Chicken and Bacon Casserole

Chicken and Bacon Casserole

 

Chicken breasts are slowly cooked in a tomato-based sauce and served with a baked potato and seasonal vegetables.

 

Chicken and Bacon Casserole
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 chicken breasts, skinned
  • 30ml/2 tbsp flour
  • Black pepper
  • 45ml/3 tbsp oil
  • 25g/1 oz butter
  • 4 back bacon rashers
  • 50g/2 oz onion, finely chopped
  • 300ml/10 fl oz hot water
  • 1 organic chicken stock cube or 1tsp chicken bouillon
  • 8 whole tinned tomatoes, plus juice

  • To garnish
  • Chunky croutons
  • Chopped parsley

  • To serve
  • 4 baked potatoes
  • Seasonal vegetables

  • Equipment
  • A deep-sided sauté pan with lid


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.

  3. Put the flour and some pepper into a plastic storage bag, add the chicken pieces and toss to coat. Reserve the remaining flour in the bag.

  4. Heat the oil and butter in the sauté pan over a moderate heat and brown the chicken pieces, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

  5. Cut the bacon rashers into thin strips and fry gently in the pan for 2 minutes, until the fat starts to run. Add the onion and continue to cook until the onion starts to brown, about 3 minutes.

  6. Add the reserved flour into the pan and stir until the mixture has thickened. Mix the stock cube/1tsp bouillon into the water and add slowly to the pan, stirring constantly, until well combined. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and add the tomatoes.

  7. Return the chicken to the pan, cover and cook in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  8. Remove the chicken and keep warm. Place the sauté pan on the hob and over a medium to high heat reduce the sauce to thicken. Put the chicken back in the pan, scatter the croutons over and add some chopped parsley.

  9. Serve with baked potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

  10. For the croutons
  11. These are so easy to make. Remove the crusts from 2 slices of bread (preferably a day old), cut into cubes and put in a bowl. Sprinkle over about 2 teaspoons of olive oil, some dried parsley and black pepper. Toss together.

  12. Layer on a small baking tray covered with baking paper/parchment paper and put in the oven for 12–14 minutes.

 

Crunchy Apple Crumble

Crunchy Apple CrumbleCrunchy Apple Crumble

 

Apples are cooked with raisins and a hint of cinnamon while walnuts added to the crumble mixture to make this a real crunchy apple crumble. One of those comforting desserts, perfect for a winter’s day, and served with lots of cream.

 

Crunchy Apple Crumble
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: About 25 minutes
  • Standing time: 1 hour
  • Cooking time: 1 hour

  • Ingredients
  • For the fruit
  • 1kg/2 lb 4 oz Bramley apples/Mutsu and Crispin are the closest Canadian varieties, Pink Lady will also work
  • 70g/2½ oz soft light brown sugar/yellow sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 85g/3 oz raisins
  • 15g/½ oz softened butter for greasing

  • For the crumble
  • 50g/2 oz walnut pieces
  • 125g/4½ oz plain flour/all-purpose flour
  • 100g/3½ oz chilled butter, cubed
  • 50g/2 oz demerara sugar

  • To serve
  • Double cream/whipping cream

  • Equipment
  • A 23cm/9 inch shallow ovenproof dish


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5

  3. Peel, core and thickly slice the apples. Place in the ovenproof dish. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon then sprinkle over the apples. Add the raisins, separating those that may have stuck together. Stir to thoroughly combine. Sprinkle over 4 tablespoons of water, cover with foil and bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes. Turn over the apple slices halfway through the cooking time. Remove the apple mixture from the oven, turn the slices over again and set aside for about 1 hour to cool.

  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F, gas mark 6.

  5. Finely, chop the walnut pieces, set to one side. Rub the butter into the flour then stir in the walnuts. The mixture should look like large breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and then spoon the crumble mixture evenly over the apples. Bake for 30 minutes until the crumble is browning and the juices are starting to bubble through.

  6. Serve with a jug of cream.

 

Oranges in a Boozy Syrup

Oranges in a Boozy Syrup

 

A refreshing way to end a rich meal. Slices of juicy oranges, steeped in a caramel sauce, and given an extra kick with the addition of Cointreau or Grand Marnier.

