My childhood (and beyond) cookery notebook
Ye Olde Recipe Booke
Judging from the childlike scrawl I must have been about 5 when I started writing this notebook.
Or drunk.
Possibly both.

It's just a small notebook of recipes I've collected along the way, some of them my Mum's, some of them from Niel's Mum - my best friend at university (the first time anyway), and some of them my own.
I make no apologies for its random ramblings.

Curry à la Raha
curry main meat fowl
Heat oil and fry:
5 Cardamoms (split)
5 cloves
1 stick Cinnamon (broken)
When spitting add and fry onions, chilli and salt

When onions glassy add garlic and ginger and fry lightly

Seal Chicken/Beef/etc in mixture

Add water, simmer 1 hour

Banana Malpu
dessert veg
Mix plain flour, cold water, banana, [sugar] to paste.
Leave to stand.
Can add coconut, yoghurt, etc.
fry shallow as for Scotch Pancakes.
  • banana
  • flour
  • sugar
  • coconut
  • yoghurt

Potato Curry
curry veg vegan
  • potatoes
  • onions
into ½" cubes (wash off starch, fry now maybe).
Heat oil with
  • cumin seeds
  • bay leaves
When oil is hot add onions and fry till soft.
Put in
  • 1 flat teaspoon turmeric (Haldi)
  • 1 flat teaspoon ground cumin (Jeera)
  • 1 flat teaspoon coriander (Danya)
  • ½ flat teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
add potatoes.
Fry spuds till cooked. Add
  • green chillies
  • water
  • tomato purée

Cabbage Curry
curry veg vegan
Heat oil, into hot oil put
  • 4 cardamon (split)
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 5 cloves
Fry for 30 seconds, add
  • shredded cabbage
followed by
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • little chilli powder
  • little ground coriander
If pan goes dry add a little water, when properly mixed add a little water and simmer.
You might need to simmer for some considerable time to soften spring greens or other tough cabbage.

Chicken/Potato Curry
curry main fowl
Make chicken curry whilst washing and sealing spud.
Add spud to simmer in chicken and simmer further 10-15 minutes.
Hmm - seems to be missing something. Like their recipe for chicken curry perhaps?
I suppose that might be this one?
  • chicken curry
  • potato

Cabbage/Potato Curry
curry veg vegan
Cook the potato? with cumin and bay leaves then add cabbage and continue with cabbage recipe.
What you can do here is boil the potatoes in their skins until cooked, drain and chop them roughly, then start cooking the cabbage curry, add a teaspoon of cumin seeds (and some bay leaves if you like) after the other whole spices, fry the potato pieces in the flavoured oil first, then add the cabbage and proceed as above.
  • potato curry
  • cabbage

Egg Curry for 4 people
curry veg
4 eggs - lightly hard boiled and shelled
1 large onion - chopped
1 large tomato - sliced
3-4 red chillies
2-3 Tblsps oil (sunflower)
1 teasp haldi (turmeric)
½ teasp chilli
1 teasp salt
½" to ¾" creamed coconut - sliced or grated
Choose a tallish small saucepan. Heat the oil until quite hot (small bubbles rising) and throw in red chillies.
Then add onions and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes on high heat.
Lower heat and simmer very gently until soft with a lid on.
Raise heat and fry tomato slices till pulpy.
Reduce heat and add salt, haldi, chilli. Mix well.
Raise heat and add enough boiling water to come 1½" up the pan. Stir and bring to boil.

Pierce eggs with knife to let flavour in and add to pan, covering with gravy, cook gently for 15 minutes or so (you can also stir in 1 teasp of paprika to improve colour)

Then remove from heat and sprinkle creamed coconut on top
leave to melt then serve.

The aim is to make it hot (Chilli), sweet (Coconut) and sour (Tomato).
Adding some tomato purée after the fried spices is a good addition.
There's an example here

ingredient veg
Melt block of (unsalted or slightly salted) butter in heavy pan, then turn heat right down and leave butter just hot (do not boil).
A crust of curds will form on top, when this turns brown sieve through muslin and store (best in fridge).
Ghee should have a toffee smell.
  • butter

Some Notes
  • Paprika burns easily - best added late
  • 5 spices (Panch Feran) is:
    • Fennel seeds(Mori),
    • Cumin seeds (Jeera),
    • Fenugreek seeds (Methi),
    • Onion seeds (Kalonji),
    • Mustard seeds (Rai)
  • Boots The Chemist is good for muslin (nappies), rosewater and dried full-fat milk.

Carrots and Mustard Oil
side curry veg
A Handy Accompaniment
Boiled carrots mashed with butter and mustard oil. Dice don't slice the carrots for mashing.
  • carrots
  • butter
  • mustard oil

Raha's Beef or Lamb Curry
curry main meat
Serves 4

1 x 5oz pot yoghurt
1½ - 2lbs Braising or Chuck steak or Lamb, cubed, no fat
½" green ginger grated
1 large Spanish onion chopped
5 cardamoms
5 cloves
2" cassia stick
2-3 Tbsps oil (sunflower is good)
1 teasp salt
½ teasp haldi
½ teasp chilli
¼ teasp dhaniya
1 teasp jeera
1 clove garlic, crushed
Prepare in Advance (2-3 hours)
Mix the powders into the pot of yoghurt in a bowl, add ginger and garlic, stir in meat, mix well and cover.

To Cook:
Heat oil and fry the cardamoms, cloves and cassia to get aroma.
Add onion, fry until soft, add salt and mix well.
Raise the heat, put in meat and fry until sealed.
Lower heat and cook very gently with lid on.
Some juice should be in the pan at this stage. If pan goes dry later add a little water, but with luck this will not be necessary.

Cook until tender (1-1½ hours).

