Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

 

This lemon meringue pie is a true family favourite and was one of the first pies I ever baked. The filling is very easy to make from scratch. It gives a mixture that is both creamy and full of zingy lemon flavour to complement the sweetness of the meringue on top.

 

Lemon Meringue Pie
Prepares: 4–6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: About 45 minutes
  • Standing time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: About 55 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the shortcrust pastry
  • 170g (6 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (1⅓ cups)
  • pinch of salt
  • 40g (1½ oz) butter, cut into cubes (3 tbsp, or ⅜ stick)
  • 40g (1½ oz) lard, cut into cubes (3 tbsp)
  • about 2 tbsp cold water

  • For the filling
  • 3 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) water (⅔ cup)
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 115g (4 oz) granulated sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 2 egg yolks (reserve the whites for the meringue)

  • For the meringue
  • 2 egg whites
  • 115g (4 oz) caster sugar/superfine sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)

  • You will also need an 18cm (7 inch) round deep pie plate with rim and a baking tray/sheet.


  1. Method
  2. For the pastry
  3. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.

  4. Rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles fresh breadcrumbs. This can be done by hand or in a food processor.

  5. Sprinkle the water evenly over the surface (if it is not sprinkled evenly it can cause blistering when the pastry is cooked). Start bringing the dough together using a pallet knife until it starts clumping. Then knead the dough until it is smooth. Pop in a plastic food bag and refrigerate to rest for 30 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5).

  7. Roll out the pastry onto a floured surface to a thickness of 6mm (¼ inch) and 5cm (2 inches) larger than the pie plate.

  8. Now cut a 1.25cm (½ inch) strip from around the edge of the pastry. Dampen the rim of the pie plate with water and then use the strip to cover the rim, pressing it down.

  9. Next dampen the strip of pastry. Then line the pie plate with the remaining pastry, gently pressing it down into the pie plate and around the rim to make sure no air is trapped but being careful not to stretch the pastry.

  10. Remove any excess pastry from around the edge of the rim and prick the base of the pastry with a fork.

  11. Bake blind for 15 minutes.

  12. Carefully remove the paper and baking beans, and return the pastry to the oven for a further 5–10 minutes until it is cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside.

  13. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F) (gas 2) and place a baking tray/sheet in the oven.

  14. For the filling
  15. While the pastry is cooking, the filling can be prepared. Mix the cornflour with the water in a saucepan. Then stir in the zest and juice of the lemons. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring, until the mixture thickens.

  16. Now reduce the temperature to medium and add the sugar, stirring until it has dissolved. Remove from the heat, cool the mixture for a couple of minutes.

  17. Beat in the egg yolks. Set aside.

  18. For the meringue
  19. Whisk the egg whites until stiff.

  20. Then gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.

  21. To finish
  22. The pastry case can either be left in the pie plate or carefully removed. Place the pie plate or the pastry case only on the warmed baking tray/sheet.

  23. Now pour the lemon filling into the pastry case and level the surface.

  24. Pile the meringue on top, making sure it completely covers the filling. Finally pull the meringue up into peaks using the tip of a knife.

  25. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. The meringue will be crisp and lightly browned on the outside but still soft on the inside.

  26. It can be served warm or cold. If it is to be served warm, let it rest for 20 minutes after taking it out of the oven before slicing into portions.

Updated: February 20, 2020

Traditional English Pancakes

Traditional English Pancakes

 

These traditional English pancakes are served with lemon and sugar – easy to prepare and easy to eat!

 

Traditional English Pancakes
Prepares: 6–8 large pancakes
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: About 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 115g (4 oz) plain flour/all-purpose flour (1 cup less 1½ tbsp)
  • pinch salt
  • 2 large eggs (U.K.)/extra large eggs (N.A.)
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) semi-skimmed/partly skimmed milk (1¼ cups)
  • 28g/1 oz butter, melted (2 tbsp)
  • 28g/1 oz butter for greasing (2 tbsp)

  • To serve
  • granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon, halved

  • You will also need a 25.5cm (10 inch) heavy gauge aluminium frying pan/skillet.


