After the traditional Burn’s Night meal of Haggis, neeps and tatties, this Scottish trifle always goes down well!
There are many different trifle recipes but this is the easiest and one of my favourites. It uses freshly made custard and if possible, homemade raspberry jam. It doesn’t include jelly or chocolate as others do.
Ingredients – serves 6-8
8 egg yolks
110g caster sugar
35g plain flour
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped.
about 9 sponge fingers (depending on the size of your bowl)
about 3tbsp raspberry jam
4tbsps liquid – orange juice or sherry
285ml thick cream
toasted almonds to decorate
optional – 1 or 2 bananas or some apricots
How to: For a simpler recipe use ready prepared custard and skip this first step! Otherwise first make the custard – whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and pale. Stir in the flour. Boil the milk, remove from the heat and add the vanilla seeds. Leave for about 15 mins. Remove the seeds and add the milk to the egg mixture stirring as you pour. Return the egg/milk mixture to a clean pan and whisk over a gentle heat until boiling. Keep whisking to get rid of any lumps. Once smooth, keep whisking for a minute or 2 until the custard thickens. Remove from the heat, cover with cling film (to stop a skin forming) and leave to cool.
Cut the sponge fingers in half and spread one side of each half with jam – be generous! Place the sponges on the base and round the outside of your serving bowl. Pour over the liquid and tilt the bowl so all the sponges get thoroughly soaked. If using banana, slice as much banana as you like into small rounds, then place on top of the sponges. (Likewise if using apricots, place the apricot halves on the sponges). Pour the cooled custard on top. Then whip the cream (and sweeten if necessary) until thick. Spoon the cream onto the custard in a thick layer. Finally decorate with a sprinkling of almonds which have been toasted in a frying pan until golden brown. Chill until ready to eat.
Trifle is great the following day too when the sponge is deliciously soft and juicy!
This recipe has been in my book for years and makes mini pancakes or ”blinis” in minutes.
The best bit is that they don’t have to be served hot, so you can make the bases and toppings in advance and just put them together when ready to serve. They are easily reheated for a few minutes just before assembling if preferred.
Ingredients – makes about 40 blinis
150g (1 cup) plain flour
pinch of salt
How to : Put everything in a blender and whiz until well mixed – you may need to scrape the flour from the sides of the blender once or twice. There is no need to leave the batter to sit, just heat a shallow frying pan, add a tiny bit of butter and then spoon in small amounts of batter – about a tablespoon for each blini. Let cook for about 1 min until tiny bubbles appear and the blini dries out a bit, then turn the blini over for about 30 seconds until the underside is nicely golden and voilà ready to eat! If after making one or 2, you think the batter is too thick add a splash of water and mix into the batter before continuing.
If the blinis don’t turn out very round, I often use a cookie cutter to stamp out circles.
Blinis can be topped with crème fraîche and smoked salmon, herby cheese and pickles, pesto and half a cherry tomato with basil leaves, horseradish cream and a layer of thinly sliced roast beef, wafer thin ham and chutney…the list is endless.
Lovely bite sized nibbles!
It’s not quite Spring weather yet so a hot baked apple was warming and perfect for lunch!
I was very happy to find a jar of mincemeat left over from Christmas and so my apple was ready in no time!
There really aren’t any ingredients, but this is nicer than a plain apple on cold days.
I cored 1 apple, then split the skin about a third of the way down and all the way round. I spooned the mincemeat into the hole where the core once was and also added a spoonful or 2 round the base so that I’d have extra if I wanted. I spooned over a tablespoon of water so that it wouldn’t be too dry and so I’d have some hot juice. Then I put it in the microwave and cooked on high for 3 minutes. This was perfect for a fluffy piping hot apple and the mincemeat was sweet and juicy.
When making more than 1 apple, I check after 3 minutes in the microwave and then increase minute-by-minute the cooking time (4 or 5 is good for 2 apples).
I enjoyed this plain but it’s also great with vanilla ice-cream, pouring cream or crème fraîche and topped with a sprinkling of crushed almonds.
If you don’t have any mincemeat, it can be replaced with a mixture of glacé cherries, raisins, a knob of butter and a sprinkling of brown sugar.
This is a deliciously light chocolate and pear dessert.
There is no flour in it – only ground hazelnuts!
A quick and filling Pressure cooker soup – Ready in 15 mins!
Ingredients : serves 4
300g leeks, chopped
1 l vegetable or chicken stock
2 small unpeeled potatoes, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 rashers bacon
2 tbsp cream
How to: Melt a knob of butter in the pressure cooker, add the onion, leeks and potatoes and stir for a minute or 2. Add the stock and bring up to pressure. Cook for 8 mins on High then release the steam. Remove the lid and using a stick blender whiz the soup until smooth. Season as and if required with salt and pepper and add the cream stirring until everything is well blended. Serve with a few pieces of crispy bacon, croutons and crusty bread.
The soup can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days. It can also be frozen, but in that case, it’s best not to add the cream until after defrosting.
These easy little bread cases are perfect for nibbles and canapés. They can then be filled with pretty much anything you like!
They make a nice change and are very easy to prepare!