Aunty Dawn's Tuna Fish Casserole
main fish
3-4 medium potatoes
1 large onion finely chopped
3-4 grated carrots Kurt's secret book of Mum's recipes suggests 1 carrot I think 2 carrots is about right
1 tin or two 200g tuna steak in oil
1 tin Campbell's condensed mushroom soup
grated cheese
Finely chop the onion, grate carrots and mix with the tin of tuna and condensed mushroom soup in a casserole dish. Season with a little salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.
Cover with the potatoes thinly sliced it's probably better (essential!) to par-boil the potatoes to ensure they soften sufficiently without burning .
Cover and cook in microwave for 15-20 mins or low oven (Gas Mark 4) til the potatoes are tender. (~60 min)

Grate cheese on top, raise temp (Gas 6-7) and bake until the cheese is golden (~10min).
I also made this using a tin of mackerel in oil and a half-dozen finely chopped anchovies.
It works, but not quite as well and ended up really quite watery, I'm not sure whether that was because I only used 1 potato, the different fish, or if Campbell's changed their soup recipe.
I think it's always been watery, so expect that and bring sliced bread.
However, I don't remember opening a tin of tuna fish to find it only half full of tuna and mostly full of oil, like the one I just opened today.
So two modern tins of tuna might be required!
Incidentally, the other day I accidentally mixed spinach and tinned tuna and liked the combination, so I tried adding some cooked, squeezed, chopped spinach to the casserole. And I thought it not too bad. At least - it didn't make it any worse :)

Cauliflower and Potato Curry
curry side veg vegan
Serves 4-6 People

1 cauliflower (firm) - cut into heads and halve the heads
2-3 potatoes - cubed 1½"
½ teaspoon 5 spices (panch feran)
1 teaspoon haldi (turmeric)
1 teaspoon salt
½-1 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
¾ teaspoon Garam Masala
little water
2-3 Tablespoons oil
Heat oil and fry 5 spices till they spit.
Add pots and fry, then cauli heads and fry
Add haldi and salt (chilli if required), stir in well, pan will probably go dry so add just a little water to almost cover bottom, stir and put lid on.

Cook gently, about 15 mins until tender.
Turn off heat, sprinkle in Garam Masala, mix well and let pan stand with lid on.


Tinned Mackerel Curry
curry starter main fish
1 tin of mackerel steaks in Tomato sauce (or sardines, or pilchards)
1 good-sized onion, roughly chopped
1 Dessertspoon tomato purée
1 teaspoon onion seed kalanji or black mustard seed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Haldi
2 Tablespoon oil
2/3 red chillies or to taste
Heat oil and fry seeds and chillies until aroma comes out.
Fry onions till soft, add salt and haldi
Add tomato purée, then the mackerel steaks, stir and fry, add a little water for gravy
Cook gently for about 15 mins.
Just excellent - and easy as opening a tin.
If you like you can add some grated fresh ginger after the onion, and some chilli powder with the haldi.

Onion Bahji
starter curry veg vegan
2-4 People

2 heaped Tablespoons gram flour (Besam)
½-1 teaspoon salt
¼-½ teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
½ large or 1 small onion thinly sliced (quarter onion and quarter slices)
Put Besam in a bowl with all the powders (incl. salt), add 3 Tablespoons cold water, mix well till smooth.
Stir in onions well, deep fry in 1-1½" of very hot oil (oil should be beyond bubbling stage and have current layers in it. Batter should rise and bubble)
Add teasps of batter mix then turn heat down a little. Fry till golden brown.
Dry on kitchen paper.

Can use instead of onions:
  • Aubergine slices
  • Cauliflower ½ heads
  • Pumpkin slices
  • Swede slices (very thin)

Fish Curry
curry main fish
2 small Mackerel Can also use Salmon, Hake, Trout, Halibut maybe Cod, but not flat fish
1 large onion finely chopped
2 green chillies finely sliced
2 teaspoons mustard powder mixed with little cold water or fresh coriander leaves finely chopped
1 teaspoon haldi
½ teaspoon chilli
1 teaspoon salt
Cut 1 large, or preferably 2 small mackerel into 1" steaks don't fillet, cut through the bone, cut straight across the fish only
Coat open cuts in mackerel with Haldi and salt.
Heat oil almost covering bottom of a pan and fry onions and green chilli till soft.
Can use mustard oil, needs to be heated well till it smokes a little and goes pale.
Sprinkle powders on and mix well.

Keeping pan hot, fry fish pieces till sealed, cover (add a little water if necessary) and simmer 10-15 mins till cooked.

Turn heat off, add mustard and stir well, leave briefly and serve.

If using coriander leaves instead of mustard (1-2 Tblsps?) cook for a little after adding leaves.


Spinach Curry
curry side veg vegan
1 lb spinach, wash, discard stalks, thinly slice leaves can use spring greens early in the year
½-1 teaspoon onion seed
1 green chilli finely chopped optional
1 Tablespoon fresh coriander leaves finely chopped optional
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons oil
Heat oil, fry onion seeds until they fizz and aroma is released.
Keep pan hot, add greens, chilli and coriander, stir briskly.
Sprinkle on salt, stir and fry high heat for 3-5 mins till all water expelled and volume deteriorates

Curry Mayonnaise
sauce curry
  • 2 oz butter
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
Stir in
  • 1 level Tbsp curry powder
and cook for further few mins to bring out flavour.
  • ¼ pt. chicken stock
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon tomato purée
  • 2 Tablespoons apricot jam
Stir until boiling and simmer 5 mins. Draw off heat and strain or put through food processor.
When cold, stir in up to
  • ½pt. mayonnaise
Quantity depends on consistency required.
  • 3 Tablespoons cream
can be added if desired.

Rum and Raisin Ice Cream
dessert veg
3 oz seedless raisins
4 tablespoons dark rum
3 egg yolks
4 oz soft brown sugar
½ pt. single cream
½ pt. double cream - whipped
Place the raisins and rum in a bowl and leave to soak.
Place the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl and whisk, using an electric mixer, until thick and mousse-like.
Bring the single cream to just below boiling point and stir into the egg mixture.
Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until thickened.
Strain and cool.
Fold the double cream into the cooled custard mixture.
Transfer to a rigid freezerproof container, cover, seal and freeze for 2-3 hours until there is an inch of solid ice cream around the sides.
Mix well until smooth then stir in the rum and raisins.
Return to the freezer until firm.

Potato and Onion Curry
curry side staple veg vegan
  • tsp panch puran
  • 2 bay leaves
  • whole red chillies
  • 2 Tblsps oil with ghee to keep veg. soft
  • 1 lb cubed potatoes
fry well until sealed.
  • 2 large onions roughly chopped
fry until slightly frizzled
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½" ginger, finely chopped
  • salt
  • ¾ tsp chilli (or to taste)
  • paprika at end to colour if desired
fry slightly, stir well.
Add small quantity of water until curry steams in pan.
Cover and simmer until soft.