  1. Method
  2. First, melt 28g (1 oz) (2 tbsp) of butter and set aside to cool.

  3. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.

  4. Beat the eggs in a bowl, then add the milk and cooled, melted butter. Gradually pour the mixture into the well of the flour while whisking with an electric whisk or a balloon whisk, incorporating the flour from around the edge of the bowl. Scrape any remaining flour down from around the sides of the bowl using a silicon spatula and whisk again until all the mixture is smooth. Let stand for 20 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile preheat oven to 110°C/225°F/gas ¼, and place five plates in the oven to warm.

  6. Melt the remaining butter and pour into a small bowl. After cooking each pancake, smear the pan with a little melted butter, using kitchen paper, to keep it lightly greased. The pan should be lightly greased not running with butter.

  7. Get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to a medium setting.

  8. Use about 3 tablespoons of batter for each pancake. (It is easier to measure this into a ladle or cup first to give a guide for the amount for each pancake.) Quickly tip the batter from the ladle or cup into the centre of the pan and, at the same time, tip the pan from side to side to get the base evenly coated. Cook the pancake for about 1 minute until the surface dries and the underside is golden.

  9. Flip the pancake over with a palette knife. Again, cook until the underside is golden which will need less time. Then slide out of the pan onto a warmed plate.

  10. Continue until the batter is finished. Overlap the pancakes on the warmed plate as you go. Keep them warm in the oven, covered loosely with foil.

  11. To serve, squeeze lemon juice over each pancake and generously sprinkle with sugar. It can then can be rolled up.

Updated: February 18, 2020

Oranges in Cointreau

Oranges in Cointreau

 

I always think oranges are at their best during the winter months and this simple recipe of sliced oranges laced with Cointreau and topped with a dollop of cream makes it just that little bit special.

 

Oranges in Cointreau
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: At least 6 hours or overnight

  • Ingredients
  • 4 juicy oranges
  • 3 tbsp Cointreau
  • 170ml (6 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (¾ cup)
  • 1 tsp icing/powdered sugar, sifted


  1. Method
  2. Grate zest from 1 orange and set aside.

  3. Cut off the top and bottom from the oranges. Remove all the peel and white pith.

  4. Now cut the flesh into thin rounds, reserving any juice.

  5. Either put the oranges in one large glass serving bowl or divide amongst four individual ones and then pour over the reserved juice.

  6. Add 2 tbsp of the Cointreau evenly over the oranges.

  7. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

  8. Whip the cream until it is just thick. Then whip in the remaining Cointreau, three-quarters of the orange zest and the icing/powdered sugar.

  9. For those oranges in individual bowls, swirl a dollop of cream on the top. For the oranges in the larger bowl serve the cream as an aside.

  10. Scatter the remaining orange zest over the cream.

Updated: February 11, 2020

Simply Apple Pie

Simply Apple Pie

 

An apple pie that is delicious, especially when the apples just come into season. The pie filling literally just contains apples and a little sugar so the full flavour of the apples come through. It has a sweet pastry lid that when cooked is buttery and crumbly. For a mouthwatering finish serve with cream or ice cream.

 

Simply Apple Pie
Prepares: 6–8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 45 minutes
  • Standing time: 50 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40–45 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the pastry
  • 225g (8 oz) self raising/self-rising flour (1¾ cups)
  • 1 tbsp icing/powdered sugar
  • 140g (5 oz) cold butter, cut into cubes (⅔ cup, or 1 stick plus 2 tbsp)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • pinch of salt

  • For the filling
  • 1.35kg (3 lb) Bramley apples/apples suitable for cooking
  • 115g (4 oz ) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp) plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 egg white, lightly whisked

  • You will also need a 28 x 20cm (11 x 8 inch) deep pie dish, sides and rim buttered. Also a pie raiser, buttered.


  1. Method
  2. For the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and add the sugar.

  3. Then rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

  4. Whisk the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of cold water together in a small jug. Gradually pour onto the flour mixture while mixing in with a palette knife until it starts to form small clumps. You may need extra water.