 

Oranges in a Boozy Syrup
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: About 30 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: 2–3 hours

  • Equipment
  • A large glass serving bowl or 4 individual glass dishes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 medium juicy oranges
  • 110g/4 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar
  • 15ml/1 tbsp Grand Marnier or Cointreau


  1. Method
  2. Thinly pare the rind from one orange and cut into very thin julienne strips. Place in a small saucepan and cover with water. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

  3. Remove the pith from the orange and peel the remainder oranges. Make sure all the pith has been removed. Slice the oranges into rounds, reserving any juice and discarding pips. Arrange in the serving bowl or individual dishes.

  4. Place the sugar and 150ml/5 fl oz water in a saucepan and heat gently stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and continue boiling until the syrup is a light caramel colour.

  5. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully stir in 25ml/1½ tbsp water and return to a low heat. Then stir in the reserved orange juice and the liqueur.

  6. Leave the syrup to cool for 10 minutes and then pour over the oranges. Top with the julienne strips.

  7. Chill in the refrigerator for 2–3 hours.

 

Iced Lemon Meringue

Iced Lemon MeringueIced Lemon Meringue

 

Iced lemon meringue is a light refreshing dessert for a special occasion, which can be made ahead of time. Layers of frozen meringue and creamy lemon filling topped with raspberries and coulis.

 

Iced Lemon Meringue
Prepares: 8 good portions
 
  • Preparation time: About 45 minutes
  • Standing time: 45 minutes, plus freezing time
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 35 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the meringues
  • 4 egg whites, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only – you will need the yolks for the filling
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 110g/4 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar
  • 110g/4 oz light muscovado sugar/yellow sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch, sifted
  • ½ tsp almond essence
  • 25g/1 oz flaked almonds

  • For the lemon filling
  • 2 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch, sifted
  • 4 egg yolks, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 110g/4 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 115ml/4 fl oz milk
  • 284ml carton double cream/whipping cream

  • For the raspberry coulis
  • 200g/7 oz frozen raspberries
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar


  1. Method
  2. For the meringue
  3. Preheat the oven to 140°C/120° fan assisted/275°F/gas mark 1

  4. Draw three rectangles, 25.5 × 10cm/10 × 4 in, on baking parchment. Cut round each, leaving a 10cm/4 in border. Turn the paper over and put each piece on a baking sheet.

  5. Measure out the two sugars and mix together. Set aside. Whisk the egg whites until the mixture stands in soft peaks. Add the lemon juice and whisk until stiff. Add the sugars, 1 tablespoon at a time and continue to whisk until the mixture is glossy and stands in soft peaks.

  6. Beat in 1 tablespoon boiling water, then fold in the cornflour and almond essence.

  7. Use a little of the meringue mixture to dab between the corners of the parchment paper and baking sheet to prevent the paper slipping. Then divide the mixture evenly between the parchment rectangles and lift into peaks with a metal spoon.

  8. Put 1 level tablespoon of the flaked almonds to one side and sprinkle the rest evenly over the meringues.

  9. Bake for 20 minutes and then turn the oven down to 110°C/90°C fan assisted/225°F/gas mark ¼ and bake for a further 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave for 45 minutes to dry out.

  10. For the lemon filling
  11. Mix the cornflour with 1 tablespoon water. Then stir in the egg yolks, sugar, lemon and lime zest and juice until combined. Bring the milk to the boil, gradually stir into the cornflour mixture. Return to the pan and cook over a gentle heat, stirring constantly, until it is very thick. Tip into a bowl, cover with cling film, and leave to cool.

  12. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Once the lemon filling is cool, carefully fold it in until well incorporated.

  13. To assemble
  14. Lift the meringues off the parchment and sandwich the layers together with the filling. Put on a baking sheet and open freeze until firm. If making ahead of time, place the baking tray in a freezer proof bag at this stage.

  15. For the raspberry coulis
  16. Reserve eight of the raspberries and put the rest into a pan with the icing sugar and 1 tablespoon water. Heat gently for about 5 minutes until the raspberries have defrosted. Cool a little, then push through a sieve to make a smooth sauce. Set aside.

  17. The dessert can be made ahead of time up to this stage.

  18. To serve
  19. Toast the reserved flaked almonds by heating a pan over a medium heat and then toss the almonds into it. Move them around until they have turned a golden colour, about 5 minutes. Watch them carefully as they can burn very quickly.

  20. Put the meringue into the fridge for 30 minutes to soften a little. Sprinkle the toasted almonds over the meringue with the eight reserved raspberries. Slice and serve with a swirl of the raspberry coulis.