Can add chopped swede after sealing pots

Naan Bread
bread veg curry
7 oz plain flour
5 oz pot plain yoghurt
Mix to soft dough (dry - not wet), leave in fridge overnight.
Tear off into balls 1-1½" in diameter.
Roll into squares, fold into triangles, roll and fold into triangles several times.
Can add poppy or sesame seeds on last roll
Grill or fry on Griddle.
Also see this version

Red Velvet Casserole of Beef
main meat stew
Serves 6-8

½ lb cooked beetroot, chopped coarsely
grated rind and juice of 1 large orange
1 Tblsp sugar
2-3 cloves garlic
½ pint water
1¾-2lb best stewing steak
1 oz butter
2 Tblsps olive or sunflower oil
2 rounded tsps ground ginger
1 Tblsp plain flour
5 fl oz (150g) carton fresh soured cream
salt and black pepper
Put in a liquidiser the chopped beetroot, orange juice and rind, sugar, garlic and water. Whizz to a smooth purée (poss in 2 goes).
Cut up stewing steak into largish slices. Melt butter and oil together in a flameproof casserole or large saucepan on top of stove.
Stir meat in the melted fat and sprinkle on the ground ginger. Remove from heat and stir in the flour. Heat beetroot purée and stir into the beef.

If already using casserole, put on lid and cook in preheated oven Gas Mark 1 (275F, 140°C) for 2-2½ hours or until tender.
I started in pan, transfer to casserole.
Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper.
Just before serving, spoon soured cream over top.

Spiced Okra
curry side
Wash and trim
  • 8 oz (250g) okra
without puncturing it. Put into a pan with
  • 1½ medium tomatoes, skinned and chopped
  • 1½ Tblsps lemon juice
  • 1 Tblsp ghee
  • 1½ Tblsps beef stock
  • 1 rounded dessertspoon brown sugar
  • 1½ rounded teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ½ rounded teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 rounded teaspoons ground coriander
Cover and simmer for 40 minutes.

Serve garnished with rings of
  • green, yellow and red pepper.

Spiced Cucumber
side curry veg vegan
1 or more large cucumbers cut lengthways in ¼s and chopped
½ tsp mustard seed
2 tsp Colman's English mustard powder
finely chopped ginger
add ½ tsp Haldi if desired
Fry mustard seeds in oil, add butter (keeps veg. soft), fry cucumber well, simmer for some time with lid on.
When soft add ~tsp salt and ginger. Simmer ~5 mins.
Turn off heat and stir in mustard mixed with a little water.
This works with courgette also, though it's not quite as good.
Don't overdo the mustard powder ;) Cooking it a little can take away some of the harshness if it offends you.
I find 1 tsp mustard seeds and 1 tsp Colman's mustard powder to be a better ratio.
I also fry the ginger (if using) just after the mustard seeds.

Spiced Cauliflower
curry side veg vegan
Simply fry chopped cauliflower in five spices (panch puran), cover and simmer until soft.
  • cauliflower
  • five spices (panch puran)

bread veg vegan
Serves 4

4 oz plain white flour
4 oz wholemeal flour
2 Tblsps sunflower oil
8 oz white flour
1 pot yoghurt
1 Tblsp oil - not 2
½ tsp salt
up to 4 oz cold water
Mix dry things together, rub in sunflower oil, add water until dry and plastic.

Knead for 10 mins, form dough into a ball, put drop of oil into palm of hand, cover ball of dough with oil, put in polythene bag, leave in warm place ~½ hr.

Knead 2 or 3 mins, twist off to make ~16 little balls then cover them on a plate with polythene.

Deep fry in 1½" oil - dough should rise and bubble.
Roll out the little balls into circular flat pancakes, drop into oil, push under and tap . Cook until light brown, turn over and drain in kitchen paper.

Yoghurt Pud
dessert veg
2x5 oz pots plain yoghurt
5 Tblsps sugar 3 brown, 2 white mixed to make very light brown
1 large can evaporated milk
Stir or blend well together, place in oven at lowest temp for ~ 1 hour. Take straight out of oven into fridge.
Can add jam or grated dates and orange rind

Aubergine Bahji
curry starter veg vegan
Cut aubergine into large 3" pieces, salt open cuts and then wash to remove some bitterness.
Cutting edge culinary opinion is that modern aubergine varieties no longer require this "degorging" process
Dip in wholemeal salted flour I'd be tempted to add some spices - turmeric, chilli, that kind of thing! and fry in shallow oil.
  • aubergines
  • wholemeal flour

Aniseed Chicken
curry main fowl
4 lb chicken
¼ tsp aniseed/fennel
1 tsp mint
½ tsp ginger
1 tsp wine vinegar
3 dates finely chopped
1 cup chicken stock
¼ tsp mustard seed
2 tsp olive oil
½ cup white wine (reduced from twice this quantity)
1 tsp honey
ground pepper
Take the whole chicken and braise in water for ~20 mins. Drain, reserve stock and wipe dry.

For sauce, combine the remaining ingredients (except pepper) and heat to boiling point and simmer gently for 20 mins.

Score chicken's skin and pour aniseed sauce over it. Roast in a 300F oven for 2 hours, basting frequently with liquid from roasting pan.
Sprinkle with mild pepper before serving.

Grilled Spicy Chicken
starter main fowl curry
1x3½lb chicken or chicken drumsticks
1x5oz plain yoghurt
ginger, grated
garlic, grated
1 tsp Haldi
½ tsp Chilli
½ tsp Dhaniya
1 tsp Jeera
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp salt
a little oil
Joint and skin the chicken. Put the yoghurt in a bowl and stir in all the powders, ginger and garlic.
Mix the chicken pieces in, making sure they are covered. Leave for 3-4 hours (overnight is best).
Put a little oil in a grill pan and grill ~15 mins each side.

Baked Stuffed Cabbage
main veg
Hollow out a cabbage, removing all the stems and stalks.
Stuff (e.g. with the Roux Bros. Stuffed Tomatoes And Butter Sauce filling, but using bacon and brie instead of goat's cheese) and bake in oven, gas 6 for 1½ hours surrounded with red wine and olive oil covered tightly with foil.
  • cabbage
  • butter sauce
  • bacon
  • brie
  • red wine
  • olive oil

Potato Gratin
side staple veg
Make a potato gratin with double cream mixed with brie?
  • potato
  • double cream
  • brie

Courgette & Tomato Bake
main side veg
Fry courgettes until browned (salt and drain first).
Fry onions and garlic then sliced (peeled) toms until pulpy.
Stir in courgettes, bake covered in fresh breadcrumbs dotted with butter ~½ hr gas 6.
Thanks Elizabeth!
  • courgettes
  • onions
  • garlic
  • tomatoes
  • breadcrumbs
  • butter

Steamed Stuffed Cabbage
main veg
Blanch cabbage for 1 minute.
Cut out heart (may need to tie up with string or foil).
Mix double cream and brie to paste, add grated nutmeg, few whole green peppercorns.
Season cabbage, stuff with mixture.
Steam 15 mins. The sauce runs into the cabbage, so fill well.
Sprinkling ground cumin on steamed cabbage is a nice mix.
  • cabbage
  • double cream
  • brie
  • nutmeg
  • green peppercorns
  • cumin

A really tasty Greek soup recipe we inherited from my father.