  5. Quickly knead by hand to bring the mixture together. Wrap in cling film/plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes. Roll it out fairly thinly. Upturn the dish onto the centre of the pastry and use it as a template to cut out the lid, adding an extra 2.5cm (1 inch) all the way round.

  6. Then reroll the excess pastry and cut out a 5cm (2 inch) wide strip, enough to go round the rim of the dish. Apply this to the flat rim taking it down inside the dish. Press into place and make joins where necessary. Put the pie raiser in the middle of the dish.

  7. For the filling, prepare the apples one at a time. Peel, cut into quarters and core. Cut each quarter into four and pile into the dish as you go, sprinkling some sugar between each layer. They should pile up high in the dish which will help to support the pastry lid.

  8. Brush the pastry covered rim with cold water and then put on the lid. Crimp the lid and rim pressing together as you work your way round the rim.

  9. Cut 4 slashes in the lid and return the pie to the fridge for another 30 minutes (can be left for up to 2 hours).

  10. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190°C (375F) (gas 5).

  11. Remove the pie from the fridge and brush the surface with the egg white, then sprinkle with sugar.

  12. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 40–45 minutes until a pale golden colour.

Updated: February 8, 2020

Pavlova

Pavlova

 

Pavlova
Prepares: 6–8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus time to prepare the fruit
  • Cooking time: 1 hour
  • Standing time: 1 hour

  • Ingredients
  • 3 egg whites
  • 225g (8 oz) caster/superfine sugar (1⅛ cups)
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 450g (1 lb) prepared fresh fruits
  • 2–3 tbsp Cointreau (with a winter pavlova)
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)

  • For a summer pavlova
  • Prepare strawberries, raspberries and other seasonal fruits of your choice.

  • For a winter pavlova
  • Melon (scooped out into balls), kiwi fruit, grapes and oranges.


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to cool, 140°C (275°F) (gas 1).

  3. Separate the eggs. In a clean, grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites until just stiff.

  4. Gradually whisk in 170g (6 oz) of the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition until the meringue is stiff and shiny.

  5. Whisk in the cream of tartar, vanilla essence, and cornflour.

  6. Cut a sheet of baking parchment large enough to fit a large baking sheet. Draw a 24cm (9½ inch) oval onto the paper. Dab a little meringue in each corner of the baking sheet to secure the paper and stop it moving. Then place the paper on the baking sheet with the drawn oval side down.

  7. Spread the meringue inside the marked oval shape. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour.

  8. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar.

  9. Meanwhile prepare fruits. Cut larger fruits into slices or segments. Cut any orange segments free from their connecting tissue with a small, sharp knife. You want to end up with all the fruits being of a similar size. Place them in a bowl as you prepare them.

  10. Sprinkle the fruit with the remaining sugar and, if making a winter pavlova, add the Cointreau. Allow to soak for 1 hour before serving.

  11. Carefully peel the paper off the pavlova then place it on a flat serving dish.

  12. Whip the cream until it will hold a soft peak and then spread over the meringue.

  13. Carefully spoon the fruit on top.

  14. Serve immediately.

  15. More pavlovas
  16. If you enjoyed this recipe, you might like to try these other pavlovas:
  17. Individual Banoffee Pavlovas
  18. Strawberry Pavlova
  19. Individual Chocolate and Raspberry Pavlova
  20. Easter Lemon Pavlova

 

Buttermilk Pancakes with Apples and Maple Syrup

Buttermilk Pancakes with Apples and Maple Syrup

 

These buttermilk pancakes with apple and maple syrup are thicker, North American-style pancakes. The addition of the  buttermilk in the pancakes and the topping of sweet dessert apples, all smothered with maple syrup, make this a delicious dessert.

