My neighbour, Jean, gave me this easy-to-make lemon dessert recipe that is simply delicious. It can be made and kept in the freezer, taking it out and cutting a slice to eat whenever you want.
4 oz (114 g) icing sugar
Zest and juice of lemon
300 ml double cream
2 oz (57 g) meringue nests
half a 300 g jar lemon curd
2 lb loaf tin (or similar) lined with clingfilm
Put the icing sugar plus the juice and zest of the lemon in a large bowl. Mix together until the icing sugar has dissolved.
Add the double cream and whisk all together until it forms soft peaks.
Roughly crumble the meringue nests into the mix, add teaspoonfuls of lemon curd as well.
Using a metal spoon gently fold the meringues and lemon curd into the cream. This does not need thorough mixing, finding areas of lemon curd when eating is good.
Spoon the mix into the lined tin. Cover with clingfilm and place in the freezer for a few hours.
The cake is now ready to eat.
Take the cake from the freezer and remove from the tin.
Turn it out onto a plate and remove clingfilm. You now have the lemon dessert. Single slices can be cut from the cake as you want them with the remainder returned to the freezer just wrapped in the clingfilm. It will keep for up to three months.
My grandchildren enjoy the apple crumble I make, but call it Nannie Crumble. Here’s how to create it.
1 lb cooking apples
3 oz sugar ( 2 oz for the puree, 1oz for the crumble)
2 oz porridge oats
2 oz self raising flour
2 oz butter
Firstly make the apple puree for the crumble. Peel and roughly chop or slice two or three large cooking apples dropping them into water as you go to prevent them from browning.
When all the apples are chopped, take them out of the water and put them in a saucepan. Add some water to the bottom of the pan to prevent the apples sticking – depending on the variety of apple you may need more or less water. Add 2 oz sugar to sweeten the apples. Cook the apples on a medium heat until soft.
I then mash the apples using a potato masher. You can leave them in soft chunks if you prefer. Put the apples in a baking dish.
For this particular dish I used 15 ounces of cooked pureed apples that I had prepared from the apples on my fruit trees and frozen earlier this year.
While the apples are cooking you can prepare the crumble. In a basin put equal quantities (2 oz each) of porridge oats, self raising flour and chopped hard butter. You will also need to add sugar – I use half the quantity of sugar to the other ingredients as I do not like the crumble too sweet.
Rub the butter into the other ingredients rolling it between your thumbs and fingers until the whole mix is like large bread crumbs.
Sprinkle the crumble mix on top of the apples and bake in a hot oven (190C) for fifteen to twenty minutes until the crumble is golden.
Eat either hot or cold with custard or cream or ice cream.
My grandchildren like eating the crumble cold with custard. I place the crumble in the middle of a dish making an island with the custard. Sometimes I add swishes of custard around the crumble so that it is a flower with custard petals. How do you like to eat it?
This year we have had so many tomatoes, I’ve made a lot of soup with the recipe my mother always used. It is very simple and is done in the microwave. The quantities make about 2 ½ pints of soup.
1 oz butter
1 ½ lbs tomatoes
1 ½ oz plain flour
2 tablespoons tomato puree
¼ teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ pint milk
salt and pepper
¾ pint hot chicken stock
Start by chopping an onion. Add to a mixing bowl with 1 oz butter. I use a mixing bowl as that is perfect for holding all the ingredients. Cook in the microwave for four minutes.
While that is cooking, roughly chop 1 ½ pounds tomatoes and add to the butter and onion mix when it is done. My tomatoes are small cherry tomatoes, but any sizes are fine.
Now add the flour, tomato puree, celery salt, caster sugar, dried basil, milk, salt and pepper to the mix. Stir the ingredients together.
Return the bowl to the microwave and cook for a further ten minutes. I cover the bowl with a pyrex lid from a casserole dish to prevent splashes in the microwave.
Meanwhile prepare the stock. I use three chicken oxo cubes dissolved in ¾ pint of very hot water. When the tomato mix has finished cooking in the microwave, remove and stir in the hot stock.
The soup is now cooked. It needs to be liquidised and then sieved to remove the pips and skin. My liquidiser is only small so I do a small amount at a time, then put that into the sieve so it can be draining while I liquidise the next portion.
Squash the pips and skins gently against the sieve so that the liquid goes through but nothing else.
The soup is now complete and ready to eat.
I usually eat some straight away and freeze the rest, ready to eat on those cold winter days to bring back the memories of summer. Enjoy!
I’ve just made a kedgeree, a dish I enjoy but don’t make often. It takes some preparation but freezes well. I usually make enough for four, eat a couple of portions and freeze a couple. The frozen ones can be thawed and then heated in the microwave.
500 g (approximately) smoked fish; choose thick fillets; usually this is made with haddock but smoked cod works just as well; I prefer fish that is smoked but not dyed, however when I went to the fish counter this time they only had smoked, dyed haddock so that is what I used
100 – 150 g prawns; not tradionally in a kedgeree but I think they add extra taste and texture
200 ml wholegrain rice; measure the rice in a jug
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
small onion finely chopped; if you are intolerant to, or dont have, onion then a finely chopped stick of celery is a good substitute
100 g butter
3 hard boiled eggs; although eggs are found in kedgeree recipes they can be ommitted
3 heaped tablespoons chopped fresh parsley; I prefer curly-leafed parsley as it chops more finely
Start by putting the smoked fish into a saucepan, if the fillets don’t fit easily then use kichen scissors to cut them smaller. Cover the fish with plenty of water (approximately 400ml) and put onto boil. Once it boils it only needs a few minutes to cook, you can tell by putting a knife in and seeing if it easily flakes.
Rinse the wholegrain rice in cold water.
While the fish is cooking, melt some butter in another saucepan and gently soften the onion (or celery), add the curry powder and cook for another minute or two. Remove from the heat and add the rice.
The fish should be cooked by now. Drain the liquid that the fish was simmered in and use this for the rice mix. Pour the liquid over the rice, return to the stove and cook as normal. Keep any spare liquid in case the liquid boils away before the rice has cooked. Cook until the rice is soft to eat.
If using eggs, hardboil them. Then peel and chop them.
While the rice is cooking, flake the fish removing any bones and discarding the skin.
Put the flaked fish into a large mixing bowl. Chop the parsley finely and add to the bowl. If using them, add the chopped hard boiled eggs. Next cut the prawns into three and add them to the bowl.
Once the rice is cooked, put this into the bowl as well and mix all togther thoroughly using a wooden spoon.
Divide the mix into four or five portions. Add slivers of butter to the top and enjoy with steamed vegetables.
This recipe was adapted from Delia Smith’s Buttery Kedgeree recipe found in her Complete Cookery Course. My version was printed in 1996.
The Christmas cake was iced a couple of days ago. I used royal icing and bought a couple of packs of it rather than making it from scratch.
I had help from my daughter and grandson – the same ones that made the cake with me.
To make the royal icing you just add water and beat it until smooth using a wooden spoon. We then poured it onto the top of the cake, trying out adding a ski slope but then just smoothing it on the sides using a round-ended knife.
Then the decorations. I had some modelling icing paste and we used that to make snowmen. We made a pond for the snowmen to stand around using icing sugar and blue food dye. Unfortunately we made the icing too thin so what started as a pond became a waterfall.
I had also bought some ready-made icing decorations.
As you can see we found it hard to stop adding more and more decorations – I don’t know who added the most – my daughter or my grandson!!
The cake is now in a cardboard cake box with the icing drying, ready to cut and eat on Christmas day. I can’t wait! Happy Christmas to everyone.