Breaded Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips

 

A simple meal of fish and chips, prepared and cooked in an hour. A chunky piece of fresh white fish (haddock or cod), coated in fresh breadcrumbs, and shallow fried for just 10 minutes. Served with home cooked fries and ready to be doused with ketchup and vinegar.

 

Fish and Chips
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the fish
  • 4 × 140g (4 × 5 oz) haddock fillets, skinned
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 egg
  • 6 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • flavourless oil (not olive oil)

  • For the chips
  • 900g (2 lb) large potatoes (about 5)
  • 2 tbsp oil (not olive oil)
  • salt and ground black pepper

  • To serve
  • tartare sauce and 4 lemon wedges for the fish
  • malt vinegar and tomato ketchup for the chips

  • Equipment
  • large frying pan/skillet or sauté pan
  • large baking sheet, covered with baking parchment


  1. Method
  2. Adjust oven rack to the lowest level and preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6)

  3. For the chips
  4. Peel potatoes and slice into ½ inch thick rounds and then into ½ inch thick strips. Pat dry and place in a bowl.

  5. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Toss until evenly coated.

  6. Spread out on the baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, turning 2 or 3 times until browned and tender.

  7. For the fish
  8. Meanwhile prepare the fish. Spread the flour on a plate and season with salt and pepper. Then spread breadcrumbs on a second plate. Beat the egg in a shallow bowl.

  9. Pat the fish dry with kitchen paper. Taking one fillet at a time, coat it in the flour, gently shaking off any excess. Then dip it in the beaten egg and coat in the breadcrumbs. Set aside on a clean plate and repeat with the remaining fish.

  10. While the chips are cooking in the oven, the fish can be cooked on the hob. Heat the frying pan/skillet over a medium heat and pour in enough oil to just cover the bottom. When the oil is hot, add the fish and gently fry for about 5 minutes until golden and crisp on the underside. Carefully turn and repeat on the other side. The fish may have to be cooked in two batches. Lift the fish from the pan and place on a warmed plate covered with kitchen paper to absorb any oil. Cover the plate with foil and keep warm while cooking the rest of the fish.

  11. Serve immediately, garnished with the lemon wedges.

 

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese

 

What can I say? Spaghetti Bolognese is a real family favourite. And quick and easy to prepare!

 

Spaghetti Bolognese
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the Bolognese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 450g (1 lb) minced/ground beef
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 275ml (10 fl oz) beef stock (1¼ cups)
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes (½ x 28 oz can diced tomatoes)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 115g (4 oz) button mushrooms, sliced (1½ cups) (optional)

  • For the spaghetti
  • 225g (8 oz) spaghetti (filling the hole of a pasta server with spaghetti is a single portion)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • a little olive oil

  • To serve
  • Parmesan

  • Equipment
  • large frying pan/skillet or sauté pan
  • a large pan for the spaghetti


  1. Method
  2. Heat the oil in the pan and cook the onion over a low heat for 10 minutes until golden. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

  3. Increase the heat to medium, add the beef, and brown for about 5 minutes. Break up any clumps with a wooden spoon.

  4. Stir in the stock and tomato purée and bring to the boil.

  5. Add the tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, mushrooms, if using, and season. Give it a good stir and then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  6. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add salt and dash of olive oil, then ease the spaghetti into the pan.

  7. Reduce the heat a little and cook the spaghetti for the length of time according to the directions on the packet. (Can recommend DeCecco brand.)

  8. Drain through a large colander, reserving 120ml (4 fl oz) (½ cup) of the cooking water and then return to the pan with the spaghetti. Add the sauce and toss well.

  9. Spoon into bowls and top with little slivers of Parmesan.

  10. Note
  11. A Caesar salad makes a good starter. And garlic bread to serve with the Spaghetti Bolognese.

 

Festive Cranberry Sauce

Festive Cranberry Sauce

 

This recipe makes a lovely cranberry sauce with just a hint of port and spices to make it special.

 

Festive Cranberry Sauce
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 450g (1 lb) fresh cranberries (4 cups)
  • 90ml (3 fl oz) port (⅓ cup)
  • 115g (4 oz) light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp mixed spice/pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ orange
  • 1 tsp Grand Marnier (optional)


  1. Method
  2. Put the cranberries into a medium-sized pan.

  3. Add the sugar, port and spice.

  4. Zest and juice the orange, then add to the pan and stir everything together.

  5. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat and gently simmer for 10–15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries soften and are just starting to break up.

