I LIKE the way in which St George's Day stands at the threshold
of summer; so the chance of picnics is in our grasp. Why not be
patriotic about things? I can promise these Roast-beef
Yorkshires are always snapped up, and a tray of them works
well for any church "do".
100g (4 oz) flour
pinch of salt
300ml (½ pint) milk
vegetable or sunflower oil
12 slices of cold roast beef
bag of watercress
Pre-heat the oven to a really high temperature - 220°C/430°F/Gas 7
- as it needs to be very hot. Break the eggs into a bowl, sift in
the flour and salt, and gradually add half the milk, beating all
the time to form a thick batter. Add the remaining milk, and whisk
through to ensure it is all blended.
Place a 12-bun tin on a baking tray; pour about 2 teaspoons of
oil into each section, and place in the oven. After about five
minutes, remove quickly, shut the oven door, divide the batter
among the 12 sections, and return the tin to the oven. Heat is
important here, as the tin needs to be hot with the oil; and the
oven, too. For that reason, the oven door should not be opened for
at least 15 minutes, by which time they should be puffed up. Cook
for about 20 minutes in all to ensure that they are golden and
Remove from the oven, and leave in the tin for a few minutes
until they can be removed singly on to a cooling rack.
Once cool, assemble by taking a slice of beef (roughly the size
of the palm of your hand) and fold into a rough cone. Pierce the
centre of each pud, and poke in the slice, tip first. Add into the
centre 1 teaspoon of horseradish, then a few stalks of watercress.
Pile on to a plate, and watch them go.
Also in season are those little green berries that are coming
back in fashion. Here is a Gooseberry fool that
could also be adapted to a trifle without too much effort. This
should give a good six servings.
450g (1 lb) green gooseberries
120g (4 oz) sugar
300ml (½ pint) milk
few drops vanilla essence
½ teaspoon cornflour
300ml (½ pint) whipping cream
6 gingernut biscuits
Stew the berries in a saucepan with a little water and the sugar
until everything is soft, broken down, and dissolved. Remove from
the heat. Slowly whisk in the milk, then beat the egg separately
with the vanilla and cornflour, and add this, too. Heat slowly,
beating all the time, so that the mixture thickens but does not
boil. Divide between wine goblets or ramekins, and leave in the
fridge to cool.
Crush the biscuits, and add half on top of the fools. Whip the
cream and divide between each serving before topping off with a
shower of the remaining crushed biscuits. Chill further until ready