Potato Skins
ingredient veg vegan
If you bake them, heat gas 6 until skins are warm (a few mins) then serve or they will dry out and go hard.
  • potato skins

Creamed Leeks/Aubergines
side veg
Fry/sweat sliced leeks (and garlic?) or aubergines in butter until soft. Add a thick white sauce (made with cream?). Season (with white pepper).
If you're short of space (or time) you can first fry the flour in the butter then add the vegetables. Whisk in the milk to make a white sauce in situ at the end. Also, you could consider adding a grainy mustard or some herbs - epazote went very nicely with leeks.
This is similar to a WWII recipe called Belted Leeks which would have boiled the leeks first, dressed them with white sauce, and served them topped with strips (belts) of bacon.
  • leeks or aubergines
  • butter
  • flour
  • milk or cream
  • white pepper
  • mustard
  • epazote

Cherry Brie
starter dessert veg
Heat creamy Brie in oven until soft/just runny. Pour over hot cherries in Amaretto syrup. (add ice cream?)
  • brie
  • cherries in Amaretto syrup

Strawberry Mayonnaise
sauce veg
Crush straws through a sieve, touch of lemon juice, garlic too.
Nice with avocados
And presumably mix with some mayonnaise at some point?
  • strawberries
  • lemon juice
  • garlic
  • mayonnaise

Wild Garlic
side veg vegan
Wild garlic tops/leaves - yum!
Steam as spinach - slightly slimy and collapses a great deal.

Mashed into Potatoes
As served at Fishers restaurant on the Shore:
Chop raw wild garlic tops finely. Mash into potatoes. Probably needs some basil too. Maybe basil oil?
If it's the stalks rather than the leaves you're using, then cook them briefly in cream or milk before mashing in, to soften them.
  • wild garlic

My interpretation of an especially good Kalpna dish
Baingan Bharta
curry side main veg
  • whole aubergines
(in oven, in oil), peel, mash and cook with
  • onions
  • plenty garlic
  • cashew nuts
  • tomato
  • spices
  • yoghurt
[Maybe bake the aubergines?].
Very nice, pricked and roast in a little ghee.
There's an example here

Some Random notes...
Goose Eggs
Goose eggs boil for ~13 mins.
It's worth noting that the interwebs suggest anything from 7 to 10 minutes for soft-boiled, 15 for hard. But you know my opinion on the subject.

Roast Potatoes
Try roasting potatoes from raw in olive oil (with garlic and rosemary).
- Yes, works well and gives that special 'restaurant' flavour.
The slower the roasting (e.g. mark 1 1½ hrs) the more flavour
but less crispy crust (e.g. mark 8 ½ hour).

Add plenty of salt to the oil and add chicken fat (e.g. from a roast) for the perfect flavour at mark 2 for 1 hour.

Semolina Pasta
Slightly nicer texture and poss. flavour v. nearly 4 oz semolina per size 1 egg.

Chestnut Potatoes
Chestnuts and pots! Milk from soaked chestnuts mashed with pots.

...and random mini-recipes...
Steamed Cauliflower
veg side
Steamed cauliflower dressed with (~4oz) beurre blanc is nice

Milk Poached Potatoes
veg staple side
Slice pots and poach in milk, strain off, add a little milk and finish in oven or grill.

Cabbage in Black Beans
veg side vegan
Fry chopped salted black beans and crushed garlic, add shredded cabbage, sprinkle with lemon juice.

Pan-Fried Turnip & Pear
veg side
Boil/steam whole turnips until soft - slice,
peel hard large pears - slice
pan-fry pears in hot butter, add turnip, season.

Tofu Dip
veg sauce vegan
Blend tofu with flavourings (e.g soy sauce, vinegar, olive oil...). Like these.

Grilled Chicken
main side fowl
Marinate chicken pieces in Greek yoghurt with
  • chopped garlic
  • a dash of Lea and Perrins
  • pepper
  • honey
  • desiccated coconut
sprinkle with a little cumin and grill slowly.

Beef Casserole
main meat stew
Casserole beef with root veg plus beetroot.
Use straight Czech Budweiser as cooking liquid and add strawberries ½ way through.

Baked Stuffed Cabbage II
side veg
Blanch cabbage (couple of mins), remove centre, stuff into tight earthenware pot. Pour in (& over) Rose Elliot's coconut sauce and bake at gas 4 for 1 hour.
  • cabbage
  • coconut sauce

Creamed Coconut
sauce ingredient veg
You can make your own creamed coconut from puréeing some fresh coconut with milk and then boiling them up (for a while) straining out the coconut and reducing the coconut-flavoured milk to a paste consistency (you can add cream too!).
This produces a pleasant, if sweet, result but it is a lot of hassle.

Baked Goods
starter side veg
Bake large flat mushrooms (stalks removed), heads of garlic, tomatoes (20-30 minutes) and aubergines (40 minutes).
Squeeze the garlic cloves when they are soft, crush the tomato flesh, slit open the aubergines. Smear the mushrooms with the garlic and tomatoes, and mash garlic and soft goat's cheese into the aubergine.
Here's an interesting variation on the aubergine.
And here are step-by-step instructions for the hard-of-cooking.

Viennese Tartlets
sweet veg
6 oz butter or margarine
2 oz caster sugar
6 oz self-raising flour
¼ teaspoon vanilla essence
Cream the fat and sugar, add essence and flour, beat well with a wooden spoon.
Pipe the mixture into bun cases (or whatever).

Bake in moderate oven (325-350°F, gas Mark 3-4) for 20-25 minutes.
Add some jam (or whatever you fancy) when cool.

Viennese Tartlets Alternative
sweet veg
8 oz butter
2 oz icing sugar
7 oz plain flour
1 oz cornflour
Cream butter and icing sugar til smooth. Work in flour and cornflour with wooden spoon until soft and light.
Pipe into bun cases.
Leave in fridge for 30 minutes.
Bake for 15-20 minutes at Gas Mark 4 (350°F).
Cool, dredge in icing sugar and add jam (or whatever).

Stuffing for Roast Goose
ingredient veg vegan

I made this stuffing for our Christmas Goose in 2001.
Check out the Goose Roasting Times.

Soak some prunes for a day in Armagnac.
Chop Onions, Celery, Garlic, alcoholic Prunes.
Grate a couple of carrots.
Grind a handful or so of pistachio nuts.
Grate the peel and squeeze the juice of a couple of tangerines.
Chop a bunch of Parsley and a handful of Thyme.
Stale breadcrumbs.
Salt & Pepper.
Mix everything together with an enormous quantity of stale breadcrumbs and stuff the goose.