 

Buttermilk Pancakes with Apples and Maple Syrup
Prepares: 4 servings (12 pancakes)
 
  • Preparation time: about 20 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30–40 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the pancakes
  • 225g (8 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (1¾ cups)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¼ cup)
  • 170ml (6 fl oz) buttermilk (¾ cup)
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), beaten
  • 140ml (5 oz) milk (⅔ cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 40g (1½ oz) butter (3 tbsp)

  • For the apples
  • 3 dessert apples
  • 40g (1½ oz) butter (3 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp icing/powdered sugar

  • To serve
  • maple syrup
  • crème fraîche


  1. Method
  2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and mix in the sugar.

  3. Make a well in the centre and add the buttermilk, beaten eggs, vanilla extract, and most of the milk.

  4. Gradually whisk the flour into the wet ingredients, adding enough extra milk to make a smooth, fairly thick batter.

  5. Set aside to stand for 20 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile warm 6 plates in the oven.

  7. Now peel, core and thickly slice the apples.

  8. Melt the butter in a large frying pan/skillet and add the apple slices in a single layer. Dust with the icing/powdered sugar and cook over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes on each side until golden. Tip onto a warmed plate, cover with foil, and keep warm in the oven while cooking the pancakes.

  9. For the pancakes, melt the butter in a large, heavy gauged frying pan (skillet). Pour into a small bowl and use this to smear the pan between cooking each pancake using a wodge of kitchen paper,

  10. Now wipe the pan clean with kitchen paper and then turn up the heat to get the pan really hot.

  11. Reduce the heat to medium and then grease the pan with a little of the melted butter. (It should be lightly greased, not running with butter.)

  12. Add 3 tablespoonfuls of batter and cook for 1–2 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake and the underside is golden. Turn and cook for a further minute. Lift out onto a warmed plate, cover loosely with foil. and pop the plate back in the oven. Repeat using the remaining batter until there are 12 pancakes.

  13. To serve
  14. Pile three pancakes on each plate and top with the apple slices.Pour over maple syrup and serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche.

Updated: January 30, 2020

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
  • 115g (4 oz) butter, softened, plus extra for greasing (½ cup, or 1 stick)
  • 115g (4 oz) light muscovado/soft light brown sugar (½ cup less 1 tbsp)
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 100ml (3½ fl oz) milk (⅓ cup)
  • 225g (8 oz) self-raising/self rising flour (1¾ cups)
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 450g (1 lb) Bramley apples (or apple variety suitable for cooking)

  • You will also need a baking dish roughly 20 x 20cm (8 x 8 inches)


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4)

  3. First grease the baking dish.

  4. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

  5. Beat in the egg.

  6. Then mix in the milk.

  7. Fold in the flour and cloves.

  8. Now peel, core and roughly chop the apples and then fold into the mixture.

  9. Tip into the buttered dish, spreading the mixture out but leaving the surface quite uneven.

  10. Bake for 45–50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

  11. Serve hot with cream and extra sugar.

Updated: January 24, 2020

Coffee and Hazelnut Swirls

Coffee and Hazelnut Swirls

 

A very light meringue dessert, with chocolate and cream, that tastes heavenly. This is really easy to make and looks impressive.

 

Coffee and Hazelnut Swirls
Prepares: 12 meringues
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 170g (6 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¾ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp coffee extract
  • 3 tbsp hazelnuts, finely chopped (or walnuts)

  • For the filling
  • 70g (2½ oz) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 20g (¾ oz) butter (1½ tbsp)
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1 cup)

  • To serve
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder (optional)


  1. Method
  2. For the meringue
  3. Preheat oven to a cool setting, 140°C (275°F) (gas 1).

  4. Toast the hazelnuts by heating in a pan over a medium–low heat until just turning colour and begin to smell nutty. Watch them carefully as they can burn very quickly. Set aside to cool.

  5. Now whisk the egg whites until stiff. Then slowly add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition. Drizzle over the coffee extract and whisk again until mixed in. The meringue should form stiff peaks and be glossy.

  6. Carefully fold in the nuts.

  7. Line two baking trays/sheets with parchment paper. Dab a little meringue in each corner of the trays/sheets to hold the linings in place. Then swirl small spoonfuls of meringue onto the paper. The mixture will make approximately 24 meringues (you want an even number). Do not try piping the meringue as the nuts will clog the tip!

