Chop any larger dried fruit into small pieces, and put it all into a bowl. Pour the cider over the fruit, stir and leave to soak overnight.
The following day, preheat the oven to 180ºC, 350ºF, gas 4. Grease a 20cm round cake tin and line the bottom and sides with baking parchment.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and set aside. Cream together the butter, sugar and honey in a large bowl, until the mixture has a light and creamy consistency. Add the eggs one at a time, giving everything a good mix after each addition. Don't worry too much if the mixture starts to look like it's curdling – stirring a spoonful of the flour into the butter and egg mixture should help.
Lightly fold in the flour and baking powder, followed by soaked fruit and lemon zest.
Turn the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes. Then turn the heat down to 170ºC, 325ºF, Gas 3 and cook for a further 1-11/2 hours, until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. If the top of the cake looks like it is browning too quickly, cover it with a piece of greaseproof paper.
Cool the cake in the tin for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
Rinse the masoor dhal at least 3 times in warm water, then drain and place in a large pan with 650ml of boiling water. Bring to the boil, then simmer over a medium heat for a couple of minutes until it starts to foam. Skim the froth from the surface, add the teaspoon of oil and simmer three-quarters covered for 18–20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the dhal is soft and cooked through. Remove from the heat, drain and set aside.
Heat the frying oil – about 20cm deep – in a large pan (or deep fat fryer, if you have one). Test the temperature by dropping a potato cube into the oil – when it is hot enough, the potato will immediately start to sizzle and bubble. Reduce to the heat to medium.
Carefully lower the potatoes into the oil and use a wooden spoon to move them around so that they cook evenly all over. Fry for 4–5 minutes, or until golden brown and just becoming crisp. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and leave to rest on kitchen paper while you fry the other vegetables.
Fry the carrots for 2 minutes, moving them around so that they cook evenly, then remove and leave to rest on kitchen paper. Next fry the pepper pieces for 2–3 minutes, then remove and leave to rest with the potatoes and carrots. Finally, fry the onions for 7–8 minutes and add to the other fried vegetables.
Crush the chillies, garlic and ginger together with a pinch of salt using a pestle and mortar (or a blender), to make a fine masala paste.
Rinse the rice twice in warm water, then drain. Heat the 100ml of oil for the rice in a large pan over a high heat for 30 seconds. Add the rice, salt and masala paste and stir gently. Fry together for a minute, then pour in 650ml of boiling water.
Boil the rice uncovered over a high heat for 10–11 minutes, until almost all the water has evaporated and it starts to look dry. Put a large square of foil on top,
tucking it round the sides, then put a lid on the pan, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and leave to cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Tip the dhal into a large bowl. Add the garam masala, salt and bay leaves and mix gently. Add the rice and butter and gently mix again to combine.
Spoon about a third of the rice / dhal mixture back into the rice cooking pan to form a layer roughly 2cm thick, followed by half the fried vegetables. Add another layer of rice / dhal mixture (about half of what's left), followed by the rest of the fried vegetables. Use the remaining rice / dhal to create a final layer.
Put a large square of foil on top, tucking it round the sides, then put a lid on the pan and place it over a high heat for 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and leave to cook for 18â€“20 minutes or so, then remove from the heat and set aside to rest, covered, for at least 10 minutes.
Serve piping hot, spooning up from the bottom of the pan to make sure each serving contains all the different layers (removing the bay leaves as you come across them). Enjoy it with a glass of chilled mango lassi.
– This recipe is taken from Prashad: Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Kaushy Patel
Put the cranberries in a bowl and pour over boiling water to just cover them. Soak for 10-15 mins, then drain.
Cut the sprouts in half, lay each half flat on your chopping board and finely shred the leaves.
Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan, add the sprouts and fry for 3-4 mins.
Add the cranberries and nuts, season and toss together to serve.
Use any leftover onions to serve with soups, on bruschetta topped with goat's cheese or with pork or steak.
In a large, heavy bottomed pan heat the oil and butter until melted. Add the onions and cook on a low heat for 10 mins. Add the salt and sugar and cook for another 45 mins-1 hr, stirring occasionally to prevent them sticking to the bottom. It's important not to over stir to allow the onions time to caramelise. Add a little more oil if they look like they are burning. The onions should gradually turn a caramel brown colour. Once cooked add a splash of balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180ºC. Toss the brussels sprouts in oil to coat, season and place on a baking tray. Roast for about 25-30 mins, occasionally giving the tray a shake to evenly brown the sprouts. Insert a knife into one to check they are cooked. Toss a couple of large spoonfuls of caramelised onions with the sprouts and serve with parsley.
This recipe is perfect for guests who don't like dark dried fruit such as raisins or currants. It makes enough for 2 large (900g) jars.
1. Mix everything together, spoon into sterilised jars and top with a little more brandy.
2. Seal tightly with screw-on lids, then store or use in your recipes straight away.
TIP: You can sterilise jam jars by placing them in the oven at 140°C for 10 minutes. Wash the lids in soapy water, rinse well, and allow to dry before use.
2 large (900g) jars
One 40g serving provides:
Calories – 81 (amber)
Fat – 0.6g (green)
Sat fat – 0.1g (green)
Salt – 0.1g (green)
Total sugars – 17.9g (red)
– As a guide, if the bird is under 4kg allow 20 minutes per kg + 70 minutes.
