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Best of British

by
08 May 2015

by Simon Walsh

iStock

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". 


2 eggs
100g (4 oz) flour
pinch of salt
300ml (½ pint) milk
vegetable or sunflower oil
12 slices of cold roast beef
creamed horseradish
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 browned.

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
1 egg
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 to serve.

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