I pity the fool!
Serves 4 (or, in our case, two and a toddler)
1 punnet of raspberries
1 tablespoon golden caster sugar
2 egg white
2 tablespoons golden icing sugar
About 300ml double cream (I used a 284ml tub)
Simmer the raspberries with the golden caster sugar for about five minutes, till they start to break down. Mash them with the back of a fork and leave to cool. You still want chunks in there so don’t mash too thoroughly.
Whisk the egg whites until they form peaks. Tip them gently into your serving bowl. Then whisk the double cream and icing sugar till they form stiff peaks too. (Instructions always say to whisk in separate bowls, but so long as you do the eggs first, since eggs are the more temperamental, you can use the same bowl and whisk for the cream.) Gently fold the whipped cream into the egg whites and then swirl the berries through to get a ripple affect. Chill before you serve.
Today Bert declared Ray (the dog) to be ‘beautiful’ and then asked if he was beautiful. I said he was and that we’re beautiful to everyone who loves us. By that logic, Ray is indeed beautiful. And yet…
Bert demolished this. I was obviously more restrained.
1 garlic clove, crushed
A little olive oil
100ml sour cream
Pinch of saffron
Good pinch of paprika
100g crab meat
Handful grated parmesan and more to serve
Salt and pepper
Pasta to your appetite
Put your pasta on to boil.
Fry the crushed garlic very briefly in the oil till it’s soft but not coloured, then add the cream, paprika and saffron, cooking very very gently so the saffron can infuse the cream. When the pasta’s cooked, stir the sweetcorn, crab, cheese and seasoning through the cream and stir it all through the hot pasta.
Sprinkle more parmesan on at the table.
Bert: [blowing dramatically on pasta] ‘Hot, hot, hot!’
Me: ‘Is it hot?’
Bert: [extremely patiently] ‘No, not hot.’
A treaty Sunday pudding.
For the meringue:
2 egg whites
4oz golden caster sugar (the maths is easier with ounces)
For the Eton Mess:
200ml double cream, whipped to soft peaks
50g white chocolate, smashed to splinters
Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks then gradually add the sugar till it’s thick and glossy. Spread out on a lined baking sheet and bake at a low temperature (I did mine in the Aga simmering oven – 140 for a normal oven) for 2-2.5 hours, so it’s cooked but still mallowy inside. Combine with everything else and serve. Bert alternated his with mouthfuls of corn on the cob but I can’t say I’d recommend that.
This gave Bert enough energy to empty the tins cupboard, stacking the contents neatly in the toilet, behind his tiny piano and in the fireplace. There may still be a tin or two of treacle in the utility room.
…except there’s no butter.
Serves 1.5 very generously
2 stale croissants
About 80ml double cream and 120ml whole milk – you can fiddle around with the quantities so long as you end up with 200ml of liquid
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Good pinch of cinnamon
Grating of nutmeg
Handful soft apricots (some supermarkets sell them – they’re darker brown and much softer), cut into smallish pieces
Slice the croissants into thick slices and lie them in an ovenproof dish that they’ll fit in reasonably snugly. I used a 20cm cake tin. Sprinkle over the apricots. Combine the other ingredients and pour over, leaving the croissants to sit in the custard for a good 10 minutes before turning over for another 10 minute soak.
Cook at 180 for 20-25 minutes, till the custard’s set and the pudding’s golden brown.
Strictly speaking, clafoutis is just the word for the cherry batter pudding, not when it’s made with a different fruit. If your baby is a pedant, call this a flaugnarde. I’ve cut down on the sugar so add a little more if you’ve got a sweet tooth.
Makes 2 mini clafoutis
1 tablespoon ground almonds
1 dessert spoon self raising flour
1 dessert spoon golden caster sugar
50 ml whole milk or cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
A handful of fresh or frozen berries
Butter some small, shallow tins – I used two holes of a four hole yorkshire pudding tin. Scatter in the fruit – a few berries in each.
Combine the remaining ingredients – the easiest way is to measure the milk or cream into a measuring jug then stir in everything else – and pour over the fruit. Cook at 180 degrees or in the middle of an Aga roasting oven for around 12 minutes – till golden brown. Don’t leave it in too long – you want it on the soft side of firm.
In theory, it’s one for you, half of the other for the baby and another half for you, but it didn’t work out like that for us. I just got the one.