I have a memory of parboiling and chopping some parsnips, potatoes and sprouts, but I'm not sure if they went into the stuffing or something else. It's a thought I suppose.
Although the stuffing came out very tastily, I think it ended up being rather rich and needed something to bulk it out more.
Perhaps some boiled rice?

Sweet And Sour Turkey
main fowl
serves 4

8 oz cooked turkey cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 pepper, chopped
1 small can pineapple chunks
½ pint pineapple juice and water
4 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons vinegar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 oz brown sugar
1 oz cornflour
salt and pepper
Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Heat oven to gas mark 4

Layer the vegetables and turkey in an oven-proof casserole
Place all the sauce ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring continuously.
When the sauce has thickened, pour over the vegetables and turkey.
Cover and bake for 35 minutes.

Serve on a bed of boiled rice.
The turkey can, of course, be replaced by chicken/pork/etc.

Rich Shortbread
sweet veg
9 oz plain flour
3 oz caster sugar
6 oz butter
Mix flour and sugar in a bowl, rub in the butter
Knead well to form a smooth paste.
Make into 2 x 7" discs, 1" thick and bake in a moderate oven (325-350°F/Gas Mark 3-4) for 25-30 minutes until pale golden
Make into fingers and bake in moderate oven (as above) for 20-25 mins.

Basic Short Pastry
Originally a Be·Ro recipe. From about 1930.
These days you might substitute something less cancerous than margarine :)

8 oz recipe

8 oz self-raising flour
½ teaspoon salt or just a pinch for sweet pastry
2 oz lard
2 oz margarine I use butter
cold water, about 8 teaspoons
1 oz caster sugar (optional for sweet pastry)
Mix flour and salt in basin, lightly rub in the lard and margarine until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs (aerate by dribbling the mixture through your fingers).
Using a knife to cut and stir, mix with just enough very cold water to make a stiff paste.
Turn the dough on to a floured board or worktop and roll out.

Butter Tartlets
sweet veg
6 oz of short pastry
1 oz butter
4 oz currants
4 oz demarara sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Roll out the pastry and line patty tins.
Melt butter in a pan, add all the other ingredients and mix well.
Put a teaspoonful of mixture into each case.
Bake in a moderately hot oven (375-400°F/Gas Mark 5-6) for 15-20 minutes.

When cold, decorate with a little glacé icing and cherries.

Glacé Icing
ingredient veg vegan
to cover a 6-7" cake

4 oz sieved icing sugar
1 tablespoon warm water
flavouring and colouring
Place the icing sugar in a basin and add the water.
Stir until smooth, add flavour and colouring as desired.
Use at once.

Butter Icing (or Butter Cream)
ingredient veg
From my Mum's fine collection of old Be·Ro recipe books

sufficient to sandwich a 6-7" cake

Cream the fat, gradually add icing sugar and cream together.
Add any flavouring and colouring.

Rum Butter
ingredient veg
8 oz butter
16 oz soft brown sugar
wineglass rum
nutmeg to taste
Thoroughly cream together the butter and sugar, then gradually add the rum. Cream well to get a very smooth texture. Add grated nutmeg to taste.
Put into small pots or cartons and serve with hot or cold Christmas puddings.

Chocolate Truffles
sweet veg
4 oz plain chocolate
1 oz icing sugar
3 dessert spoons condensed milk
rum flavouring
chocolate vermicelli
Melt the plain chocolate very gently in a basin over a saucepan of very hot water, then add the icing sugar and the condensed milk. Stir well together off the heat. Add the rum essence - about ¾ of a teaspoon. Leave for an hour or so to cool and harden slightly, then roll into small balls and roll each one in the chocolate vermicelli.

Hot Spot Pork
main meat
The 'hotness' depends on the quantity of cayenne pepper used.

serves 4

1 small onion
1 small green pepper
2 level tablespoons cornflour
1 level teaspoon paprika
1 rounded teaspoon ground ginger
salt and pepper
cayenne pepper
4 pork chops or steaks
2 tablespoons oil
1 chicken extract cube
boiling water
2 rounded tablespoons tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
8 oz long grain rice
Peel the onion and slice finely. Cut the pepper in half, discard the seeds, core and white pith, slice the pepper.
Place cornflour, paprika, ginger, 1 level teaspoon salt and a grind of pepper on a plate. Add cayenne pepper: ½ level teaspoon for a hot sauce, a pinch for a mild flavour. Coat pork in the seasoned cornflour.

Heat oil in a large frying pan. Fry pork quickly on both sides until lightly browned. Remove from the pan and place on a plate. Add onion to the pan and fry until lightly browned. Place on a plate.

Crumble the chicken extract cube into ¾ pint boiling water. Stir until dissolved then add to the pan, a little at a time, stirring. Stir in tomato ketchup and soy sauce. Bring to boil, replace meat in pan, cover with a lid or foil and cook over a low heat until pork is tender - about ½ hour.

Meanwhile cook rice in a large saucepan of boiling salted water. Test by pressing a grain between thumb and finger. Drain in a sieve or colander and rinse with boiling water. Place on a serving dish, arrange meat on top and keep warm. Blend remaining seasoned cornflour from the plate with a little water and stir into the sauce in the pan. Replace the onion and bring to a boil.

Place sliced pepper in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Drain and add to sauce in the pan. Taste sauce and add more seasoning if necessary, then pour over the meat.

Serve with a green vegetable.

Malt Loaf-Type Cake
sweet veg
serves 4-6

2 cups self-raising flour
2 cups fruit
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup cold coffee or tea
Use extra coffee for a malt-like cake.

Cook for ¾-1 hour at Gas mark 3-6 apparently!

Cauliflower Stir-Fry
main veg vegan
Cauliflower florets, julienne carrots, sliced red onion and sliced garlic stir-fried in olive oil is a surprisingly tasty combination.
Mostly Mum's Recipes
Mum's traditional* family recipes.
Recently slightly updated after our family's reunion for Mum's remembrance at Kaguy Samye Ling in the Scottish Borders, where we discovered that brother Kurt had been hiding Mum's secret recipe book that she'd written out for him when he moved out of her house and had to start cooking his own dinners.

* Mostly borrowed from Be·Ro :)

Mum's Short Pastry
6 oz self-raising flour
3 oz lard or vegetable shortening
⅔ tsp salt
cold water, about 6 Tblsps
Mix flour and salt in basin, lightly rub in the lard or shortening until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.
Using a knife to cut and stir, mix with just enough very cold water to make a stiff paste.
Turn the dough on to a floured board or worktop and roll out.