  8. Now bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the meringues are dry and lift freely from the paper. Turn off the oven and, if you have time, leave them to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar. Otherwise transfer the trays/sheets onto wire cooling racks and leave the meringues to cool. When they are cool, remove from the paper.

  9. For the filling
  10. Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl that will fit over a pan of just simmering water. The bottom of the bowl must not touch the water. Stir as it melts until the mixture is smooth. Then remove from the heat and leave to cool.

  11. When the chocolate is cold, coat the flat surface of 12 meringues.

  12. Now whip the cream. Use the cream to sandwich together a chocolate-coated meringue and a plain meringue.

  13. To serve
  14. Cocoa powder can be sifted lightly over the top of each meringue to decorate.

Updated: January 22, 2020

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

  • Ingredients
  • 4 medium juicy oranges
  • 110g/4 oz caster sugar/superfine sugar (½ cup plus 1 tbsp)
  • 15ml/1 tbsp Grand Marnier or Cointreau

  • You will also need a large glass serving bowl or 4 individual glass dishes


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

  3. Remove the pith from the orange and peel the remaining oranges. Remove as much pith from the oranges as possible. Then slice them into rounds, reserving any juice and discarding pips. Arrange the slices in the serving bowl or individual dishes.

  4. Place the sugar and 150ml/5 fl oz (⅔ cup) of water in a small heavy based pan and heat gently stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Now 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.

  6. Stir in the reserved orange juice and the liqueur.

  7. Leave the syrup to cool for 10 minutes and then pour over the oranges.

  8. Top with the julienne strips.

  9. Then chill in the refrigerator for 2–3 hours.

Updated: January 11, 2020

Crossover Pancakes

Crossover Pancakes

 

Small English-sized pancakes that are made with a thicker North American-style batter. These are served one on top the other with sweetened butter and maple syrup poured generously over the top.

 

Crossover Pancakes
Prepares: 12 pancakes
 
  • Preparation time: about 10 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: about 45 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 250g (9 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (2 cups)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2½ tbsp caster/superfine sugar
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), lightly beaten
  • 475ml (16 fl oz) milk (2 cups)
  • 115g (4 oz) butter (½ cup, or 1 stick)
  • pinch of salt

  • To serve
  • 85g (3 oz) butter, softened (³⁄₈ cup)
  • 1 tsp icing/powdered sugar, sifted
  • maple syrup to pour

  • You will also need a 20cm (8 inch) nonstick frying pan/skillet.


  1. Method
  2. Melt 85g (3 oz) of the butter and set aside to cool.

  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt into a large bowl. Then mix in the sugar.

  4. Next make a well in the centre and gradually whisk in the eggs, milk, and melted butter, incorporating flour from around the edges. Using a rubber spatula, push down any remaining flour from the sides of the bowl and whisk again until there is a smooth, thick batter.

  5. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.

  6. Preheat oven to 140°C (275°F) (gas 1) and place five plates in the oven to warm.

  7. Meanwhile prepare the sweetened butter In a small bowl beat the softened butter together with the icing/powdered sugar and set aside.

  8. Now to cook the pancakes. Melt the remaining 28g (1 oz) (2 tbsp) butter. in the frying pan /skillet and pour into a small bowl and set aside. Wipe clean the frying pan/skillet with kitchen paper. Get the frying pan/skillet really hot and then reduce the heat to medium. Before cooking each pancake, smear the pan with a little melted butter, using a wodge of kitchen paper, to keep it lightly greased.

  9. For each pancake you will need about ¼ cup of batter. A ladle makes it easy to scoop out the batter and pour into the pan. So for the first pancake, scoop ¼ cup of batter into the ladle and this will be a guide for the rest.

  10. Quickly ladle the batter into the centre of the frying pan/skillet, lifting from the heat, and tipping the pan/skillet from side to side to even out the batter. The batter won’t cover the surface of the pan/skillet but should make an even round pancake. Then return to the heat and cook the pancake for 1–2 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface and the underside is starting to turn golden in colour. Flip it over using a palette knife and cook the underside for another 1–2 minutes. Now slide onto one of the warmed plates and cover loosely with foil. Return to the oven to keep warm.

