DESPITE being a great feast, Easter falls behind in recipes.
Perhaps its moveability influences this, and it is a little more
relaxed than the demands of Christmas. These recipes help mark the
liturgical calendar, but are as good at other times, too - like the
perennial popularity of chocolate, and the eternal message of the
Thankfully, Omelette Arnold Bennett stayed on
the menu after the Savoy Hotel's recent refurb. Created for the
famous novelist guest, it is a nice way to ease out of Lent whilst
still keeping Friday for fish, once Easter Week is past.
200g (¼ lb) smoked haddock
300ml (½ pt) full milk
30g (1 oz) flour
25g (¾ oz) butter
60g (2 oz) cheddar cheese, grated
Gently simmer the haddock and milk together in a pan for ten
minutes; then leave to cool. Remove the fish to a bowl, and flake
it with a fork. Add the butter and flour to the milk, and bring to
the boil, whisking all the time, to create a thick white sauce.
Season, and turn off the heat.
Separate two of the eggs, and add the yolks to the white sauce,
then stir the fish into this, too. Whisk the egg whites until thick
and foamy, at the soft peak stage. Beat the three remaining eggs
with seasoning, and fold in the whites. Heat one large frying pan
(or two small ones) with a dash of oil, and pour in the egg
mixture. When the bottom is solid (a minute or so) add the fishy
white sauce mixture on top, then scatter over the cheese.
Place under a hot grill, and wait for the cheese to bubble and
brown. Serve straight away with some watercress and crusty
Simnel cakes began as a Mothering Sunday
tradition, but are now more common at Easter, with marzipan balls
standing for Jesus and the disciples. Here, it is made as
300g (11 oz) mixed fruit
120g (4 oz) butter, softened
120g (4 oz) soft brown sugar
2 teaspoons mixed spice
150g (5 oz) self-raising flour
1 tbsp each of milk and orange juice
454g (1 lb) pack of yellow
Soak the mixed fruit in the orange juice and stir. Beat together
the butter and sugar, then add the eggs; fold in the flour, spice,
fruit with juice, and milk. Chop one third of the marzipan into
fingernail-size pieces, and mix in as well. Divide between 12 paper
cases in a bun tin, and bake in a preheated oven at 180°/350°/Gas 4
for about 25 minutes, until light golden.
Roll out another third of the marzipan with icing sugar, and
with a round pastry-circle make 12 circles; brush a little melted
marmalade or jam over the cakes, and press the discs on top.
Finally, form the remaining third into 12 balls, and place one in
the centre of each cake. Brown the cakes under a hot grill, until
they just colour.