 

A Saucy Lemon Sponge Pudding

Saucy Lemon Sponge Pudding

 

A really zesty taste of lemon comes through with this take on a basic steamed sponge pudding.

 

A Saucy Lemon Sponge Pudding
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time:
  • For the lemon curd: 25 minutes
  • For the sponge: About 15 minutes

  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Equipment
  • 600ml/1 pint pudding basin

  • Ingredients
  • For the lemon curd
  • 2 large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.) eggs, yolks only
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice, about 1½ lemons*
  • 2¾ oz sugar
  • 1 oz butter

  • *1 average sized lemon produces 3 tablespoons of juice.

  • For the sponge
  • 4 tbsp lemon curd
  • 50g/2 oz butter, softened
  • 50g/2 oz caster sugar, fine white sugar
  • 110g/4 oz self-raising flour
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 5 tbsp extra thick double cream*

  • *The only thick double cream sold in Canadian supermarkets is imported and so it's expensive. Regular double cream whipped to a stiff consistency will work, but serve it in a separate dish to add on the side. The heat of the pudding will melt the cream if it is spooned over the top.


  1. Method
  2. For the lemon curd
  3. Put egg yolks, lemon juice and sugar in a bowl and whisk gently together. Add butter.

  4. Place the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water and stir continuously until the curd thickens enough to hold a trail. This will take 20–30 minutes. It takes a while before the curd starts to thicken. (A great time to pick up that novel you may be reading, check those e-mails, or phone a friend. As long as you have one hand free to stir the mixture!)

  5. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside to cool. It thickens further on cooling.

  6. For the sponge
  7. Butter the base of the pudding basin and add 2 tablespoons of the lemon curd.

  8. Cream the butter and sugar. Gently add the flour, alternately with egg and milk. The mixture should drop gently from a spoon.

  9. Alternatively, use a food mixer but add ½ tsp baking powder.

  10. Fold in the lemon zest.

  11. Pour into the prepared pudding basin. Take a piece of foil that will cover the top of the basin and come halfway down the sides. Make a pleat through the middle to allow for any expansion. Place over the basin and pinch under rim. Take a length of string. It needs to go round the basin under the rim and secured tightly, then a loose length to make a handle. This will make removing the basin at the end easy.

  12. Fill the saucepan with about two inches of water and bring to the boil. Place the basin in the steamer, cover with the lid, and turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  13. If you don’t have a steamer, use a deep sided saucepan. Prepare the basin in the same way and place in the saucepan. Carefully pour boiling water into the saucepan so it comes no more than half way up the basin. Cover and let the water simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  14. Remove the basin, take off the string and foil. The sponge should spring back when lightly pressed. Run a palette knife round the inside. Invert it onto a plate. The lemon curd will have become a sauce.

  15. To serve
  16. Swirl the remaining lemon curd into the cream and spoon over the sponge.

  17. Or whip a little double cream to a stiff consistency and fold in the remaining lemon curd, but serve it in a separate dish to add on the side.

  18. Serve immediately.

 

Soft White Rolls

Soft White Rolls

 

Soft and light, delicious with or without butter, these rolls will complement any meal.

Baking bread is not difficult if you follow this 3-step process. Each step involves a ‘wait period’ during which you can get on with something else. For more information about the technique I use, here’s a link to my page on Breadmaking.

 

Soft White Rolls
Prepares: 12 rolls
 
  • Step 1
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Waiting time: 30 minutes
  • Step 2
  • Preparation time: 5 minutes
  • Waiting time: About 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Step 3
  • Preparation time: 10–15 minutes
  • Waiting time: 1 hour
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 600g (1 lb 5 oz) strong white/all purpose flour (4¼ cups)
  • 12g (1 tbsp) instant yeast
  • 12g (1½ tsp) salt
  • 50g (2 oz) caster sugar/fine white sugar (¼ cup)
  • 50g (2 oz) unsalted butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 385ml/13½ fl oz water (1½ cups + 5 tsp)


  1. Method

  2. Step 1
  3. Pour the flour into a mixing bowl and make a well in the middle. Add most of the water and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or a plastic dough scraper. If some flour is left in the bottom, add the remainder of the water. It may not need it all. Just make sure that all the flour has been taken up.

  4. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave it to stand for 20–30 minutes.