  6. Spoon the sauce into a bowl and stir in the Grand Marnier, if using, and then leave to cool.

  7. The sauce can be kept covered in the refrigerator but bring it back to room temperature before serving.

 

Raspberry Ice Cream Sundae

Raspberry Ice Cream Sundae

 

A traditional ice cream sundae – delicious at any time. Raspberry sauce drizzled through scoops of ice cream or frozen yogurt and velvety whipped cream.

 

Raspberry Ice Cream Sundae
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 450g (1 lb) frozen raspberries, thawed (2 cups)
  • 85g (3 oz) caster/white sugar (½ cup)
  • 1 lemon, juice only*
  • 284ml (10 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
  • 8 good scoops vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt

  • *1 lemon should yield 3 tbsp

  • Equipment
  • 4 sundae glasses


  1. Method
  2. To make the raspberry sauce, put the sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan with 225ml (8 fl oz) (1 cup) of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until slightly thick and syrupy.

  3. Put the raspberries in a blender or food processor and pour the hot syrup over the top. Purée until smooth, then strain through a fine sieve to remove the seeds.

  4. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.

  5. Drizzle two tablespoons of the raspberry sauce round the inside of each sundae glass. (It will run down the insides of the glass and leave a layer on the bottom.)

  6. Add two scoops of ice cream or frozen yogurt to each glass.

  7. Now add a large dollop of whipped cream and then slowly drizzle two tablespoons of raspberry sauce over the top, allowing the sauce to run down through the layers.

  8. Serve immediately.

Updated: November 1, 2017

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: 15 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/white sugar
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) full-fat/whole milk (1¼ cups)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar

  • Equipment
  • 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, lay the quarters in the bottom of the ovenproof dish, overlapping them to fit.

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

  5. 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 until combined.

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

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

  8. 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.

 

Lemon Surprise Pudding

This week we’ve had a couple of nights where it feels quite cool – it seems as though the time has come to say goodbye to summer and all those lovely berry desserts.

The coming of fall, although a beautiful but short season here in Ontario, will mean that winter is just around the corner. Now being a summer person, that is not my favourite time of year. It means there is often a very reluctant dog (our yellow labrador) and us to venture out on walks. The bright sunny, even snowy days, are a delight – it’s the ice and wind I could do without!

So – where I was going – it seems that it’s now time to start bringing out the fall recipes with that bit of comfort food about them. The first one we had again for supper last evening – a Lemon Surprise Pudding – which has just been added to the blog. I hope that you will want to try it.

 

Lemon Surprise Pudding

 

This Lemon Surprise Pudding makes a lovely, citrus dessert. The mixture creates a thick, very lemony sauce that is covered with a really light and airy sponge.

 

Lemon Surprise Pudding
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 35 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 large lemons
  • 55g (2 oz) butter, softened (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 115g (4 oz) caster/white sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 55g (2 oz) plain/cake and pastry flour (⅓ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) full fat/whole milk (⅔ cup)

  • To serve
  • Double/whipping or heavy cream

  • Equipment
  • 1 litre ( 1¾ pint) (4 cups) ovenproof dish
  • roasting tin/pan


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

  3. First, zest one of the lemons and then squeeze out the juice from both of them. The juice should yield 150 ml (5 fl oz) (⅔ cup).

  4. Cream the butter and lemon zest together in a large bowl. Then, a spoonful at a time, add the sugar, beating well between each addition, until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.

  5. Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a bowl to whip later and adding the yolks to the mixture.

  6. Next sieve the flour into a separate bowl, then add a tablespoon of flour, followed by a tablespoon of milk to the mixture. Beat well between each addition until all the flour and milk have been incorporated.

  7. Now, slowly add the lemon juice to the sponge mixture. It may start to curdle but that will not be a problem.

  8. Finally, whip the egg whites until they are just stiff and then lightly fold into the mixture.

  9. Generously butter the ovenproof dish and then pour in the mixture.

  10. Bring a kettle of water to the boil. Place the ovenproof dish in the roasting tin/pan and then add the boiling water to the tin/pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ovenproof dish.