Mum's Cheese Pastry
ingredient veg
6 oz self-raising flour
3 oz Trex, lard, or vegetable shortening
2-4 oz cheddar cheese, grated
Mix the flour and the Trex with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs, then add the grated cheese.
Gradually add a little water and mix with a knife until it holds together as a dough, then roll out the pastry.

Suet Pastry
8 oz self-raising flour
4 oz suet
1 tsp salt
8 Tblsps water
Mix the flour, salt and suet.
Mix in the water using cutting movements with a knife until you have a thick dough.
Use as required.

Mum's Philadelphia Cheese Cake
dessert sweet
Crumble Crust
4 cups (crushed) sweet biscuits (Digestive)
4 oz butter (real)
1 lemon jelly
½ cup boiling water
1½ cups evaporated milk (chilled)
8 oz Philadelphia cheese (softened room temp)
1 cup Castor sugar
1 teaspoon lemon essence and 1 large lemon to give:
¼ cup lemon juice
Dessert spoon grated lemon rind
Mix biscuit crumbs with melted butter and press into tin. Chill till set.

Dissolve jelly in boiling water. Add lemon rind and juice. Cool slightly. Beat evaporated milk till thick. Beat cheese till soft. Add sugar and lemon essence and add to milk. Fold in warm jelly. Pour into crumb base and chill overnight or cover and freeze.
Fills 3 sandwich tins.

Mum's Speedy Orange Cheese Cake
dessert sweet
1½ margarine
4 oz digestive biscuits (crushed in a polythene bag)
1½ oz caster sugar
1 packet orange jelly
8oz cream cheese
¼ pint whipped cream
juice of 1 large orange
fresh orange segments and a little grated chocolate for garnish
Melt the margarine in a saucepan and add crushed biscuits and sugar. Mix well and press into the base of an 8" flan tin (with a loose base).

Make up the fruit juice to ½ pint with water. Heat and dissolve the jelly in this and cool until on the point of setting.

Soften the cream cheese and beat into the jelly

Fold the jelly mixture into the whipped cream.
Pour onto the biscuit base and allow to set.

Peel the remaining orange carefully and cut into segments.
Decorate the cheesecake with the orange segments or grated chocolate.

Lemon Sponge Surprise
dessert veg
Serves 4-6

1 oz margarine
6 oz sugar
2 oz (plain or not?) flour
2 eggs, separated
rind and juice of 1 lemon
8-10 tablespoons of water
Sift the flour and sugar into a bowl. Using a large fork work in margarine until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the yolks, rind and juice of the lemon. Mix to a paste with the fork and then add the water and mix until it is combined with the mixture.

Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and fold carefully but thoroughly into the mixture. Pour into a greased 2 pint pudding dish.
Bake for approx 40 minutes at 375°F (Gas 5).
Dust with icing sugar to serve.
I see from an email Mum sent me that there she actually stipulated self-raising flour. Probably doesn't make any difference :)

Suet Pudding
8 oz self-raising flour
4 oz suet
1 tsp salt
8 Tblsps water
1 small onion, sliced
Mix up the dough as for suet pastry, add the sliced onion, put into a baking dish and bake in the oven at Gas Mark 6 (or whatever you happen to have it set to) for 20-40 minutes until it's cooked through, you can see bubbling fat separating, and browning on top.
Goes nicely with roast lamb.
I've wondered about adding ingredients like diced apple, bacon or herbs. But it's really quite nice on its own.
Check on it 15 minutes before serving - you may have to move it around the oven if it's cooking too slowly or too quickly.

Mum's Fish Slop
(Or Pie)
main fish
I believe Mum actually called this Fish Pie, or just Fish in Cheese Sauce but if you've tried it I'm sure you agree my title is much more apt. My sister calls it Fish Fricassé - the pretentious git :)

  • 1lb haddock or cod, skinned and boned
  • ½-¾ pint milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour or perhaps two! actually 3!!
  • cheese, grated about 250g
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 slices fresh breadcrumbs optional
Boil the fish in water why not the milk? until cooked or microwave for 5 minutes, strain, break into pieces.
Bring the milk to the boil with the cornflour to thicken to make a white sauce.
Make a slurry with the cornflour and a little cold milk and add to the pot of milk just off the simmer.
Add grated cheese, fish, and 2 tomatoes chopped into small pieces and pour into an uncovered ovenproof dish.
Grate more cheese on top, slice the remaining tomato and arrange around the edge. Scatter with breadcrumbs too if you like.
Cook at Gas Mark 4~5 until the cheese melts and browns slightly. Around 30 minutes.
Bit runny.
To be honest I'm not sure about the whole idea of baking a cornflour-thickened sauce - simmering it tends to make it split and turn grainy and watery again. Or maybe that's just because of the milk?
In any case you should whisk in the cheese slowly and off the heat so as to minimise splitting.
Anyway, I must try either using more cornflour and don't worry that it seems too thick to start with; it will thin out when the fish and tomatoes weep out all their juices or making it with an ordinary flour-based roux?

Fish Slop #2
main curry fish
  • 1½lb cubed, skinned Haddock.
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 clove garlic
until soft. Add
  • Tblsp curry powder
  • Tblsp plain flour
cook for 1 more minute.

  • ½ pt stock
  • 2 Tblsps tomato purée
Stir in to onions. Add
  • juice ½ lemon
  • 8 oz tomatoes
  • tsp dried ginger
  • optional mushrooms and marjoram

Cover fish sauce in oven at gas 4 for ~30 minutes.

Mum's Mince Roll
main meat
Serves 4

  • 6 or 8 oz suet pastry
  • minced meat about 1 lb
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • curry powder to taste around 2-3 teaspoons per lb of mince
Fry meat, onion, garlic, curry powder until meat cooked.
Roll out suet pastry to oblong. Use 6 or 8 oz of flour to make the pastry, depending on which of Mum's versions you prefer :)
Definitely 8!
Spread meat mixture on pastry, then roll up with the long edge towards you, sealing the ends and sides with cold water.
Bake in the oven at Gas Mark 5 until brown & crispy. About 30 minutes.
Requires gravy. According to Kurt 😛

Mum's Indian Pie
main meat
  • minced meat
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • hot curry powder to taste around 4-6 teaspoons per kg mince
  • 3-4 medium potatoes
  • grated cheese
Fry mince, onion, garlic & curry powder until meat is cooked. Add tomato & remove from heat.
Boil potatoes until soft. Mash with milk and add grated cheese.
Put meat mixture in casserole, cover with potato mix. Roughen top with a fork.
Cook in oven at Gas Mark 5 until the top is browned.