  11. Repeat using the remaining batter, overlapping the pancakes on the warmed plate.

  12. To serve, stack three pancakes on each of the other warmed plates and top each stack with a spoonful of the reserved sweetened butter.

  13. Serve with maple syrup.

Updated: January 6, 2020

Banana and Honey Brûlée

Banana and Honey Brûlée

 

A tasty twist on a classic crème brulée. Quick to prepare and just chill until needed.

 

Banana and Honey Brûlée
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 10–25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 minute
  • Refrigeration time: 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 2 small bananas, well mashed
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 500g carton Greek yogurt

  • For the topping
  • 2 tbsp hazelnuts or almonds, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar, if using a chef’s blowtorch
  • 75g (2½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (⅓ cup), if not using a chef’s blowtorch

  • You will also need 4 × 150ml (5 fl oz) heatproof ramekins


  1. Method
  2. Divide the mashed bananas amongst the four ramekins and smooth the top.

  3. Then drizzle over the honey to completely cover the bananas.

  4. Carefully spoon an equal amount of yogurt into each ramekin and smooth the top.

  5. Now sprinkle over the nuts and gently press them down into the yogurt.

  6. For the topping, using a chef’s blowtorch
  7. Working on one ramekin at a time, sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar evenly over the nuts and yogurt. (The sugar needs to cover the yogurt completely.)

  8. Caramelize the sugar under a direct flame.

  9. Now repeat with the other 3 ramekins.

  10. Leave to cool and then refrigerate for two hours before serving.

  11. For the topping, without using a chef’s blowtorch
  12. First, have a piece of baking paper ready on the counter top. Next, put the sugar in a stainless steel pan and add just enough water to dampen the sugar. Place over a low heat and stir the sugar until completely dissolved. Then increase the heat to medium–high. Without stirring, leave the sugar to bubble fiercely. When the bubbling lessens and the sugar has turned a pale straw colour it will be ready. Carefully pour the caramel onto the paper (it will be extremely hot) and leave it to become cold.

  13. Now turn the grill/broiler to high and leave for 5 minutes to get really hot.

  14. The caramel will have hardened on cooling. Break it into small pieces and blitz in a food processor or blender until there are really fine granules (finer than caster sugar). Sprinkle evenly over the nuts and yogurt in each ramekin, right to the edge, so that the yogurt is completely covered.

  15. Put the ramekins on a baking tray as close to the heat source as possible. Cook for less than a minute, not letting the sugar burn. The heat just needs to melt the sugar.

  16. Leave to cool and then refrigerate for two hours before serving.

Updated: January 4, 2020

Bread and Butter Pudding

Bread and Butter Pudding

 

A traditional English dessert where bread is buttered, then topped with a sprinkling of dried fruits, and then covered with a vanilla custard before topping with cinnamon and demerara sugar. It is then baked until the top is lovely and crispy.

 

Bread and Butter Pudding
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Standing time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 28g (1 oz) softened butter (2 tbsp)
  • 2 slices white bread
  • 2 tbsp currants
  • 2 tbsp sultanas
  • 2 tsp chopped mixed peel
  • 3 eggs, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.)
  • 1 tbsp caster/superfine sugar
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) full-fat/whole milk (1¼ cups)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar

  • You will also need a 23 × 12cm (9 × 5 inch) shallow ovenproof dish


  1. Method
  2. Butter the bread and cut each slice into quarters.

  3. With the buttered sides uppermost, arrange the quarters over the bottom of the ovenproof dish, overlapping them to fit.

  4. Scatter the currants, sultanas and mixed peel on top.

  5. Then in a separate bowl, whisk together two of the eggs and the yolk only of the third. Whisk in the sugar and then stir in the milk and vanilla extract.

  6. Strain the custard and then gently pour over the bread.

  7. Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon and demerara sugar, and then leave for 30 minutes.

  8. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4)

  9. Put the dish into a roasting tin/pan and then fill the roasting tin/pan with boiling water until it comes half-way up the sides of the dish. Bake for 45 minutes until the custard is set and the top is brown and crispy.

Updated: December 31, 2019