Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange

2 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons sugar

2 eggs, separated

½ pint/300ml milk (substitute grand marnier or cointreau for some of the milk for a de luxe version)

2 oz/60 gr self-raising flour

Beat the butter, sugar and zests together until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg-yolks. Stir in the juice, milk and sifted flour. Whisk the egg whites stiffly and fold into the mixture. Pour into a lightly greased oven-proof dish and stand in a shallow tin of water. Bake in an oven pre-heated to gas mark 4/180° C for 45 minutes, turning the oven down slightly after the first 15 minutes. When done, the top should be set and firm to the touch. It should have a lovely creamy inside.



4 ½ oz/130gr flour

12 oz/340gr sugar

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp salt

1 egg

1 tbsp smooth apricot jam

1 tbsp vinegar

8 fluid oz/230 ml milk

5 oz/150ml cream

2 tbsp butter

juice of two lemons

Sift together the flour, salt, bicarbonate and 8 oz/230gr of the sugar. In another basin, beat the egg, vinegar and apricot jam together, and then beat in the milk. Gradually add this mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring until smooth. Pour into a pie dish or similar and bake in an oven pre-heated to gas mark 4/180º C for 30-40 minutes or until no longer wobbly. Remove from the oven and prick deeply all over with a skewer. Put the remaining sugar, cream, butter and lemon juice into a small saucepan with 2 tbsp hot water and a pinch of salt, and bring to the boil. Pour it over the pudding and leave for half an hour to soak in. Eat while still warm.




2-3 eggs, separated, plus 1 egg white

juice and finely grated zest of a large lemon

2-3 tablespoons caster sugar

1 tablespoon butter

Beat together the egg-yolks, lemon juice and zest and sugar. Fold in the stiffly whipped egg whites. Melt the butter in a non-stick pan and turn the egg mixture into it. Cook gently until the omelette begins to bubble and rise. Finish off under a gentle grill until lightly browned.

Giovanna Garzoni (1600-1670)




5 oz/125gr fresh white breadcrumbs

5 tablespoons caster sugar

grated zest of 1 large lemon

1 pint/550ml milk

2 tablespoon butter

4 eggs, separated

few drops vanilla essence

2-3 tablespoons blackcurrant or blackberry or raspberry jam, warmed

Put the crumbs, 1 tablespoon of sugar, the vanilla essence and lemon zest in a bowl. Bring the milk and butter to a boil and pour it over the dry ingredients. Leave for 10 minutes and then beat in the egg yolks. Grease a fairly shallow oven-proof dish and pour the breadcrumb mixture into it. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until just set, in an oven pre-heated to gas mark 4/180º C. in the meantime, whisk the egg whites until stiff, then add 2 tablespoons of sugar and whisk again until shiny and smooth. Fold in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Remove the pudding from the oven.. Spread the warmed jam over the pudding. Pile the beaten egg whites on top of the pudding, sprinkle on a little extra sugar and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, untilthe top is browning.



A vaguely Chinese dish.

½ pint/300ml milk

1 cinnamon stick

3 cloves

3 allspice berries or large pinch ground allspice

1 ½ tablespoons caster sugar

2 eggs

4-6 tablespoons of a mixture of some or all of the following, soaked for 2 hours and then finely chopped: prunes, dates, dried figs, dried apricots, dried apples

1 tablespoon crystallised ginger, finely chopped

Divide the fruits and the crystallised ginger between 3 or 4 largish ramekins. Scald the milk with the cinnamon, cloves, allspice and caster sugar. Lightly beat the eggs and pour the scalded milk over them, beating all the time. Strain this mixture into the ramekins. Cook for 25 minutes in an oven pre-heated to gas mark 3/160º C. Serve hot or lukewarm.