  5. In the meantime, prepare for the next step by weighing out the salt, sugar, yeast, and butter.

  6. Step 2
  7. At the end of the 20–30 minutes, melt the butter and add it with the salt, sugar and yeast to the mixture, making sure that the yeast doesn’t come into contact with a wodge of salt, and mix well.

  8. Cover the bowl with the tea towel and leave for 10 minutes.

  9. Lightly oil your hands and the work surface, and tip the dough out. Take the edge of the dough that’s furthest away from you and fold it towards you to meet the near edge. Push it into the dough with your fingers or the heel of your hand, stretching it gently away from you. Give the dough a quarter turn and repeat. Do this 8 to 10 times, then rotate the dough into a ball and put it back in the bowl.

  10. Cover with the tea towel again, leave for 10 minutes, and repeat the fold and stretch.

  11. Cover again and leave for 10 minutes. While waiting, lightly oil another large bowl for the dough to rise in. Then fold and stretch the dough for a third time.

  12. The dough should now be smooth and silky. Tip it out and shape it into a ball. Put it into the lightly-oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel or cling film.

  13. Leave it to rise until it's at least doubled in size.* At room temperature, this should take a minimum of an hour but it's fine to leave it for 2–3 hours. The longer the better – it improves the flavour.

  14. While waiting, prepare a couple of baking trays. Mine are 39cm × 26cm/15 in × 10 in. Line them with baking parchment.

  15. Step 3
  16. Tip out the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface and knock the air out by folding it in on itself a few times. It should feel smooth. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and roll each portion into a smooth ball. (To do this, flatten the dough with your hand flat, then moving your hand in a circular motion, gradually lift the palm while leaving the finger tips on the work surface, forming a cage around the dough. Do this quite quickly.)

  17. Place 6 dough balls on each baking tray with space between them to allow for spreading, and sprinkle them with flour. Cover with tea towels, or place each tray inside a clean plastic bag, and leave to prove for about an hour. You can tell when they're ready when they've doubled in size again and the dough springs back readily if you poke it gently with your finger.

  18. Before the end of the hour, heat your oven to 200°C/400°F (gas mark 6)

  19. Bake for about 15 minutes or until nicely browned. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

  20. Unless you can't wait, freeze the rolls and defrost when needed.



  21. Tip 1
  22. Many recipes recommend using warm water to make the yeast work more quickly. However, the flavour is improved if the process takes place more slowly. I use water at room temperature or even a little cooler.

  23. Tip 2
  24. It's not easy to accurately divide the dough into 12 equal portions. I weigh the bowl with the risen dough in it, turn out the dough and then weigh the bowl again. The difference is the weight of the dough. Divide that by 12 and then weigh each portion as you cut it, adding or subtracting bits of dough until they're approximately right. With this amount of dough, they're about 90g/3¼ oz each.

  25. Tip 3
  26. When freezing, because these rolls are really light and soft, I open freeze them for about an hour before putting them in a container.

  27. * Doubled in size means doubled in volume. This means that if the dough is in the shape of a ball, the diameter increases by about 25%.

Updated March 10, 2017

Mixed Berries Oat Bran Crumble

Mixed Berries Oat Bran Crumble

 

Frozen mixed berries are thawed, then topped with an oat bran crumble which becomes crisp when cooked. A really quick fruity dessert, baked in the the oven or in the microwave.

 

Mixed Berries Oat Bran Crumble
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Ingredients
  • 450g/1 lb/4 cups mixed frozen berries, thawed
  • 1 tsp flour

  • For the topping
  • 100g/3½ oz/¾ cup oat bran
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp butter


  1. Method
  2. If using the oven method, preheat to 200°C/400°F.

  3. Carefully mix the berries with the flour and put in a baking dish or microwave safe dish.

  4. Blend together oat bran, brown sugar, flour and butter until crumbly. Spread evenly over the berries.

  5. Bake for about 8 minutes until bubbly around the edges. Or, if using a microwave, cook on high for 4–5 minutes until bubbly around edges.

  6. Grill for 1 minute until top is golden brown.

  7. Serve with frozen vanilla yogurt, ice-cream or cream.

 

Apple Within

Apple Within

 

Chunky pieces of apple are baked within a sponge mixture – hence its name. Another way to enjoy cooking apples when they are at their best.