Mum's Sausage and Bean Pie
main meat
  • 6oz Mum's short pastry or perhaps 8oz
  • sausages or minced meat about half a dozen sausages
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large tin baked beans
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
Fry the meat, onion & garlic until cooked.
Cut up the sausages (if using).
Mix in the beans & heat.
Line a pie dish with ½ the pastry.
Fill with the meat and beans.
Top with remaining pastry.
Bake at Gas Mark 5 for about 30 minutes until browned.

Mum's Cheese & Onion Pasty
Roll out ½ the pastry.
Cover with grated cheese & onion.
Top with the remaining rolled pastry, and seal the edges with cold water.
Bake at Gas mark 5 until golden - about 20 minutes.

Mum's Pilchard Pie
main fish
1 large tin (400g) pilchards in tomato sauce
1 onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
6 oz cheese pastry
Bone the pilchards, removing the spine and any larger bones. Mash up with their tomato sauce.
Fry the onion until soft, remove from the heat and mix with the chopped tomatoes and pilchards.
Roll out ½ the pastry, place on a baking sheet and spread over the fish mixture.
Top with the rest of the pastry, seal around the edges and make 3-4 slits in the top.
Or line a pie dish with the pastry, fill with the pilchard mixture, and top with a lid. Depending on which version of Mum's instructions you prefer.
Bake at Gas 5 for 30-45 minutes or until browned.

Sage and Onion Stuffing
ingredient side
Crumble stale bread and chopped raw onion, add a sprinkling of dried sage and a little pork dripping. Bake in a low oven

Yorkshire Puddings
side veg
Via Kurt's secret recipe book.

Serves 4

  • 5 oz (150g) plain flour
  • ¼ pt (5 fl oz/150ml) milk
  • 2 eggs
Whisk well together until creamy and lump free.
Heat fat in pudding tins in the oven at Gas Mark 5-6 until it's giving a blue haze.
Pour in the batter. Cook for about 20 minutes, until risen and golden.
It's worth noting the stellar work done on the science of Yorkshire puddings by Serious Eats in which he comes to the conclusion that my Mum needed to use 4 eggs, 175ml milk and 25ml water with her 150g flour (which seems like a lot of egg!). Also that the longer you leave the batter to sit the better - even days in the fridge before bringing up to room temperature to use.
Perhaps that's why my puddings always struggle to rise?

Toad in the Hole
main meat
Via Kurt's secret recipe book.

Cook the sausages and cut into pieces.
Cook the onion and put in a dish with the sausage.
Cover with the batter. Sprinkle with the grated cheese.
Bake at Gas mark 6 until cooked.
Until well-risen at the edges and firmly set in the centre, 25-30 minutes.

Steak and Kidney Pudding
main meat
Via Kurt's secret recipe book.

  • ½-1lb mixed steak and kidney
  • plain flour
  • salt

  • For pastry:
  • 8oz self-raising flour
  • 4 oz suet
Mix self-raising flour & suet with cold water to make pastry.
Roll out ⅔ and line pudding basin. Coat pieces of meat with plain flour seasoned with salt, and put in basin. Add a splash of water.
Roll out the remaining pastry to form a lid. Cover with foil.
Steam for 1½-2 hours
Mum's Christmas Recipes
Mum had a selection of favourite recipes she used to crank out at Christmas time, which kept it all very special.
I guess it's down to us now.

Mum's Pilaf
Fried rice with leftover Christmas bird
Our family's traditional way of using up the last of the Christmas goose and possibly the Christmas gravy.
Mum doesn't believe in measuring her ingredients. So you're on your own!
Just bear in mind that half a cup of rice will normally feed one person.

  • 1 tin peas, drained
  • tomatoes, chopped
  • long grain rice
  • stock or diluted gravy
  • onions, chopped
  • bacon, chopped
  • leftover Christmas fowl, chopped
  • egg, beaten
Drain the peas, chop the tomatoes and put them both into a deep dish in a low oven.
Fry the dry rice in butter until it begins to brown, then add stock to about twice the volume and leave to simmer. Add more stock as necessary. Add it to the dish in the oven when tender.
Fry the chopped onions and add to the dish.
Fry the chopped bacon and add to the dish.
Fry the chopped bird and add to the dish.
Pour the beaten egg into the frying pan and turn it into an omelette whilst you stir the rice mixture. Chop the omelette and place it on top of the dish.

Serve with Worcestershire and Soy Sauce.
The delicious taste of the end of Christmas.

Mum's Christmas Cake
sweet veg
Makes 4 loaves

  • 2 lbs self-raising flour
  • 2 lb fruit
  • ¾ lb marg oooh marg! Yum
  • 2 oz peel
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 oz cherries
  • 2 oz grated almonds
  • 3 Tablespoons rum
  • 1 lb brown sugar
  • mixed spice 2-3 teaspoons
  • about 3 Tablespoons Mather's Black Beer
Stir it all up, cut the butter into the flour, blend in the sugar, eggs, liquids, spices (perhaps add a little (1 tsp) vanilla essence), then add the fruit and nuts adding Black Beer until the mixture is moist enough Yeah, good luck finding that now (though William Bros. Midnight Sun porter isn't a bad substitute).
Bake at Gas 3 for 1¼-2 hours or until ready (prick to test).
Mine were ready in an hour. It took about three times the quantity of Black Beer to moisten my mixture so it was spoonable, though far from pourable.
The cake mixture almost doubles in volume on baking.
If you're going to keep them for months or years, just give them an occasional drink of rum and they'll be fine. Maybe better.

Mum's Christmas Pudding
Makes 2 family-sized puddings

  • 4 oz self-raising flour
  • 4 oz breadcrumbs
  • 4 oz suet
  • 4 oz sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon treacle
  • ½ cupful stout
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 grated apple
  • raisins
  • currants
  • sultanas (about 1lb of dried fruit in total)
  • 1 or 2 eggs
Steam for 2 hours, then steam again before serving at the Christmas dinner table.

Mum's Quick 'n' Crunchy Biscuits
They might be quick, but to be honest they're far from crunchy. Or at least they're only crunchy for a few days. Mum must have made them weeks ahead of Christmas - after which time spent waiting in a rusty old biscuit tin they'd become as limp as dish rags :)
So interestingly, I've subsequently discovered that these are actually the descendants of an antipodean delicacy known as Anzac biscuits (or wafers or tiles). They were sent out to Australian soldiers from home kitchens during the First World War, and would consequently have been made super-crunchy to last the voyage. A sort of dessert hard tack, though early recipes usually omitted coconut and might contain either no oats or loads.