  11. Bake for 35 minutes until the top begins to brown and the sponge springs back when lightly pressed with the tip of a finger.

  12. Serve immediately along with a jug of cream. Surprise! Beneath the very light and airy sponge, you’ll find a lovely, thick lemon sauce at the bottom of the dish.

 

Amazing Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes

Amazing Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes

 

These little cakes are an adaptation of ones made on the Great British Bake-off. Coffee cupcakes with chopped walnuts have a coffee buttercream filling, chopped walnuts round the sides and a swirl of buttercream on the top. They really are delicious and, although each step takes a bit of time, they are not difficult and well worth the effort.

 

Amazing Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes
Prepares: 16 cupcakes
 
  • Preparation time: 50 minutes
  • Cooking time: 18 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the cakes
  • 170g (6 oz) butter, softened (¾ cup, or 1½ sticks)
  • 170g (6 oz) light muscovado sugar/light brown sugar (¾ cup + 1½ tbsp)
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 170g (6 oz) self-raising/self-rising flour, sifted (1cup + 3 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp coffee extract
  • 85g (3 oz) chopped walnuts (⅔ cup)

  • For the icing and decoration
  • 565g (1¼ lb) icing/powdered sugar (5 cups)
  • 200g (7 oz) butter, softened (¾ cup + 2 tbsp, or 1¾ sticks)
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1½ tbsp coffee extract
  • 170g (6 oz) walnuts, finely chopped (1⅓ cups)

  • Equipment
  • 2 × 12 hole bun/muffin trays
  • a piping bag fitted with a 2D star nozzle (the size used to swirl icing on the top of cupcakes)


  1. Method
  2. For the cakes
  3. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5)

  4. Grease 16 of the bun/muffin holes. Base line them with parchment paper or just cut out the bottom of cupcake liners which is easier. (Don’t use the whole cupcake liner as you want the sides of the cakes to remain flat and quite firm.)

  5. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Then beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoon of the flour with each egg. Next mix in the coffee extract. Now fold in the remaining flour and baking powder. Alternatively add all the ingredients together in a food mixer and beat until well combined.

  6. Finally gently fold in the nuts.

  7. Divide the mixture evenly between the 16 prepared bun/muffin holes and then pop in the oven for about 18 minutes until the top of the sponge springs back when lightly pressed with the tip of the forefinger.

  8. Remove from the oven and leave for 5 minutes for the cakes to become cool enough to handle. Take a small palette knife and run round the outside of the cakes to make sure they are free from the sides of the bun/muffin holes. Then carefully lift them out, peeling off the liners, and leave on a cooling rack to become cold.

  9. For the icing and decoration
  10. While the cakes are cooling the icing can be prepared.

  11. Put the butter into a large bowl and then mix in half the sifted icing/powdered sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating until creamy. Then beat in the remaining icing/powdered sugar. Add in the milk and coffee extract and beat until smooth and creamy.

  12. Once the sponges have become cold, cut them in half horizontally. Do this very carefully as the sponges will be very light in texture. Using a little less than a quarter of the buttercream, spread a layer over the bottom half of each cake and then sandwich them back together again.

  13. Now spread a very thin layer of the buttercream around the sides of each cake. Again this needs to be done very gently, being careful not to put pressure on the top and bottom of the cakes as you do it, or they become squashed.

  14. Now roll the sides of each cake in the chopped nuts until thickly coated.

  15. Finally, fill the icing bag, fitted with the star nozzle, with the remaining buttercream and swirl the icing over the top of each cake.

 

Individual Shepherd’s Pie

Individual Shepherd's Pie

 

These tasty little shepherd’s pies are made in a small gratin dish and are quick to prepare. The lamb is mixed with beans and a minted tomato sauce, and then covered with a creamy mash potato and topped with cheese and cherry tomatoes.

 

Individual Shepherd's Pie
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 900g (2 lb) potatoes, peeled and cut into even-sized chunks (about 6 medium)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 450g (1 lb) lamb mince/ground lamb
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) lamb or beef stock (1¼ cups)
  • 415g tin baked beans
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée/tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 tbsp cheddar cheese, grated

  • Equipment
  • 4 × individual serving ovenproof dishes


  1. Method
  2. Add the potatoes to a pan of boiling salted water and simmer for 25 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile heat the oil in a frying pan/skillet, then add the lamb, and brown over a medium heat, about 5 minutes.