 

Apple Within
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 110g/4 oz butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 110g/4 oz soft light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 100ml/3½ fl oz milk
  • 250g/8 oz self-raising flour
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 450g/1 lb cooking apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped*

  • *This is an English recipe where Bramley apples are used. The closest variety of apples I have found in Canada are Mutsu or Crispin. Pink Lady are good too when the other varieties aren’t available.

  • Equipment
  • A baking dish, roughly 20 × 20cm/8 × 8 in.


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4

  3. Butter the baking dish.

  4. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Mix in the milk, then fold in the flour and cloves. Fold in the apples.

  5. Tip into the dish. Spread the mixture out but leave the surface quite uneven. Bake for 45–50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cover with baking parchment if it starts to brown too much.

  6. Serve hot with cream and extra sugar.

 

Steamed Syrup Sponge Pudding

Steamed Syrup Sponge Pudding

 

On a cold winter’s day, this traditional British syrup sponge pudding is the perfect choice – warm golden syrup flowing over a light sponge really hits the spot.

 

Steamed Syrup Sponge Pudding
 
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Basic Recipe

  • Ingredients
  • 50g/2 oz butter
  • 50g/2 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar
  • 110g/4 oz self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 egg, large(U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), beaten
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp Tate & Lyle golden syrup

  • Equipment
  • 500ml/1 pint pudding basin
  • Steamer


  1. Method
  2. Cream the butter and sugar. Gently add the flour, alternately with egg and milk. The mixture should drop gently from a spoon.

  3. Alternatively, use a food mixer but add ½ tsp baking powder.

  4. Grease the pudding basin, spoon the golden syrup into the bottom and level it. Then add the mixture. Take a piece of foil that will cover the top of the basin and come halfway down the sides. Make a pleat through the middle to allow for any expansion. Place over the basin and pinch under rim. Take a length of string. It needs to go round the basin under the rim and secured tightly, then a loose length to make a handle. This will make removing the basin at the end easy.

  5. Fill the saucepan with about two inches of water and bring to the boil. Place the basin in the steamer, cover with the lid, and turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  6. If you don’t have a steamer, use a deep sided saucepan. Prepare the basin in the same way and place in the saucepan. Carefully pour boiling water into the saucepan so it comes no more than half way up the basin. Cover and let the water simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  7. Remove the basin, take off the string and foil and run a palette knife round the inside. Invert it on to a plate and serve with extra golden syrup.

  8. To make a pudding for 2
  9. Use 1½ oz butter, 1½ oz sugar, 3 oz flour, 1 egg and ½ tbsp milk.
  10. You will need a ¾ pint pudding basin.

  11. To make a pudding for 6
  12. Use 3 oz butter, 3 oz sugar, 6 oz flour, 2 medium eggs and ½ tbsp milk.
  13. You will need a 1½ pint pudding basin.


 

Steamed Jam Sponge Pudding

Jam Sponge Pudding

 

Not sure what to put on your sponge pudding? Just reach for a pot of jam – any flavour will work. We love this pudding with raspberry jam which is shown here.

 

Steamed Jam Sponge Pudding
 
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Basic Recipe

  • Ingredients
  • 50g/2 oz butter
  • 50g/2 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar
  • 110g/4 oz self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 egg, large(U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), beaten
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp jam (raspberry works well)

  • Equipment
  • 500ml/1 pint pudding basin
  • Steamer


  1. Method
  2. Cream the butter and sugar. Gently add the flour, alternately with egg and milk. The mixture should drop gently from a spoon.

  3. Alternatively, use a food mixer but add ½ tsp baking powder.

  4. Grease the pudding basin, spoon the jam into the bottom and level it. Then add the mixture. Take a piece of foil that will cover the top of the basin and come halfway down the sides. Make a pleat through the middle to allow for any expansion. Place over the basin and pinch under rim. Take a length of string. It needs to go round the basin under the rim and secured tightly, then a loose length to make a handle. This will make removing the basin at the end easy.

  5. Fill the saucepan with about two inches of water and bring to the boil. Place the basin in the steamer, cover with the lid, and turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  6. If you don’t have a steamer, use a deep sided saucepan. Prepare the basin in the same way and place in the saucepan. Carefully pour boiling water into the saucepan so it comes no more than half way up the basin. Cover and let the water simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  7. Remove the basin, take off the string and foil and run a palette knife round the inside. Invert it on to a plate and serve with extra jam.