Recipes generally work around:
  • 1 cup each of rolled oats, coconut, sugar and flour (or less sugar and flour)
  • 2-4 tablespoons of syrup
  • 2-10 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • Adding the bicarb to mixed boiling water and syrup until it froths, then adding the melted butter and pouring into the dry ingredients.
Supposedly to make them more crunchy you can:
  • bake them for longer
  • bake them for longer at a lower temperature
  • add more boiling water to the mixture
  • add less golden syrup
  • add no coconut

  • 2 oz treacle (1 heaped tablespoon) here meaning Golden Syrup Correction - it's about 3 tablespoons!
  • 5 oz butter
  • 4 oz sugar
  • 3 oz Quaker oats
  • 2 oz dessicated coconut
  • 4 oz plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a large pan.
Remove from the heat. Add the dry ingredients. Mix the sodium bicarbonate in the water and add to the mixture.
Cool. Roll into balls.
Bake for 20 minutes at Gas Mark 3.
Leave to set.
I have to say, when Kurt made 'em they really were crunchy. And stayed that way too!
He did make them quite a bit thicker than Mum used to though, and avoided keeping them in the same cake tin as any other baking.

Mum's Almond Slices
Well, they're not really Mum's - they're Be·Ro's. But Mum used to make 'em every Christmas, so it still counts.

  • 6 oz short pastry
  • 2 oz margarine
  • 2 oz sugar
  • 2 oz ground almonds
  • 2 oz ground rice
  • 1 egg
  • 1½oz chopped almonds
  • raspberry jam 2-3 tablespoons - mix in some Chambord too!
Line 7 inch square baking tin with pastry and spread fairly thinly with raspberry jam.
Cream margarine and sugar.
Add ground almonds, ground rice and beaten egg, mix well.
Spread mixture on top of jam, sprinkle with chopped almonds.
Trim any excess pastry along the sides of the tin to the level of the filling to make it look tidy.
Bake in moderately hot oven (375°F, Gas Mark 5) 20-25 minutes.
Allow to cool, then cut into fingers.

Rich Coconut Tartlets
Another of Mum's Christmas specials courtesy of Be·Ro
Or at least, I hope this is the one she used to make, Yep, this is definitely the one except that she'd make them in one large 9"x6" baking tin, rather than individual tartlets.

  • 8 oz short pastry
  • 4 oz margarine
  • 4 oz caster sugar
  • 4 oz desiccated coconut
  • one egg, beaten
  • raspberry jam 2-3 tablespoons - mix in some Chambord too!
Roll out the pastry thinly and line 24 patty tins. Place less than ½ teaspoonful raspberry jam in each.
Cream together the margarine and sugar.
Stir in the coconut and a beaten egg.
Mix well. Form the filling into 24 little balls (about 1 teaspoonful in each). Place one on each case and flatten to fit.
Bake at 350°F-375°F/Gas Mark 4-5 for about 15 minutes.
If you're making this in one baking tray to slice up after, line generously with pastry, fill with the filling (which is pretty firm), then trim the pastry level along the tin sides (or fold the extra over to cover the edges).
Bake at Gas Mark 4 for 20-25 minutes. The filling swells while cooking and will brown quickly on top - so keep an eye on it.

Mum's Coffee Kisses
sweet veg
Again, not really Mum's - more Be·Ro's. But then theft is the highest form of praise.
You might be tempted to try using espresso coffee instead of instant, or essence, but don't. You'd have to add so much liquid to get the requisite amount of coffee flavour that the mixture would end up too runny, and the kisses collapse into pancakes while baking :(

Makes about a half dozen

  • 6 oz self-raising flour
  • 3 oz caster sugar
  • 3 oz margarine
  • 1 egg beaten with:
  • 1 tablespoon dissolved instant coffee or essence with instant - use the minimum amount of water to dissolve
  • half portion of coffee butter icing
Mix flour sugar, rub in margarine.
Stir in egg and coffee essence, mix well.
Form into balls the size of a cherry (about 60) or a plum (about 18) and place on a greased baking sheet.
Bake in moderate oven (325-350°F, gas mark 3-4) for 15-20 minutes.
The cooler temperature (and Camp coffee essence) rather lets the kisses collapse into coffee pancakes. So better use the top shelf or the higher temperature for a plumper kiss.

When cold, sandwich together in pairs with a light coffee butter icing
Perfect. Except for Kurt's complaints that Mum used to fill them with vanilla butter cream, not the coffee-flavoured version.

Coconut Slices
Actually - now Suzannah has tried these we don't think Mum made them at all!
I (mistakenly) copied them from one of her Be·Ro Cookbooks.

  • 4 oz short pastry
  • white of 1 egg
  • 1 oz desiccated coconut
  • raspberry jam
  • 2 oz caster sugar
Roll pastry into an oblong about 9"x6".
Spread with raspberry jam and bake.
Whip the egg white until very stiff. Add 1 dessertspoonful of the caster sugar and whip until stiff enough to form peaks.
Fold in the remainder of the sugar and the coconut.
When the pastry is cooked, spread the meringue mixture over the top.
Bake in a moderate oven (350-375°F, gas 3-4) until a pale brown.

Lemon Slices
Yet another Be·Ro recipe. It looks familiar - maybe Mum used to make them for us at Christmas?
Though it does look suspiciously complicated.
Nope. Not one that Mum made. Or not in this form anyway. I guess now we'll never know what lemony slicey thing that Mum made these remind us of :(
Reasonably pleasant though, plus it's an excuse to make up a batch of lemon curd, so bonuses all round.

  • 4 oz short pastry
  • lemon curd to decorate

  • Biscuit Mixture:
  • 4 oz self-raising flour
  • 4 oz margarine
  • 1½ oz caster sugar
  • 1 oz ground almonds
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
  • about half an egg to bind
  • glacé cherries or angelica to decorate - optional
Roll out pastry thinly into a rectangle about 11 x 7 inches, trim and cut into two long strips.
Place on a well-greased baking sheet and prick with a fork.
Cream fat and sugar, beat in half the egg and essence.
Mix in ground almonds and flour to make a soft piping consistency - add as much as the rest of the egg as required.
Put the mixture into a piping bag with a medium star nozzle. Pipe down both sides of each strip and then down the centre.
Bake in a moderately hot oven (375°F/Gas Mark 5) BEFORE you add the lemon curd! for 20-25 minutes, until firm.
Leave on baking sheet, pipe lemon curd between biscuit mixture.
Cut into fingers while still warm, decorate with cherries and angelica, if desired.