  4. Reduce the heat a little and stir through the flour. Then add the stock, stirring until it thickens, about 2 minutes.

  5. Next stir in the baked beans, tomato purée/tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and mint. Season. Reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Divide between the dishes.

  6. Preheat the grill/broiler while finishing the pies.

  7. Drain the potatoes once they are tender, then mash, adding a good knob of butter and just enough milk to produce a creamy mash. Spread the mash evenly over the meat mixture.

  8. Place six tomato halves, cut sides up, on top of each pie, pressing them down a little into the mash.Then sprinkle the cheese over.

  9. Place under the grill/broiler and cook for about 6–8 minutes until golden and bubbling.

  10. Individual Shepherd's Pie

 

Quick Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream

Quick Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream

 

This makes a lovely refreshing dessert and is very quick to prepare. A thick raspberry sauce, made from frozen raspberries, is carefully swirled through a creamy vanilla ice cream.

 

Quick Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes
  • Freezing time: 3 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 2 litre container vanilla ice cream
  • 285g (10 oz) frozen raspberries (1¼ cups)
  • 28g (1oz) caster/white sugar (2 tbsp)
  • ½ lemon

  • Equipment
  • dessert glass dishes


  1. Method
  2. First transfer the ice cream from the freezer to the refrigerator so it can soften while preparing the raspberry sauce.

  3. Place the raspberries in a small pan (they don’t have to be thawed). Break them up a little if they have frozen in a clump. Sprinkle over the sugar and add the zest of the lemon. Then squeeze out the juice into the pan.

  4. Bring the juice to the boil over a medium heat and then reduce the heat and gently simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened and become syrupy.

  5. Pass the raspberries through a sieve to remove the seeds, which will then leave a lovely thick syrup. Leave to become cold which will only take a few minutes.

  6. Tip the ice cream into a large bowl and break up with a spoon. It should be quite soft by now. Pour half of the syrup over the ice cream and quickly cut in with a spoon just using a few strokes. (Avoid over-working or it will turn into a raspberry mess!!) Now just sprinkle over the remaining raspberry syrup and this should just run through any gaps.

  7. Using a large spoon, scoop the ice cream into a 2 litre container and then return to the freezer. It will take about 3 hours to refreeze.

 

Strawberry Crisp

Strawberry Crisp

 

Sliced strawberries are tossed in sugar and covered with buttery oats and brown sugar … then baked until the top is crisp. Serve it warm with lashings of cream or a scoop or two of ice cream.

 

Strawberry Crisp
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the strawberries
  • 1 quart container, 675g (1½ lb) strawberries, thickly sliced (4 cups)
  • 2 tbsp caster/white sugar

  • For the topping
  • 140g (5 oz) wholemeal/wholewheat flour (1 cup)
  • 85g (3 oz) porridge oats/rolled oats (1 cup)
  • 100g (3½ oz) light brown sugar (½ cup)
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
  • 115g (4 oz) butter, chilled and cut into small cubes (½ cup, or 1 stick)

  • Equipment
  • 2 pint ovenproof dish measuring 23 x 15 cm (9 x 6 inches)


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4)
  3. For the strawberries
  4. Place the sliced strawberries in a bowl and toss with the sugar to coat. Leave on one side while preparing the topping.

  5. For the topping
  6. In a large bowl combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, and bicarbonate of soda/baking soda. Rub in the butter until a crumbly mixture is reached.

  7. For baking
  8. Tip the strawberries into the ovenproof dish, spreading out evenly, and spooning over the juice.

  9. Cover with the crumbly mixture.

  10. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until the top is crisp and the strawberry juices are bubbling.

  11. Serve warm with cream or ice cream.

  12. Tip: This recipe also works well with frozen strawberries.

 

Pork and Mushrooms in a Mustard Wine Sauce

Pork and Mushrooms in a Mustard Wine Sauce

 

A very tasty dish that takes just 20 minutes to cook. Pork steaks or tenderloin and sliced mushrooms are sautéed in olive oil and served in a creamy mustard and white wine sauce with thyme.