  8. To make a pudding for 2
  9. Use 1½ oz butter, 1½ oz sugar, 3 oz flour, 1 egg and ½ tbsp milk.
  10. You will need a ¾ pint pudding basin.

  11. To make a pudding for 6
  12. Use 3 oz butter, 3 oz sugar, 6 oz flour, 2 medium eggs and ½ tbsp milk.
  13. You will need a 1½ pint pudding basin.


 

Steamed Fruit Sponge Pudding

Fruit Sponge Pudding

 

Very quick and easy to prepare – a very light sponge pudding that has sultanas folded into it before steaming. Pour creamy custard over for a warming winter’s dessert. This is a modern version of the traditional British “spotted dick”, where suet has been replaced with butter.

 

Steamed Fruit Sponge Pudding
 
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Basic Recipe

  • Ingredients
  • 50g/2 oz butter
  • 50g/2 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar
  • 110g/4 oz self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 egg, large(U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), beaten
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 50g/2 oz sultanas

  • Equipment
  • 500ml/1 pint pudding basin
  • Steamer


  1. Method
  2. Cream the butter and sugar. Gently add the flour, alternately with egg and milk. The mixture should drop gently from a spoon.

  3. Alternatively, use a food mixer but add ½ tsp baking powder.

  4. Fold the sultanas into the mixture.

  5. Grease the pudding basin and add the mixture. Take a piece of foil that will cover the top of the basin and come halfway down the sides. Make a pleat through the middle to allow for any expansion. Place over the basin and pinch under rim. Take a length of string. It needs to go round the basin under the rim and secured tightly, then a loose length to make a handle. This will make removing the basin at the end easy.

  6. Fill the saucepan with about two inches of water and bring to the boil. Place the basin in the steamer, cover with the lid, and turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  7. If you don’t have a steamer, use a deep sided saucepan. Prepare the basin in the same way and place in the saucepan. Carefully pour boiling water into the saucepan so it comes no more than half way up the basin. Cover and let the water simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  8. Remove the basin, take off the string and foil and run a palette knife round the inside. Invert it on to a plate and serve with custard.

  9. To make a pudding for 2
  10. Use 1½ oz butter, 1½ oz sugar, 3 oz flour, 1 egg and ½ tbsp milk.
  11. You will need a ¾ pint pudding basin.

  12. To make a pudding for 6
  13. Use 3 oz butter, 3 oz sugar, 6 oz flour, 2 medium eggs and ½ tbsp milk.
  14. You will need a 1½ pint pudding basin.


 

Crème Caramel with Oranges

Creme Caramel with Oranges

 

This velvety dessert gives crème caramel a seasonal twist by adding oranges soaked in Cointreau.

 

Crème Caramel with Oranges
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Standing time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: At least 6 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 4 oranges
  • 500ml/17½ fl oz whole milk
  • 140g/5 oz granulated sugar
  • 140ml/5 fl oz boiling water
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 4 yolks, from large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.) eggs
  • 110g/4 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar
  • 3 tbsp Cointreau

  • Equipment
  • 6 x 150ml ramekins


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300F/°gas mark 2.

  3. For the crème caramel
  4. Pour the milk in to a pan and add the zest from one of the oranges. Bring to the boil and then set aside to infuse.

  5. Put the granulated sugar and water in a heavy-based pan. On a low heat stir until the sugar has dissolved. It needs to be a low heat so the water does not evaporate. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up and let the syrup bubble away until it is a golden caramel colour. Don’t stir. Divide between the ramekins.

  6. Lightly whisk the eggs and yolks with the caster sugar. Mix in the infused milk to form a custard. Strain into a jug and set aside for 15 minutes.

  7. Line a deep tin (a roasting tin is ideal) with paper towelling and put the ramekins in the tin. The paper will stop the dishes moving about. Skim any froth from the custard and then pour an equal amount into each ramekin. Add enough boiling water to come half way up the side of the ramekins. Bake for 30 minutes until just set. If they are still a bit wobbly leave for a further 5 minutes in the tin of water but out of the oven. Remove and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

  8. For the oranges
  9. Meanwhile, peel the oranges and cut away any pith. Divide into the segments. Slice out the segments from their casings and put in to a bowl. This is rather fiddly but worth it. Pour the Cointreau over and set aside.

  10. To serve
  11. Dip the base of each ramekin in hot water for 10 seconds. and run a knife round the edge of each one. Put a plate over the top and invert. Divide the oranges between the six servings.