Cézanne: Apples


1.2 kg/2-3 lb Bramleys

2-3 cloves

pinch of mixed spice or cinnamon

4 oz/120gr ground almonds

3 oz/100gr plain flour

3 oz/100gr butter, cut into pieces

2 oz/75gr caster sugar for the crumble and more for the apples

Peel, core and slice the apples in to some water. Drain into a saucepan, add the cloves and cook gently, covered, until they have disintegrated into a puree. Stir in sugar to taste and extract the cloves. Pour into an oven proof dish. Sift the flour into a bowl with the mixed spice, the ground almonds and 2 oz/75gr caster sugar.  Rub in the butter until the mixture turns into fine crumbs (it can also be done in a food processor). Spread the crumble mixture over the apples and bake in an oven pre-heated to gas mark 4/180º C for 40-60 minutes or until brown and biscuity. The crumble can also be made with 6 oz flour, 4 oz butter and 2 oz sugar for those who do not eat nuts.

Giovanna Garzoni (1600-1670)



French home cooking.

4 oz/120gr self-raising flour

2 tablespoons white sugar

2 tablespoons sunflower or peanut oil

3 tablespoons milk

2 medium eggs

¾ /300-400gr eating apples such as coxes

3 tablespoons butter

pinch cinnamon

Whisk together the sifted flour, milk, oil and one egg until they form a thick batter. Spoon into a  9 inch/20-25cm tart dish and spread evenly. Peel, quarter and core the apples, and slice into thinnish crescents. Arrange on top of the batter in overlapping concentric circles. Cook in an oven pre-heated to gas mark 4/180º C for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining egg, sugar and cinnamon. Melt the butter, cool it slightly and whisk it into the egg mixture. Pour over the tart, making sure that all the apple is coated. Return to the oven for a further 30 minutes or so. Serve with cream. 



3 large coxes or similar

4 slices white bread

2-3  tbsp (25gr) flaked almonds

2-3 tbsp unsalted butter

zest of 1 lemon + juice of half a lemon

2-3  tbsp castor sugar

Remove the crusts from the bread and reduce it to bread-crumbs in the food processor. Melt the butter in a frying-pan; fry the bread-crumbs until golden; and then leave to cool.  Peel the apples and grate the flesh (large holes of the grater), avoiding the core. Mix with the lemon juice and zest and the sugar. Spoon into a buttered gratin dish.  Sprinkle the bread-crumbs and flaked almonds on top of the apple. Cook in an oven pre-heated to gas mark 4/180° for 35 minutes. Serve hot or warm with cream.




Giovanna Garzoni (1600-1670): Apricots



This recipe, which appeared in The Field many years ago, is an excellent winter one.


120gr/4 oz butter

450gr/1 lb soft brown sugar

250gr/8 oz semi-dried apricots (the ones marked “ready to eat”), roughly chopped

6 pieces of ginger preserved in syrup, chopped

250gr/8 oz self-raising flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

a grating of nutmeg

juice and grated rind of 2 lemons and 1-2 oranges

175ml/6 fluid oz milk

2 large eggs, beaten

6 tbsp black treacle or molasses


Melt half the butter and add half the sugar, dissolving over a moderate heat - do not boil until the sugar is well dissolved. Bubble gently for 2 minutes, stirring. Spread this mixtureover the bottom of a shallow oven-proof dish (3-4 pint size). Arrange the apricots and ginger on the top. Sift the flour, bicarbonate and spices into a bowl. Add the citrus rind. Mix together the milk, eggs, the rest of the butter (melted), the rest of the sugar and the black treacle. Beat this mixture into the dried ingredients. Stir in the citrus juices. Pour it over the apricot mixture. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 180º C/gas mark 4 for 40-45 minutes or until firm. Serve with crème fraiche. Can be frozen and reheats well.




Cézanne: Three pears



A recipe from France.

6 pears, halved, cored and peeled

100ml crème fraiche or other thick cream

50-100ml milk

3 egg yolks

50gr ground almonds

200gr (6-7 tablespoons) white sugar

grated zest of 1 orange

30gr/1tablesoon butter, melted

juice of half a lemon

½ a vanilla pod or a drop of vanilla essence

Put 80gr/2-3 tbsp sugar in a large saucepan with the lemon juice, vanilla and a quarter litre of water. Simmer gently until the sugar is dissolved. Add the prepared pears in batches, simmering each layer of pears for 6-7 minutes and then removing. Beat together the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar until light. Stir in the orange zest, ground almonds and melted butter, and then the cream and milk. Arrange the pears in one layer in one big or six small dishes. Pour over the egg and cream mixture and cook in an oven pre-heated to gas mark 9/240º C for 15 minutes – the top should be beginning to go brown.    



