter is easy to make and keeps for ages in the fridge. I’ve learned from bitter experience not to go in too heavy with the brandy: it’s liable to split the mixture, which will still taste fine but will look, unappetisingly, like scrambled eggs. My version includes darkContinue reading “Brandy butter”

Christmas pudding

You might question whether this meets the criteria for inclusion as an established family favourite: although it’s served every year at Christmas, some of you eat it only under sufferance and I’ve made it just twice myself. Nonetheless, it is traditional British fare, an important piece of culinary history, a cultural artefact, and pretty impressiveContinue reading “Christmas pudding”

Frangipane

This is a really useful recipe to have up your sleeve. The basic almond filling is simple to make and all kinds of fruits combine well with it. Depending on the fruit you use you can play around with complementary flavours (orange zest would go well with figs, for example) and the alcoholic spirit –Continue reading “Frangipane”

Pumpkin Pie

Patricia Lousada’s American Sampler (1985) was another book in the Sainsbury’s cookbook series that inspired family meals at Gale (see Greek Walnut Cake). It contains the definitive pumpkin pie recipe, from which I have not deviated at all over the years. The proportions of flour and butter look strange, being greater than the usual 2:1Continue reading “Pumpkin Pie”

Blackberry & apple crumble ice cream

Even without an ice cream maker, you can (quite literally) whip up an ice cream in a few hours. All it takes is a freezer, some elbow grease and the patience to cool your custard base. This is beautiful to look at and tastes of early autumn. The recipe comes originally from an old issueContinue reading “Blackberry & apple crumble ice cream”

Greek walnut cake

Back in the 80s, Sainsbury’s published a series of paperback recipe books. Granny would invariably bring one back from a trip to the supermarket and over time she built up a large collection, which somehow included two copies of Rena Salaman’s ‘The Cooking of Greece and Turkey’. One of those copies became ours and theContinue reading “Greek walnut cake”

Tiramisu

Like our British trifle, the Italian tiramisu has many variations and no-one can agree on a definitive recipe. Claudia Roden’s version, which I learned to make as a teenager, uses eggs, rum, a single layer of sponge and chocolate sprinkled on the top only. This decadent espresso martini tiramisu recipe from Olive magazine (see theirContinue reading “Tiramisu”

Treacle Tart

Allegra McEvedy is both a brilliant cook and a dear friend. Her wine bar Albertine supplied our lockdown wedding anniversary dinner back in May – it was amazing – and several of her recipes are firm family favourites. This one crossed our radar after we watched Allegra on Economy Gastronomy (BBC2, 2009) and, with aContinue reading “Treacle Tart”

Apple crumble & custard

Here’s another one adapted over the years from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Cuisine Bon Marché (see Red Cabbage ). There are countless possible variations with the fruit and/or topping: you should feel free to experiment, and don’t worry about being precise with your quantities. Home-made custard is lush but shop-bought has its own particular ‘charm’ – orContinue reading “Apple crumble & custard”

Chocolate brownie pie

This recipe, by MasterChef finalist Hannah Miles, was published in the Times in 2015. Rich and moreish, it has a crust made from crushed Oreos and the filling gets a more ‘grown-up’ flavour from the shot of espresso coffee. Quite simply delicious – and perfect for Easter. Serves 8 Ingredients For the pie crust250g Oreos100gContinue reading “Chocolate brownie pie”