 

Pork and Mushrooms in a Mustard Wine Sauce
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 pork loin steaks, or a piece of pork tenderloin cut into 4
  • 225g (8 oz) mushrooms, rinsed, trimmed and thickly sliced (12 button mushrooms)
  • 2 tsp flour
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) dry white wine (1 cup)
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • fresh chives (optional)

  • Suggested serving accompaniment
  • new or baby potatoes and a green salad, green beans, or spinach

  • Equipment
  • large frying pan/skillet


  1. Method
  2. Warm a plate in the oven.

  3. Then, place the frying pan/skillet over a medium heat and pour in the olive oil. When it is hot, add the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the pork to the pan. Brown the pork on both sides, about 5 minutes, then reduce the heat and cook for a further 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to the warmed plate and and return it to the oven.

  4. Toss the mushrooms in the pan to coat and cook until lightly browned, 2–3 minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon and add to the pork.

  5. Blend the flour into the pan juices. Gradually stir in the wine until the sauce is smooth and then add the thyme leaves. Increase the heat and let it bubble until reduced by about two-thirds.

  6. Turn the heat down to low and stir in the crème fraîche and mustard to warm through. Do not let the mixture boil as it will make the mustard taste bitter. Season.

  7. Return the pork, mushrooms and any juices, to the pan and stir the sauce. Heat everything through very gently and then serve garnished with snipped chives, if liked.

Updated: October 4, 2017

Meringue Layers with Red Plums

Meringue Layers with Red Plums

 

For meringue lovers – this is another recipe that is delicious at the end of summer. Juicy red plums lie on freshly whipped cream, sandwiched between meringue, topped with chopped nuts.

 

Meringue Layers with Red Plums
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 5 minutes, plus cooling time for meringues
  • Chilling time: 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • For the meringue layers
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 170g (6 oz) caster/white sugar (¾ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped hazelnuts or walnuts

  • For the filling
  • 8 large red plums
  • 2 tbsp caster/white sugar
  • 284ml carton double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)


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

  4. Wash the plums and cut in half following the natural line. Twist the halves in opposite directions to separate. Remove the stones.

  5. Arrange in a single layer in a baking dish, cut sides up. Sprinkle with the sugar and add 2 tablespoons of cold water.

  6. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove and leave to cool.

  7. For the meringue layers
  8. While the plums are cooking, the nuts can be roasted. An easy way to do this is by tipping the nuts into a small non-stick frying pan/skillet placed over a medium-low heat. Cook until they just start to smell ‘nutty’, stirring occasionally. This only takes a few minutes.

  9. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

  10. Once the plums have cooked, lower the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F) (gas 2)

  11. Prepare the meringue while the oven is cooling down to the right temperature.

  12. Draw a 20cm (8 inch) circle with a pencil on two sheets of baking parchment. (Using a 20cm (8 inch) up-turned plate makes this easy.). Turn the sheets over and lay on two baking sheets/trays.

  13. Whisk the egg whites to a stiff peak and then add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition. Finally, whisk in the lemon juice.

  14. Add a dab of meringue on the four corners of the baking sheets/trays, pressing the baking parchment down to keep in place. Then divide the the meringue evenly between the paper lined sheets/trays, spooning it into the centre of each circle. Using the back of the spoon, level the top of the meringue on one of the sheets/trays. Keep the top of the meringue rough on the other sheet/tray and then sprinkle the nuts over the meringue on this one.

  15. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Turn out the oven but leave the meringues inside until the oven has become cold.

  16. Lift the meringue layers from the paper and slide the base one onto a serving plate.

  17. For the filling
  18. Whisk the cream until stiff and then spread over the base meringue layer.

  19. Pour off any juice from the plums and reserve. Top the cream with the plum halves with the cut sides facing downwards. Sprinkle over 1 tablespoon of reserved plum juice being careful not to allow it to get too close to the edge or it will run down the outside of the bottom meringue layer.

  20. Cover with the top meringue layer and chill in the fridge for at least two hours.

  21. To serve
  22. When slicing the meringue into portions use a long bladed knife that has been dipped in a jug of hot water. Shake off any droplets of water before cutting and wipe the blade clean between each cut.