4 ripe pears, halved, cored and peeled

juice of half a lemon

5 oz/150ml cream

4-5 tablespoons sugar

a few drops vanilla essence

1-2 tablespoons brandy

pinch of salt

Mix together the lemon juice, cream, vanilla essence, brandy, salt and half the sugar. Place the pears, cut side down, in an oven-proof dish. Pour the cream mixture over the pears and sprinkle the rest of the sugar over the top. Cover the dish with foil and cook in an oven pre-heated to gas mark 5/190º C for 30 minutes or until the pears are tender, removing the foil half-way through. Serve hot.




Bananas at a fruit and veg stall in Kerala



3 bananas, peeled and halved lengthwise

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar (soft or Demerara)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons rum

Melt the butter in a large frying pan and add the banana halves in one layer. Sprinkle the sugar and lemon juice over the top and fry until the bananas are cooked and nicely browned underneath. Pour over the rum, heat through and light with a match. Let the flames burn out, shaking the pan. Serve with cream.



6 firm unblemished bananas

300gr puff pastry

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons sugar

seeds from 10 cardamom pods, coarsely ground

finely grated zest and juice of 1 small lemon and 1 small orange

Roll out the pastry, prick it and chill it in the fridge while preparing the rest. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the sugar and cook stirring until it is a rich deep caramel. Spread over the bottom of an oven-proof bowl about 8-10 inches (20-25cm) across and at least 1½  in/4 cm deep. Mix the ground cardamom, zests and juices together in a basin. Peel the bananas and cut into quarters, one cut lengthwise and one cut across. Turn the banana pieces in the juices and pack tightly in the caramel lined bowl. Pour over any remaining juice. Cover with the chilled pastry, tucking it down inside the sides of the dish. Bake in an oven pre-heated to gas mark 5/190º C for 40 minutes or longer, until pastry is golden brown. Leave to cool for 15 minutes or so and invert onto a plate. Serve warm. Can be reheated.




Cornelis de Heem (1631-1695)


4 large ripe peaches

2 tablespoons liquid honey

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

pinch cinnamon

2 tablespoons brandy

2 tablespoons butter, softened

2 tablespoons flaked almonds, lightly crushed

3-4 tablespoons bread-crumbs (fresh or dried – the result will be different but equally good)

Steep the peaches in water that has just boiled for one minute, then peel, halve and stone them. Mix all the other ingredients together into a paste. Stuff the peach halves with this mixture and lay them in an oven-proof dish, stuffed side uppermost. Sprinkle over a couple of tablespoons of water and cover the dish with foil. Bake in an oven pre-heated to gas mark 8/230º C for 30 minutes. Serve hot or warm, with cream.



2 large ripe peaches

4 cloves

2 tablespoons brown sugar

pinch cinnamon powder

a little butter

Peel the peaches (if they do not peal easily, they are not ripe). Halve and stone them. Arrange the halves cut side down in a grill-proof dish. Stud each peach half with a clove and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Dab with butter and add a couple of tablespoons of water to the bottom of the dish. Grill until brown. Remove the cloves and serve with cream.





200gr stoned prunes

150ml dark rum

4 tablespoons caster sugar

75gr plain flour, sifted

3 medium eggs

15 fluid oz/425ml milk

Cook the prunes gently with 2 tablespoons of sugar, the rum and an equal quantity of water until the liquid is absorbed and they are coated in a sticky syrup (about 20-30 minutes). Make a batter with the flour, milk, eggs and the other 2 tablespoons of sugar (can be done by putting all in the liquidiser or processor), and leave to rest for 30 minutes or more. Butter a 35cm gratin dish or similar and pour in the batter, after having given it a final whisk. Scatter the prunes and their syrup evenly on top of the batter. Cook in an oven pre-heated to 220º C/gas mark 7 for 25 minutes or until it is puffed and golden. Serve hot or warm. Can be dusted with icing sugar for a decorative touch.