If it is over 4kg allow 20 minutes per kg + 90 minutes at the end.
– Weigh the turkey after stuffing to calculate cooking time and remember oven temperatures vary. Fan assisted ovens cook at a higher temperature - consult the manufacturers handbook. Cook in a conventional oven at 190ºC/375ºF, Gas Mark 5. Bring to room temperature before roasting. Cover loosely with foil and remove foil for last 40 minutes for browning.
– Check the bird is cooked by inserting a skewer in the thickest part of the thigh or breast and ensure the juices run clear. If there are any pink juices pop back in the oven for 10-15 minutes then test again.
– Ensure your oven is up to temperature. Remember - on Christmas Day power may be reduced slightly due to the surge on the grid. This and regular opening and closing of the oven door (to test the bird etc) will also reduce the heat
– Allow the turkey to stand for at least 15-20 minutes before carving
1. Cut the squash lengthways, remove seeds, brush with olive oil, season and put in a baking tray, then place in a medium oven for 30 minutes until cooked through. Scoop out a little of the flesh, dice it and put to one side.
2. Prepare couscous by seasoning in a bowl and rubbing olive oil through it with your fingers. Cover with boiling water then seal the bowl with clingfilm and leave for 5 minutes to steam. Fluff up with a fork.
3. Sweat the onion (& red pepper) in oil for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Add the tomatoes and sugar and reduce down for 10-15 minutes.
4. Blanch the spinach/chard for a minute then squeeze out the water, chop roughly and add to the tomato sauce, mix through adding couscous and vinegar, toasted pine nuts, spring onions, herbs and finish by folding through the squash and feta.
5. Season, return to the squash case and bake for 10 minutes. Serve with green salad
How about a tangy start to the New Year? Grandma Abson's Lemon Delicious Pudding, on display as "Recipe of the Month" at Tim & Jane's Tasty Flavours in Doncaster Market's Award winning International Food Hall, is causing quite a stir! We're collaborating on getting people to bake again with Grandma's easy recipes from the past and this one is a delectable prospect. Most of the ingredients are available to buy straight from Tim and Jane's stall. It's one of my favourite recipes too, as I like the way the mixture separates into a curd at the base and a sponge on the top.
– Cream the sugar and butter. Add the flour, lemon juice and zest and mix in. Beat the egg yolks in the milk and add to the rest of the mixture. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the creamed mixture with a metal spoon. Bake in a greased 1½ pint/1 litre pie dish for 35 -45 minutes. (350F, Mark 4, 180C)
Meryl's tips :
In Grandma Abson's book on page 93 (and e-book) the measurements are for a smaller pudding but I've made it here with 2 lemons and have slightly increased the amount of butter, plain flour and added an extra egg to make a slightly larger pudding. That's the great thing about Grandma's recipes – you can adapt them and they still work out brilliantly.
Lemons are pretty underestimated in the baking world so don't forget to check out many other fabulous recipes in Grandma Abson's Traditional Baking book such as Lemon biscuits, Lemon loaf, Lemon tart, Lemon meringue pie and Lemon curd.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, carrot and celery and fry on a low heat for 8 mins, stirring occasionally, to soften without browning. Add the garlic and fry for 2 mins. Add the cinnamon, cloves, beetroot, tomatoes and stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10-15 mins. Blend until very smooth. Put the soup back in the pan. Reheat gently to serve, seasoning to taste.
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the leek and cook gently for 8 mins to soften. Steam or boil the broccoli for 2 mins. Drain and refresh in a bowl of cold water. Drain again. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Toss the broccoli in a shallow baking dish with the leeks, tomatoes, mozzarella, garlic and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter over the breadcrumbs. Bake for 20-25 mins, until the cheese has melted. Drizzle over a little olive oil to serve.
Boil the potatoes in a pan of salted boiling water for 8-10 mins, until tender. Meanwhile, make the dressing: whisk the mustard, honey, vinegar and oil in a large bowl. Drain the potatoes and add them to the dressing while still warm. Add the raw kale, season and stir. Sprinkle the flour over the fish skin and season. Heat a little oil in a heavy-based non-stick frying pan. Add the fish, skin side down and leave to cook on a medium heat for approx 3-4 mins for a 2-3cm thick fillet. Turn it over - the skin should be crispy - if not, give it another min on that side. Turn and cook for about a min or so on the other side to just cook it through. Stir the dill into the potato salad, then serve the fish with the potato salad and lemon wedges.
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Wrap the beetroot in foil and place in a baking dish. Bake until tender (small ones will take 30-40 mins; larger up to 2 hours - test with a knife). Remove from the oven and leave until cool enough to handle, then rub off the skins. Roughly chop, then blitz in a food processor with the yoghurt, seasoning to taste. Mix the oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic and spices in a bowl. Add the lamb and toss together. If you have time, marinate in the fridge for an hour or two. Put the couscous in a large bowl and add just enough boiling water to cover. Pop in the butter, stir and leave to absorb for about 10 mins. Fluff it up with a fork. Add the lemon zest, juice, herbs and stir. Heat a griddle pan until very hot. Cook the lamb on both sides for 3-4 mins, depending on thickness. Rest the meat for 5 mins, then serve with the couscous and a dollop of beetroot purée (warm it in a pan if